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The nanny state is ubiquitous and obnoxious

Reader comment on item: More on the Burkini Ban

Submitted by Dave (United States), May 22, 2022 at 15:26

It seems to be a universal vice by all governments to mistrust the judgement of the people. The temptation is always there to save people from themselves by an electorate or bureaucracy composed of moral busybodies. It's manifested in various ways all across the political spectrum.
On the Right we have the push to ban abortions or other forms of birth control, because women can't be trusted to make competent decisions given complete reproductive freedom. They could turn into wanton harlots, madly procreating, use abortion as means of birth control, break up families and kill the unborn. We can't have that.
On the Left, we have an even vaster array of regulation to guard against potentially bad behavior. Corporations can't be trusted to treat their workers respectfully, or the environment responsibly, hence the constant push for ever more extensive, and often stifling, business regulations. The economy slows. During the pandemic, liberals led the charge for lockdowns, masking and mandatory vaccinations, because people couldn't be trusted to take the responsible health precautions. The economy suffered greatly from the lockdowns. In Europe and Canada, which lack a First Amendment, hate speech is illegal because their citizens can't be trusted to discuss issues responsibly. Anarchy could result.
The Burkini issue is just another example of busybody government. Muslim women cannot be trusted to make rational decisions on their swimwear. They could unknowingly submit themselves to symbolically oppressive clothing, or perhaps become hyperthermic in warm water from being overdressed and drown. There are many hazards, although committing a violent crime while bathing in a Burkini is unlikely.
Let's recall that the Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower to escape an oppressive, nanny government, held firmly in the grip of an overweening Anglican church. Freedom is in the American DNA, so we should err on the side of trust.
I'm no fan of Islamism, but there are wiser and less obnoxious ways to oppose it than to deprive women of their freedom to dress as they choose while swimming.

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