On November 3rd the San Francisco board of supervisors passed legislation forbidding giving away toys in children’s meals unless the meals met strict dietary criteria. Today San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom vetoed this ban. I do not closely follow San Francisco politics, but Mayor Newsom has been in the news before. He was the official who authorized issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.
I’m a believer in a healthy diet for children, but I don’t think an occasional Happy Meal will kill them. Like most things in life, it’s all about moderation. In the interest of full disclosure I should let you know that my grandchildren had never crossed the threshold of McDonald’s until Nana took them there. They loved it, and every time I visit they want to go out to lunch. They also ate very little of their meal. They had a few sips of the chocolate milk and went right for the toy. Nana ate their french fries and most of their chicken nuggets while they climbed the structure in the playground.
In vetoing the ban on the sale of toys with Happy Meals Mayor Newsom said, "Parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money."
I have to admit that I’m developing some respect for this Mayor Newsom. In the recent elections many candidates campaigned on a platform of limited government, especially the Tea Party candidates, but too often these same politicians are the first to sponsor legislation to address some perceived flaw in society. Our first response should not be to create new laws. It is not the role of government to save us from ourselves.
There’s not much about the Tea Party that I agree with, but I do believe that government officials need to use better judgment in creating new regulations. I want a government that trusts me to make my own decisions about what is good for me and for my family. Protect me from the real evils of the modern world, not the ones made up for political hay.
Happy Meal toys are still in danger; the board of supervisors may vote to override the veto. Gavin Newsom, Democrat, is moving on to a new job. He won the election for lieutenant governor of California on November 2nd.
I’m going to visit my granddaughters next week. I’ll probably take them out to lunch…the toy is still their favorite part of the meal.