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Blog of Mass Destruction

It's Not About The Policies

By The Reverend Published: September 26, 2012

I haven't eaten a sandwich from McDonald's in a very, very long time. Just a personal choice, I have no bone to pick with the fast-food joint. However, family members recently told me that McDonald's is now listing calories alongside their menu items....which, I think, is a good thing.

After all, when you purchase groceries, every food item you purchase lists not only calories per serving, but also other information....sodium, fat, cholesterol, etc. And with the nation's obesity rate near 30%, more information on caloric detail at fast-food restaurants at least provides information to consumers upon which choices can be made...you know, or not. To me, more information is always better than less.

Why did I bring this up? Because of this interesting little account from Virginia....

I did find one customer who had noticed the calorie labels: Dick Nigon of Sterling, Va. He and his wife, Lea, had stopped by McDonald’s after seeing an exhibit at the Renwick Gallery. Dick had ordered for the couple, noticed the calorie labels and liked them.

“I like that you have the information before you order,” he told me, when I asked about the labels. “It’s better than some kind of government health mandate in Obamacare.”

I told him that the calorie labels were, in fact, a government health mandate in Obamacare.

“Well that changes things a bit,” he responded. “I thought this was more of a voluntary sort of thing. Now I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.”

To this McDonald's customer, if the restaurant voluntarily posted caloric and fat content, then doing so would be a good thing. But if the fast-food joint was being forced to list calories on their menus because of something the government, or the Obama, compelled it to do..... then, "that changes things a bit."

Simply mentioning that Obamacare is why McDonald's is now listing detailed menu information....changed the Virginia man's mind on how he regarded McDonald's new policy. Before he knew that Obamacare had mandated the new practice, the Virginia man liked the idea of having caloric information listed next to McDonald's menu items..."I like that." But as soon as he heard that the greasy-fast-spoon was now listing calories only because of Obamacare.....well..."now I'm not so sure how I feel about it."

That is what blind tribal loyalty looks and sounds like. And that is what has been dividing our nation, politically,.....particularly so.....since the first Tea Partiers raised their anti-Obama freak flag in February, 2009, one month after our first black president was inaugurated.

After Obama's inauguration, disagreements based on government policy fell by the wayside. Those disagreements were reduced to one common conservative denominator: Is Obama for it or against it.? If Obama was for it.....conservatives, Republicans and libertarians were against it. And vicey-versy.

Once in favor of healthcare insurance mandates? Sure,...Romneycare, Gingrich, Heritage Foundation all were at one time. But not so after Obama embraced them. Then, those same folks were opposed. That is no different from the Virginia McDonald's customer being for listing calories at fast food joints before....seconds later.... he was not so sure.

Once in favor of improving job opportunities for veterans? Sure, until Obama and Democrats bring a bill to the floor of the Congress doing just that....expanding employment opportunities for veterans. Then, Republicans, conservatives, block the bill from coming to the floor of the Senate. Why? Because it was Obama's idea. Republicans dislike Obama more than they care about our unemployed veterans.

This tribal spell in the conservative, libertarian, Foxian camp....I fear.....will not disappear after Obama wins re-election. In fact, I look for that tribalism to deepen, to worsen. When contests are lost, the losing participants often regroup, reflect, and re-evaluate strategy. In the case of today's conservative movement, that will not happen. Instead.....and unfortunately....Americans will be treated to four more years of total tribal gridlock and congressional fecklessness.

Because if Obama is for it.....even if Republicans agree with the president's policy....they must stand against it. Why? Because just like the Virginia McDonald's-goer.....it's not about the policy, it's really all about the man.

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