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The Great Dragon, Smug

A friend shared this article, and I shared it myself on Facebook.  I wanted to start by mentioning the points that I believe the author got right.  It is true that liberals are often smug.  It is true that liberals wish to impose their views on other people in many ways.  When NYC banned soft drinks larger than 16 ounces, I'm sure they felt like they were doing what was best for its citizens.  Sugary drinks can cause health issues.  They can make you fat, they can inflame diabetes, and they can cause other problems as well.  This is an example of what I would call unnecessary meddling in personal lives.  I don't think it's the role of the government to do things like that.  I think it would be good to educate the public on the harms of consuming large quantities of sugars, but I do not believe it should be made illegal in this way.

However, this meddling in personal lives (the "hamburger problem" as the author calls it) is not unique to liberals.  Conservatives also meddle unnecessarily in people's private lives.  Both sides of the aisle do it, just on different issues.  Liberals want to tell you how much carbon you can produce and conservatives want to tell you who you can sleep with.  Conservatives want to regulate whom you're allowed to marry, whether you're allowed to use contraceptives, and which restroom to visit while in public.  So surely this meddling cannot be a deciding factor for voters.  It is the issues themselves, not the intrusion on personal lives which causes people to vote Right or Left.

Along those same lines, I would address not just the fact that each wing likes to meddle in personal lives, but the reason why they do so--the motivation behind it.  Conservatives oppose marriage equality and transgender rights on moral grounds--they believe that it will lead to an immoral society which will invite the wrath of god upon them.  Thus, for the good of society, they wish to do what they can to keep our country wholesome and god-fearing, which translates into no gay marriages and no transitions from male to female or vice versa.  Liberals oppose things because they too believe them to be harmful to society--perhaps not in a religious sense, but usually in an ethical sense.  For example, above I mentioned that liberals oppose over-consumption of sugar because it is linked with medical problems.  Liberals oppose carbon emissions because it has been proven to warm up the climate of the planet.  Thus, it is for the good of society that liberals oppose these things.

So, at the end of the day, yes, I will judge you for having a large carbon footprint and being unapologetic about it.  Not because I'm smug.  Not because I think I'm better than you for having a smaller carbon footprint.  Not because I think my way of living is the best and everyone needs to follow it.  But because scientific data have shown that the Earth will continue to heat up to the point where it can no longer sustain life if we continue to dump carbon into the air at the rates we have been doing.  Indeed, at this point, even if we stopped all carbon emissions we would still see an increase in global temperatures caused by the carbon we have already released.  We must act now and we must act aggressively to reduce emissions and to absorb vast quantities of carbon in the air.  It is for the sake of future life on the planet that I will judge you for polluting.

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