Anna Blundy interviews P J O’Rourke. One of her questions prompts a rant on government interference:
My grandmother was able to keep people from smoking indoors with one cold stare. Why would laws and parliaments and police powers and courts and all sorts of annoying and ugly signs everywhere be necessary? All this expense and exercise of power of one group of people over another why is all this needed to achieve what my grandmother could achieve with one cold stare?
He offers the counterexample of spittons:
[U]p until some time in the 1920s or so, virtually every American male chewed tobacco and spat constantly. It went away because women put their foot down and said: That’s disgusting!’ I suppose that all had to do with the changing role of women but there didn’t have to be any politician around to think of taking the credit for that, though I’m sure they would have been glad to.
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