Saying that you agree with Sarah Palin is either a slam dunk or a decision that will turn heads, depending on your political persuasion. The former governor of Alaska has continually spouted off that government shouldn't tell people what to eat. And I would agree.
Palin, along with Rush Limbaugh, have attacked Michelle Obama for some time over the First Lady's drive to get people, especially children, to eat better and get more exercise. Now, the First Lady has her own power structure, but Michelle isn't a politician or an elected official.
If anything, Palin, Limbaugh and all the other conservative pundits should really be on the side of Michelle Obama.
Michelle Obama is fighting to go back to a simpler time where food was more pure and kids ran around more. Conservatives normally love the idea of going back in time to a more simple world.
The former Alaska governor spoke in Pennsylvania last month at a private school, complaining that the state had an anti-sugar mentality and that school cookies were threatened as a way of life. Not that it was true, and private schools can do what they want, even if there were such a law.
Let's read a direct quote from Palin about Michelle Obama: "What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat."
No, Mrs. Palin. You should decide what you children should eat just as Mrs. Obama wants to do the same thing with her own children. You actually have that in common with Mrs. Obama.
What Michelle Obama, other mothers, fathers, and those without children want is a better playing field, so parents and others can make smart food decisions that are easier to make.
There is a political disagreement: conservatives want corporations to determine the quality of our food supply; liberals want government to make rules to prevent corporations from going too far.
But there is one political solution that would make liberals and conservatives happy: getting government to stop the current rules that govern what gets grown and why. Have a true free market system.
Stop subsidies that benefit corn producers. Stop policies that force farmers to grow corn and soybeans, much of which isn't fit for human consumption. Stop penalizing sugar growers by setting their prices artificially high. Stop companies from getting patents on seeds and therefore punishing innocent farmers.
Conservatives love the idea of the free market and are usually anti-subsidy (unless the subsidy is for something they want, such as vouchers for private schools). Right now, we have a government system that subsidizes cheap carbohydrates that on multiple levels has damaged the American food system.
What Palin doesn't understand is that this doesn't have anything to do with Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Tom Vilsack, Kathleen Sebelius, the FDA, or the USDA. This is bigger than any government official or agency.
Palin likes to portray herself as a outsider, and this may be hard for liberals to understand this, she could be a force for change, good change. The problem for Palin and other conservative pundits is that they are arguing politics when they should be arguing policy.
The current setup is anti-conservative, anti-free market and a true outsider could gain support to make significant changes. Of course, huge changes aren't in the comfort zone of conservatives; but the trickling of 30+ years of food policy has been the anti-(small c) conservative change. Sarah Palin, we ask you to use your Mama Grizzly skills for good. Change policy, not politics.
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