Happy Meals or Unhappy Meals?

Put on your seatbelt.  Put down that phone while you’re driving.  No smoking in establishments that serve food.  Speed limit is 35.  No kid’s meals with toys.  What?

We have become a nation filled with laws, statutes and ordinances.  I remember when the seat belt law took effect; I thought my Dad’s head was going to explode.  When cities and states began passing anti-smoking laws for restaurants, all the bars said that they were going to go under.  I don’t particularly like most of the speed limits because they get in my way and make me late.  Under the latest moves McDonalds won’t be able to include toys in Happy Meals—Seriously?  Is this where we’re going?

I struggle with this latest move by San Francisco and the private group CSPI.  They are both fighting McDonald’s and trying to regulate a parent’s job.  They’re not targeting the food at McDonald’s, but rather a toy.  The kids don’t eat the toys; they eat the fries and whatever else they order.  I’m a father of two kids (5 & 7) and when they ask to go to McDonalds, it has nothing to do with the toys.  I asked my kids why they like to go to McDonalds and Kiley said the hamburger and fries while Kayla said the chicken nuggets.  McDonalds has offered healthier choices like apple dippers, salad, juice, milk, etc for a few years.  The patrons are given a choice—let them decide.

None of this changes the fact that as a parent, it’s my job to regulate what my kids eat just like it’s my job to regulate what I eat.  I certainly don’t want anyone in the government making my meal decisions for my family.  I would hope that I have the basic intelligence to keep things in balance.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has threatened to sue McDonalds over toys being used to market Happy Meals.  They have indicated that 93% of Happy Meals are served with French Fries.  To that statistic I say no kidding!  I love french fries and I love McDonald’s french fries.  If this is the issue, why not sue McDonald’s to not serve Happy Meals with french fries?  Better yet, why not butt out of our business!  They could simply issue a statement that they don’t recommend Happy Meals, french fries or McDonalds. 

Interestingly enough, the CSPI indicates on their site that they are an advocacy group to research and provide information to consumers.  I’m curious when and why they decided to add sue companies to that list.

So the biggest question in all of this—-why do liberals feel that they need to legislate how I live?  I have a kegerator at home, and yes I enjoy quality craft beer.  Will I be targeted next?  No more beer sales?  No more steak?  No more unprotected sex with my wife?  Where does this stop?

I realize that the groups targeting McDonald’s Happy Meals are probably founded on good intentions.  Just like previous laws were: wearing a seat belt or helmet provides obvious protection, no smoking laws certainly have proven health benefits to everyone, both the smoker and those around them and outlawing texting was supposed to reduce crashes (but it has since been proven ineffective).

However, I for one am just sick and tired of people trying to regulate our lives.  We are a nation built on freedoms.  I believe that freedom includes eating a hamburger with fries and getting a happy little Barbie toy with it if that is what me or my kids choose.  I also believe that as a parent, I have a responsibility to take care of my children and that includes making healthy decisions for them.  I don’t want someone dictating how my wife and I should parent or what we should feed our kids.  This is a not a socialist government and it has no business meddling in how I raise my kids.

I’m hopeful that as we move forward, people will see the insanity of this latest move.  (Of course) San Francisco is trying to be the first to pass a law outlawing Happy Meal toys.  It shouldn’t be a surprise since they have already outlawed tobacco sales in some retail outlets and have even banned the sale of sweetened beverages from vending machines on city property.

The citizens of San Francisco have the equivalent of George Orwell’s Big Brother (1984) watching out for them and making decisions for them.  Obviously, Mayor Gavin Newsom doesn’t believe that they can make decisions on their own. 

In the immortal words of 2Pac in his work, Only God Can Judge Me, “Let me live baby. Let me live!” 

Are there any other conservative hip hop/rap fanatics or is it just me?