Ban Represents Uncompromising Majoritarianism

RECEIVED Tue., June 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    There have been several letters by supporters of the smoking ban recently that span the spectrum of selfish and arrogant positions that all boil down to “I don't like it and therefore you can't do it.” Smoking is legal and while it is unhealthy, business owners and adults that smoke do, or should, have a right to cater to or be catered to, respectively, whether most people like it or not. The characterizations of smokers in recent letters ranged from condescending (sick people) to selectively punitive (toxic factories) and ignored the fact that adults are legally entitled to engage in certain legal vices, and there are choices ban supporters make that fall under the same rationale (see my previous letter about cars [“Postmarks,” June 3]). As it stands, the issue has been decided through an exercise in majoritarianism that uncompromisingly excludes any possibility that smokers can freely associate and be catered to by any business – even those whose stated purpose is to, legally, do just that. Fine. Let the paternalistic, selfish, and puritanical types have the bars and clubs. I wouldn't want to hang out with them anyway. Come September I call upon all smokers to boycott all bars and clubs – go buy booze at the liquor store and invite your friends over. Let the economic blood flow, and lay the corpse at the feet of the zealots. Your choice is to give up liberty and be treated like a child, a pariah, and to fork over hard-earned cash for the privilege (no thanks) or to let these pigs have the bars for two years and to try to rescind the ban – roll over now and it's done. Remember, the paternalistic puritans won by only 3%. I suspect some of them are not as rigid as the rest.
Thomas Boggs
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