The great George Will recently wrote a column counseling calm when it comes to the myriad nanny-state intrusions the left has been visiting on Americans:
Climate alarmism validates the progressive impulse to micromanage others’ lives — their light bulbs, shower heads, toilets, appliances, automobiles, etc. Although this is a nuisance, it distracts liberals from more serious mischief.
All true, as far as it goes. The time liberals spend attending to light bulbs, toilets and shower heads is time they don't have to . . . "reform" the health care system.
But there's one nagging problem when the left is able to amuse itself by imposing petty regulations on everyone else's life. It's the danger that, constantly buffeted by a never-ending steam of micromanaging rules, free-born citizens will over time lose their innate resentment of and resistance to government oversight of their lives.
Once that resistance is worn down over less-consequential matters, it becomes infinitely easier for tyrants of all stripes to encroach on more meaningful liberties without occasioning mass resistance.
Freedom is a little like a muscle that must be exercised if it is to remain strong. If, worn down by a series of inconsequential-seeming laws, Americans allow the habits of freedom to atrophy, it's that much more likely that their liberties will be more seriously eroded in the future.