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Liberty is sweet [Letter]

I would like to comment on the Howard County Council's refusal to overturn County Executive Ken Ulman's executive order banning the sale of sugary drinks on county property ("Ulman loosens healthy food and drink standards for events not on county property," July 21).

You may say this is just a small thing that one could be for or against. However, ask yourselves this question: "If I am incapable of making my own decision about how much of a sugary beverage I want to drink or how many packets of ketchup my kids can have at lunch, how can I make a choice about who should run our government?"

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Do you think the target of such rules is someone else? No, the target is all citizens.

We speak of these noble things called elections where we all come together to pluck people out of obscurity to lead our communities. Few of these people have more knowledge or insight into complex topics like nutrition than anyone else. Yet somehow when they are elected to positions of power we trust them to know more about every aspect or our lives than we do.

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Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in "Democracy In America" that "I should be inclined to think freedom less necessary in great things than in little ones, if it were possible to be secure of the one without possessing the other. Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day, and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their will. Thus their spirit is gradually broken and their character enervated."

I love Howard county and I love this country. But we are being gradually suffocated, and our liberty extinguished, in an ever-expanding, impenetrable web of rules and regulations, all enacted by a handful of ordinary citizens who don't know any more than you or I about what is best for our lives.

How can we call ourselves free when such rules govern the minutia of our lives at every turn?

David Wruck, Clarksville

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