We worden beschermd tot in de dood. Bedreigingen waarvan onze grootouders het bestaan niet kenden zijn nu onze grootste vijanden. Alles is gevaarlijk en elke dag komen er nieuwe nog niet eerder ontdekte gevaren bij.
In een opiniestuk beschrijft een columnist het verschijnsel van een alsmaar meer beschermende overheid.
The connection between second-hand smoke and terrorism has yet to be explored, but it must exist. Both are evils the government has assumed the duty of protecting us from in recent years, lengthening a list that wasn’t short to begin with.
Today the government protects us from countless evils our grandparents never had to worry about. In fact, it protects us from evils our grandparents never even heard of or had no names for or wouldn’t even have considered evil. My grandfathers never spoke of “second-hand smoke”; they called it “smoke.”
My father smoked cigars. I liked the smell. As a small boy, I didn’t think of it as something the government should protect me from. Little did we dream, fifty years ago, how many things the government would one day be protecting us from: the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath.
Consider Professor John Banzhaf of George Washington University, a well-meaning man who is often described in the chilling words public-interest attorney. Professor Banzhaf has been a leading figure in the movement to ban smoking wherever possible, in the name of saving us from second-hand smoke.
Now he has branched out. He wants the government to protect us from obesity, so he is filing suits against the fast-food industry. Never before have our waistlines been thought of as a concern of the state, but times have changed. Just about everything anyone can construe as a menace is now a concern of the state.
In short, we are being protected to death. A friend of mine has coined a word for the mentality that sees dangers lurking in every hot dog: omniphobia. Who knows how many more perils Professor Banzhaf may yet call on government to banish from our lives?