There was a time when the New England town meeting was the ultimate example of civic-mindedness; of small town democracy in action. These days, given the political complexion of much of the Northeast, the gatherings tend to be more representative of just how divorced from reality life can become in the fever swamps of the left. Consider this, from Michael Graham in the Boston Herald:
[The city of] Concord voted 403-364 to make it illegal to sell bottled water. Uh, wait. That’s not right. You can still sell bottled water, it just has to be in larger bottles.
So it’s illegal to sell drinks in bottles smaller than 1 liter. No, that’s not it, either. You can still sell Mountain Dew or mango juice in small, plastic bottles. Just not water.
So the new law boils down to “It’s illegal to sell stuff we Concordians don’t like, and right now we don’t like bottled water . . . except when we buy it ourselves. So there.”
What makes this vote on unflavored liquid so deliciously ironic is that it happened around the same time the Massachusetts House was voting against EBT [Electronic Benefit Transfer -- essentially debit cards for those receiving public benefits] fraud — a vote that Concord liberals and their fellow travelers oppose.
While the EBT fraud amendment passed overwhelmingly 122-33, all the “no” votes came from the far left. Liberals like Reps. Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge) and Ruth Balser (D-Newton) voted to keep letting EBT cards pay for “firearms, cosmetics . . . strip clubs, travel services, health clubs, tattoo parlors, jewelry, payment of restitution or bail, and gambling,” according to the Associated Press.
The ideological battle lines of 21st century politics are becoming increasingly clear. Conservatives are those who think you should be able to do nearly anything you like with your own money. Liberals are those who think you should be able to do nearly anything you like with someone else’s.