Sanford Speaks Out is the latest blog sensation written, edited and produced by Sanford D. Horn, a writer and educator. Sanford will write about issues of the day covering a myriad subjects: politics, education, culture, sports, religion and even food.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Our Republic Up in Smoke
Our Republic Up in Smoke
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn January 27, 2014
I am not a smoker. However, as long as tobacco is legal I
will defend smokers’ rights as well as the rights of an industry to cultivate
their product for profit, keeping thousands gainfully employed.
Moreover, I object to the perpetual nanny-state
micromanagement of the so-called free people of the United States to live
freely in the privacy of their property be it a home or vehicle while consuming
a legal product.
Already the law in the state of Oregon, now there is
proposed legislation in Illinois to make it illegal to smoke in a car where
there is a child present. State Senator Ira Silverstein (D) explained that it
is necessary to protect children from secondhand smoke. Should this bill become
law, it carries with it a $100 fine.
Make no mistake; I do not endorse children smoking or
being subjected to the smoke of others. But, where will this end? Will the
nanny-state push to outlaw smoking in people’s homes when children are present?
What else will government attempt to regulate and deny to adults?
Will listening to rap music (something I NEVER do or
endorse) be illegal in cars when children are present because of its content?
Or in the home for the same reason? Will adults arguing in front of children in
the car or home be banned for the sake of protecting their delicate
sensibilities? Will the state visit everyone’s home to ensure all children eat
their veggies and wear a warm coat?
How far will government – local, state, or federal, go,
to control the lives of a seemingly free people? While I have opined that
common sense is no longer common, we the people still must stand up for liberty
and freedom. This is not about smoking in cars around children, which, again, I
do not support.
There is a slippery slope at work here, and there are
even conservatives who see the protection of children as the be-all-end-all and
that it is permissible for government to step in. But how far is too far for
government to not just regulate our lives, but dictate our behavior?
Government has pole vaulted far over the line and we the
people are facing the point of no return.
“A Republic, if you can keep it,” is the second part and
answer of an oft-quoted quip made by Benjamin Franklin at the close of the 1787
Yet, the question, asked by Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland
delegate to the convention, is just as important. “Well, Doctor, what have we
got – a Republic or a Monarchy?” queried McHenry.
Are we the people, in the 21st Century keeping
our Republic or surrendering back to the days of a tyrannical, despotic
monarchy? Do we the people not have the self-discipline, the personal
responsibility, to maintain our freedoms? Time will tell. But for now, we are
not headed in the right direction with legislation like this.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.