This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
Cigarettes and Seat Belts On the Road to Health Fascism
Jeff Ulicny 9/15/2021 6:01 AM
Greetings my fellow Americans!
While I’ve striven with most of my AFNN posts thus far to focus more on how we may actually move forward as believers in unalienable rights endowed by our Creator, I thought it worthwhile to reflect upon and examine how we’ve reached the state of affairs in which we find ourselves in 2021. Sometimes I find it helps to recall those seminal moments in the strategy of those who consider themselves and government to be the final authority on rights as a way of foreseeing their next move. And while I realize that the anti-American momentum for where we are today started long before we all were born, I’d like to focus on what I’ve observed over my lifetime of 58 years.
My earliest memories of life in these United States included riding in the back of our family station wagon, playing with my brother and sister while climbing between the middle bench seat and the flat storage area way in the back. I also remember the privilege of sitting in the front bench seat between my parents from time-to-time and seeing signs for the 75 MPH speed limit we had on many of the freeways back then.
As I grew a bit older, I frequented smoke-filled, bowling alleys, bars and restaurants with both friends and family, and though I never really smoked myself (tried it, didn’t like it) I had no issues with others smoking around me. Even both of my parents smoked for a time, and I have fond memories of the smell of my Dad’s pipe tobacco. All of our cars had built-in lighters. Cigarette packs already had the Surgeon General warning on them, and many people (even regular smokers) jokingly referred to them as “coffin nails.”
I recall watching at least one of the Apollo moon missions on black-and-white, then color, TV, but was too young to remember Kennedy or Johnson, and have only faint memories of Nixon. I had no notions of an EPA or what was then the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, FAA, CDC, NHTSA, OSHA, etc. I also hadn’t yet held any job other than a paper route, and had no Social Security card, and so had no inkling of how taxes were paid nor where the money went.
I flew on a plane for the first time in 1978 and remember having to wear a seat belt for the first time. I also remember the No Smoking signs that would be lit during takeoff and landing but would be turned off in between so that those who smoked could do so. Some of the early signs of health fascism were there, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I remembered hearing about “guidelines” from the government about the dangers of—(insert ominous music here)—“second-hand smoke!!”
It wasn’t long afterward that the tailspin of smokers’ rights began: Smoking on planes was federally limited to bathrooms, then banned altogether; private restaurants were now required by state-level health departments to set up smoking and non-smoking sections, and eventually to ban smoking within their building (and a certain perimeter around it); likewise, private non-food-service employers were required to set up designated smoking zones and non-smoking perimeters (first inside, then outside). All of this was accomplished under the flag of OSHA.
As the smoking fascism hit high gear, new federal government guidelines about the efficacy of seat belts to prevent death in a head-on collision began pouring out. I lost count of the TV PSAs with the talking crash dummies telling us how seat belts needed to be worn by everyone in a car at all times. When it was realized that many were not going to voluntarily wear these devices, news suddenly sprang forth of how drivers who are not belted in are more likely to cause harm to others (read “second-hand belting”), and before long we had a state-mandated fine for anyone not wearing a seat belt while being involved in another traffic-related offense, which quickly morphed into being pulled over for merely not wearing one. (This, by the way, was after all states had already lowered the maximum speed limit to 55 MPH on all roads, on guidelines from the NHTSA, a plethora of “Speed Kills” PSAs and billboards, and threats to withhold federal funding of state-level road projects.) “Click it or ticket” became the latest government catchphrase.
Mandated airbags came next, and by this time it was becoming clear that those with government authority believed that the ends justified the means with respect to safety, regardless of the consequences. Remember hearing about deaths (especially of children) due directly to the presence of these devices you were not given a choice to have installed?
Fast-forward to COVID-19, CDC “guidelines” and mandated masks and “vaccines.” Looking back at how smoking bans, seat belts and airbags were systematically escalated and mandated in the late 20th century, it is not hard to see the same basic playbook in action. Did you ever wonder how they got the “We’re all in this together” PSAs orchestrated and distributed so quickly? When was the last time you saw government act that effectively and efficiently on anything? And they were very quick to make this about the second-handedness of the virus, even going so far these days as saying that “vaccinated” people are more likely to be infected by the unvaccinated, despite all virological and epidemiological evidence to the contrary. Like with airbags (and really with all of this), the end justifies the means.
And why are the States and businesses so quick to comply? M-O-N-E-Y. When we started automatically turning control of a lion’s share of our “incomes” to Washington, D.C., we enabled the national extortion of compliant behaviors and social engineering in exchange for money which we originally earned. The States, unwittingly or otherwise, became the instruments of these monolithic safety “guidelines” as a means to circumvent the Constitution.
The seeds of the COVID-19 strategy were planted at least 50 years ago. Climate change is coming next. Population control in the name of “health” is the ultimate goal.
Jeff Ulicny Jeff is a natural-born American and small business owner. He currently resides near the front lines of our current culture war in the People’s Republic of Michigan, and has traveled much of these United States in his former life as an Information Technology consultant. Jeff understands the inherent frailty of human nature, and maintains a firm belief in ultimate salvation through Jesus Christ. He has long sought to deeply and fully understand the foundational principles of America, and what has made these so unique and powerful in the spectrum of human history. He has also witnessed firsthand the inner workings, and consequences, of uninhibited public sector bureaucracy and socialistic practices. He seeks now to combine his lifelong knowledge of both into observations and recommendations for preserving and restoring the lessons of the American experiment which have helped Man achieve a pinnacle of civilization unmatched by any other in history.
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