Sarah Palin: Give Me Dessert or Give Me Death!

Sarah Palin is twisting the issue of healthy eating once again. This time, she included a jab at First Lady Michelle Obama in an episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska in which she made s'mores, sniffing that Mrs. Obama "said the other day we should not have dessert."

Actually, what Mrs. Obama said was that "dessert is not a right," and that's something probably heard from a lot of parents across the political spectrum: Dessert is not the exclusive domain of the GOP, nor is healthy eating practiced solely by Democrats.


I have to giggle at objections from the right concerning the First Lady's healthy eating campaign, especially in light of Nancy Reagan's exhortations to "Just Say No" back in the '80s. Why should the government tell my children not to do drugs? That's outrageous! It's my decision whether or not to allow them to do drugs. I don't need the government interfering with how I raise my children. If they want to abuse Oxycontin, they should have that right!

Oh, right. Dessert is legal, but drugs aren't. So it makes sense that the First Lady should remind us not to break the law, but encouraging healthy habits constitutes an intrusion into our privacy.

Sarah Palin needs to pick a different issue to harp on, especially if she's seriously considering a presidential run in 2012. First of all, this effort isn't a policy matter. Nitpicking the First Lady's work is an irrelevant distraction (but probably a welcome one for Palin, who's not exactly up to speed on policy).

Furthermore, nobody's arguing that parents ultimately decide what to serve their children, simply that there ought to be healthier choices available in school lunchrooms. I was the child of two staunch Republicans, and unbeknownst to them, I often ate two ice cream bars for lunch in middle school. I was free to do so, but perhaps I would have been better off if there wasn't any ice cream for sale in the cafeteria.

Finally, how can any reasonable parent argue against healthier food? I'm genuinely baffled by the idea that offering healthy choices is somehow harmful.


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