Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, past candidate for president, and possible future candidate for president, joined the Sarah Palin/Michelle Obama food fight on the side of the First Lady.
According to Politico, Huckabee who, like many of us, has struggled with his weight, took Palin to task:
“‘With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she’s misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do,’ the former Arkansas governor said Tuesday on the ‘Curtis Sliwa Show.'”
Huckabee went on to say, “Michelle Obama’s not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government’s desires on people. She’s stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country.”
Palin has gently ridiculed Obama’s anti-childhood obesity campaign as being a kind of war on dessert, most recently in an episode of her hit TV show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” Ironically, Palin and her entire family are fit and thin, which shows, one supposes, that hunting, hiking, camping and a diet of fish and caribou can be of some benefit.
Since both Huckabee and Palin are potential presidential candidates for 2012, one should suppose that eating is a very strange political issue for the campaign. But it seems both have a point to offer.
Huckabee is right (and Palin would most likely agree on this point) that people ought to eat sensibly and get a modicum of exercise. But Palin is also right that the government ought not to act as a national scold to force or even “encourage” people to eat sensibly or exercise. Those are matters of personal choice, and ought not to be a matter for government intervention.
Supporters of Michelle Obama would certainly disagree. They would argue that (a) the government is taking over health care, (b) obese people tend to have more ailments like diabetes and coronary diseases, therefore (c) tend to cost more to treat and therefore (d) the government should make people put aside their ice cream sandwiches, get off the couch, and run around the block a few times.
For kids (which seems to be a concern for Mrs. Obama), that job falls to their parents. Hillary Clinton, a kindred spirit to Obama, may think that it takes a village to raise a child, but the village usually does a rotten job.
Yes, the gentle reader will respond, but kids today don’t go outside and play any more as you did when you were a young whipper snapper. They are products of two-earner couples or single parents who are too stressed out and busy to get their brats off of the video games and out on the baseball field.
True, but there is a solution that involves the free market. There are already video games now on the market that require one to move and do things to make images on the video screen do things, like throw a punch for a fight game.
We can take the technology one step forward, using virtual reality technology, to put a gamer inside, say, a combat game to make them actually run hither and fro, say in a virtusphere, while shooting at enemy soldiers or mutants. Combining the technologies of video games and virtual reality and aerobic exercise will certainly melt the pounds off of our fat kids in no time at all. All it takes is a private entrepreneur with the vision to put the thing together and to market it.
Source: Huckabee: Sarah Palin’s wrong, Michelle Obama’s right, Jennifer Epstein, Politico, December 22nd, 2010
The VirtuSphere, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, May 17th, 2006