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Rachel Marsden: New York’s ID checks for whipped cream are everything that’s wrong with leftist authoritarianism

Tribune Content Agency logoTribune Content Agency 8/30/2022 Rachel Marsden, Tribune Content Agency
marsden-whipped-cream-20220830. © Dreamstime marsden-whipped-cream-20220830.

PARIS — Imagine being a 20-year-old this Thanksgiving, heading to the store to pick up some dessert for the family gathering while mom’s at home preparing the turkey. While scanning your purchases, the cashier suddenly stops to demand proof of your age. Puzzled, you hand over your ID. Noting that you’re not yet 21 years old, she sets aside the whipped cream that your family was going to enjoy atop your pumpkin pie, blocking their purchase. This isn’t fiction, but rather an entirely plausible scenario now in the land of the free.

In the latest example of nanny-state infantilization of the general population by the left, grocery stores selling canisters of whipped cream in the state of New York now must demand that buyers show identification proving that they’re at least 21 years old, under a new state law passed late last year and enacted a couple of months ago.

Any grocer illicitly selling pressurized whipped cream to an underaged customer risks fines of up to $500. This dystopian reality is brought to you by the state’s Democratic senators who admittedly want to stop people from huffing the nitrous oxide gas from the canisters — also called “whippets” — that propel the whipped cream. “Used whippits piling up in our communities are not only an eyesore, but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem. This law will help to protect our youth from the dangers of this lethal chemical, while helping to clean up our neighborhoods,” said the law’s sponsor, Democratic State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo.

Rachel Marsden wearing a dress shirt and tie © Provided by Tribune Content Agency Rachel Marsden

New York was already cited as the least free state in the union by a George Mason University study published in 2013. The descent into nanny-statism didn’t start with whipped cream, nor is it likely to end there.

In 2012, New York City’s board of health tried to ban soda sold in cups larger than 16 ounces — a measure that the courts ultimately rejected. But a new state bill currently in the pipeline, sponsored by Democratic Senator Gustavo Rivera, now aims to impose a statewide excise tax on sugary drinks.

Last May, the New York Senate passed a new law allowing liquor stores to open at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of noon. Presumably those extra two hours of alcohol deprivation weren’t stopping people intent on getting hammered from doing so. And earlier this year, the state also enacted a smoking ban on beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers, and group camps. The fact that the measure was even necessary speaks volumes.

What all of these laws really suggest is that the state has a basic civility problem. Let’s face it — leftists (like the kind who run New York) aren’t exactly known as big proponents of self-discipline, and tend to promote the notion that anything and everything should be permitted in the name of self-expression and tolerance. It’s typically the person who complains about the behavior who’s considered intolerant — at least until it gets so far out of hand that it becomes a political liability for those in charge.

It’s not uncommon in NYC to encounter a group of teens smoking marijuana with impunity inside a movie theater, despite it being illegal, or strolling down the sidewalk like an ambulant smokestack with clouds of tobacco blowing back into the faces of passersby. The entitlement reeks almost as much as they do. And in the leftist’s mind, who are you to judge the kid who wants to sit in the streets and get high snorting empty whipped cream cans? Maybe he had a bad childhood and that’s his way of coping, OK?

The problem with the leftist approach is that when you discourage even the most minimal boundaries, discipline, or standards in the interest of tolerance, the resulting chaos eventually results in an overreaction and the imposition of boundaries everywhere when things get out of hand. It ultimately gets to the point where they feel compelled to usher in laws that penalize those same people. But in doing so, they also penalize everyone else by fostering a climate of authoritarianism.

While some might think that asking college kids for ID when they buy sundae ingredients isn’t that big of a deal, it nonetheless gives the government an excuse to control yet another aspect of daily life. It’s just one more inch of dystopia that risks growing into a mile.

(Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and host of independently produced talk shows in French and English. Her website can be found at http://www.rachelmarsden.com.)

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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