Which nanny state do you want? | Opinion | dentonrc.com – Denton Record Chronicle


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“Nanny state” is a term used to criticize government when it is regarded as overprotective or when it unduly interferes with personal choice. In the United States, the term is mainly used as a pejorative by conservative politicians and media to describe government regulations they don’t like.To be clear, both the left and the right like some regulations — just not the same ones or even the same kind. The left favors regulations that protect the environment — clean air and clean water. The left wants regulations that limit access to firearms, especially assault rifles. The left also favors regulations that protect workplace safety and to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices such as predatory lenders.The right favors some regulations as well. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a number of executive orders that limit the actions of cities, counties and school districts. The right wants to limit women’s right to choose some of their health care options as a way to stop all abortions — even in the case of rape or incest.While Abbott hates most regulations on Texas businesses, he has issued an executive order prohibiting any Texas business from requiring workers or customers to wear masks. This despite his many statements saying businesses know best about how to operate without government interference.Recognizing elephant-sized hypocrisy, Republicans in the Texas Legislature have refused to pass a law that supports the governor’s ban on businesses requiring masks.The left is more honest about believing that the government has a role in setting regulations that protect citizens. The right seems hypocritical by generally condemning government regulations while aggressively passing and enforcing their preferred regulations.Always looking for new ways to defame public schools, Abbott now wants a study of how much pornographic material is in our schools. Of course he is up for reelection, and he needs to stoke fear, which is always good for votes. He needs to prove he is more conservative than the other radical right wingers. And maybe if people are worried about porn in schools, they will forget his mismanagement of the electric grid that resulted in over 200 deaths and millions of dollars of damage to homes, schools, churches and businesses.Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the House Committee on General Investigating, sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency inquiring about books in public school. His letter lists 850 books.Krause is requiring school districts to report back if they have any of the titles on his list. He wants to know where the books are, how many copies, and how much they cost. Furthermore, he wants to know if districts have any other books that violate the recently passed House Bill 3979 designed to limit how race-related subjects are taught in public schools.HB 3979 is supposed to protect schoolchildren from hearing about critical race theory even though it is not in any public school textbook. Conservatives argue that there is no racism built into our legal system. I suppose government teachers are supposed to just skip over Article 1, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution that declares that enslaved persons count as only three-fourths of a person.Ironically, those who complain about “nanny state” feel the need to protect children up to the age of 18 from hearing that there are racists. Children might feel badly if they find out that enslaving people was once sanctioned by both federal and state laws.Why is it so hard for the right to acknowledge racism? Why is it so hard for the right to criticize racists? Our former president wanted everyone to know that among those Charlottesville protesters, there were many good white supremacists and neo-Nazis.In order to fix a problem, first admit that a problem exists. If the ideology of white supremacy is wrong, then say so. If the ideology of the Nazi movement is wrong, then condemn it.There was a problem with the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2. Without using the actual word, it recognized slavery and made it legal. Furthermore, it said enslaved persons were not worth as much as free persons. Racism was written into the Constitution. But America recognized the problem and fixed it with the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments.The far right seems unified in opposing government regulations that protect citizens’ health and safety while at the same time passing regulations that protect us from ideas; especially ideas they don’t like.So which nanny do you want? The one on the left or the one on the right?While you decide, I’m getting Matt Krause’s book list so I can choose which ones I want to read first.

DALTON GREGORY is whittling his way through retirement after a career in public education and serving nine years on the Denton City Council.
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