. . . Monday March 7, 2005

Junk Bills

I wonder what would happen if a politician (either in or running for office) focused the bulk of his or her efforts on common sense issues that have solutions that are widely accepted as the right thing to do.

I know, I know. What is common sense to one person is blasphemous evil to another. But there are, I think, areas of clear common ground.

Here’s an example. Over the weekend, Governor Arnold jumped on board a movement led by some California legislators to get public schools out of the business of selling junk food and soft drinks.

It’s a bit ironic that Arnold made his announcement during his annual body building contest. I’m assuming that the Gov is not hoping we’ll replace the Snickers and Coke in school vending machines with ‘roids and human growth hormones (although I’m sure such a cocktail would’ve made me a bigger hit at the school dances).

But doesn’t this sound like the politics of common sense? Aside from the sugar-addicted students (and god do I remember those Tater Tots and Its-Its with supreme fondness) and the soda slingers who serve them, is there anyone who thinks that selling junk food in public schools is a good thing?

The problem of course is that this is not one of our core poltical issues of day. Part of that is due to the fact that everyone pretty much knows it’s a good idea and that doesn’t make for great Sunday morning television.

But it is a big issue. Obesity is the major health problem in this country and the related childhood diseases have been on a sharp rise for years. And obesity-related health problems are costing a whole lot in terms of healthcare related expenses. It’s insane that we don’t push healthy foods in our public schools.

I would be shocked if anyone reading this is in favor of schools selling junk food. And yet, it’s not a major topic in terms of news coverage and political discourse.

But, again, what would happen if a politician (without the star power) picked a handful of common sense issues and ran like hell?

Concentration is important!