We live in a time in which anything a legislator can make an argument is “for your own good” can be pushed to be made law. Whether it’s banning food additives (trans fat) or forcing you against your will to buckle up as long as they can argue it’s for your own good they’ll look to write law forcing their will on you. This is a dangerous practice for our government to enter into. For starters where do you draw the line? Should certain sports and physical activities (like say mountain climbing) be outlawed since people could get hurt? Regarding food, to which point should the government force you to eat healthy?
Ben Franklin once said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Now ironically some of these same politicians who push to limit our freedoms of choice for “our own good” and safety used this quote to attack Bush and republicans with their enforcement of the patriot act.
Based on this I put together a top 10 list based on this type of thinking, enjoy...
10) Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. – C. S. Lewis
9) If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too. – Somerset Maugham
8) It is not the responsibility of the government or the legal system to protect a citizen from himself. – Justice Casey Percell
7) No one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words "no" and "not" employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights. – Edmund A. Opitz
6) I believe that every individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no way interferes with any other men's rights. – Abraham Lincoln
5) It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones. – Calvin Coolidge
4) I'd rather live free with some peril than be a protected slave of government. – Dave Duffy
3) The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves. – Dresden James
2) Each and every time someone says "there ought to be a law" they are saying that men with guns should enforce their will on innocent others. – Michael Barnett
1) "For your own good" is a persuasive argument that will eventually make a man agree to his own destruction. – Janet Frame