National Review praises Sarah Palin:
“During an episode of her reality show, the once (and future?) candidate cooked up a mess of hot s’mores and a side of even hotter politics, declaring: ‘This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.’
Palin was being over-generous in her paraphrase. What Mrs. Obama in fact said was considerably more worrisome: ‘We can’t just leave it up the parents’…. If her vision leaves any room for limitation on government interference in family affairs, it is impossible to detect it. Palin… later expanded on her views: ‘Instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us, according to some politician’s — or politician’s wife’s — priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back, and allow us, as individuals, to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions.'”
National Review and Palin appear to have not realized that if your kids are in school, then they will be fed by the school. You can maybe send a lunch in with them, but some children–not that I suppose NR really cares about this–come from families who are too poor to do so. (Besides which, if the lunch is paid for by taxes, most people will probably wish to take advantage of it.) Therefore, unless you are actually opposed to the concept of school lunches, you must ask: do you want the school to feed them healthy food or unhealthy food?
If they were Libertarians, they might make the argument that we ought to abolish school lunches–and, for that matter, government schools–altogether. But they won’t make this argument here, because to do so makes them look, frankly, like unfeeling jerks to many people. So, they take the easy way out: griping about the system without actually putting forward an alternative system which might address the alleged problems.
(I should mention: although I am not a Libertarian, I was one in the past. And, perhaps out of a sentimental sympathy for some of their beliefs, I feel a need to make it clear that the Republicans of today are not really Libertarians; they just act like it sometimes to get what they want. This is not to say the Libertarians are right–which I obviously don’t believe–but rather in the interest of clarity in discourse.)
But I digress.
Now, if a parent wants to have this degree of control over their children, then they should not send the children to school. But, since many parents cannot (or in some cases, will not) actually educate, feed and care for their own children all day every day, they do send them off to school. And that carries with it certain costs and benefits. But essentially, what the National Review crowd wants is all the benefits of parental control with none of the costs.
But then, as they ought to know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.