The Lone Star Nanny State
Personal freedoms and private businesses are coming under attack in Texas, and it's not only coming from the people you'd expect. An article that came out on Tuesday claims that 70% of Texans favor a state-wide smoking ban. Now, lawmakers have unveiled legislation to ban smoking in indoor work places, including bars and restaurants. So, who is behind this besides the special interest groups? You might be surprised. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst is backing the legislation. Dewhurst claims that all Texans should be able to enjoy a smoke free work environment. Dewhurst has been seen as one of the favorites for Senator Hutchison's seat when she retires. However, this legislation doesn't speak of conservative values to me. It's an attack on personal liberty and an attack on private business. We don't need more government intrusion into our lives, we need less. Much less. Dewhurst seems to have forgotten this along the way, but I don't think the voters will forget. If Dewhurst thinks he can just sail by on the conservative wave, he's wrong.
Another Republican supporting this bill is Myra Crownover out of Denton. She is betting that this is the year smoking will be banned indoors. Just another Republican who doesn't get it on this issue.
Rep. Charles Perry joined LFN Wednesday morning and said that while he would like to see a smoke free environment, he didn't think it was the role of State government to get involved. Perry said that he would probably vote against such legislation.
Probably? That's not the answer we are looking for. What happened to the Tea Party conservative line of no more big government? Keep your eyes on how Perry votes on this issue, as well as all of your elected officials. This is an important issue to all of us. Do we really want bigger government on the state level? I get calls all morning long about how big the federal government is, but what about on the state level? By the way, according to this study, 54% of Tea Party voters support a ban while 67% of Republicans and 74% of Democrats support a ban.
Yesterday, the City Council in NYC voted to ban smoking in parks, beaches, and plaza's. They did this because of the same reasons our Texas lawmakers are giving. What makes you think lawmakers here in Texas won't push for the same thing eventually?
I'm not here to advocate for smoking. We all know it isn't healthy, but it is a legal thing to do. I don't smoke cigarettes, but I do smoke cigars. It's my choice and it's something I enjoy doing. Why should I not be able to smoke in a bar? Why shouldn't I be able to smoke at a cigar bar? Why shouldn't I be able to smoke on my porch? I'm not forcing people to inhale the smoke. We all the freedom to go to any bar or restaurant we want. And that's the way it should be.
Let the people decide. Let us decide with our money which businesses succeed or fail. I don't like going to a bar with bad ventilation and lots of cigarette smoke. So I don't go to them. If the owner of the business wants to cater to smokers or non-smokers, that should be their choice.
Freedom and liberties are taken away often in small chunks. Things that don't impact everyone are the targets first. We must watch what our elected officials do on this bill. Whether you smoke or not, you will be impacted. Do you really want Texas to become a nanny state? Don't fool yourselves, it could happen.