Let us be notable for education, not OCD

For a decade, I have carried my own grocery bags. They’re neither dirty nor inconvenient. I think everyone should carry a bag to the grocery store. I think a lot of things and wish others thought the same. Yay, me. I will vote against City Council’s bag tax in November.

The arguments presented against disposable bags are a lie. Council’s action is a decision to compel virtue. Coercive correctness is exclusionary and no way to run a society. Council has renounced the virtue of education for the power of coercion. Its action says it does not trust their own electorate. No wonder our world has become polarized.

Council expresses a fundamental belief of the city’s superiority to its citizens. Hated laws are based on false arguments and hardened positions. Hated laws are opposed by equally false arguments and hardened feelings. Often these resented laws are forced by a bare majority onto a bare minority. In this case, the majority, if it exists, is narrow. Hated laws break community. Allow me to go off the deep end here, please: This is an example of why America is based on the notion of limited government. Government is to be government of all the people, not just the majority. Expansive government can’t do that. It is exactly this “tyranny of the majority” that is antithetical to what makes us great.

You want Durango to be notable for its forward view of the world; I want Durango to be notable as well. Let us be notable not for our willingness to compel behaviors. Rather, let us be notable for our willingness to educate, not compel, others in good action.

Let us be notable for fostering strong bonds between the progressive and conservative members of our community, between rural and urban. There is something for each of us to learn from the other. Undo Council’s misinformed ordinance. Bag-ban opponents and proponents have ginned up a bunch of hollow arguments. Frankly, it comes down to one thing: Stop telling me what to do. Vote against the bag tax.

Neil A. Bourjaily


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