In the novel 1984, George Orwell introduced the world to the idea of government as Big Brother, constantly scrutinizing the people’s actions. While I agree that we as citizens should be vigilant in watching out for Big Brother actions by government, I worry more about the insidious effects of Big Mommy government.

If government passes a law for our own good, it’s acting as Big Mommy. Wearing seat belts when driving is a good idea, but Big Mommy makes wearing them a law. The same is true for putting on a helmet when cruising around the block on a bike or motorcycle. Every time the government levies some “sin tax” on goods, they are putting themselves in the role of Big Mommy instructing what we, the children, may or may not do.

So, are you a child? Do you need Big Mommy to intrude in every aspect of your life and tell you what to do? You may be a child, or you may be old enough to actually be an adult, but you still prefer being treated as a child. Whatever floats your boat. But I am an adult who resents that treatment. And being treated as a child is exactly what our government is doing, specifically Energy Secretary Steven Chu:

When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.”

The Energy Department issued a clarification of Secretary Chu’s statement since people are too childish to understand what he said:

An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: “Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. He was saying that we need to educate teenagers about ways to save energy. He also recognized the need to educate the broader public about how important clean energy industries are to our competitive position in the global economy. He believes public officials do have an obligation to make their case to the American people on major legislation, and that’s what he’s doing.”

I don’t envy Leistikow his job. I couldn’t go out before the American people and say something that is so obviously untrue. He said, “Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers.”

But Chu’s own words are clear: “The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act.” That silly word “like” is comparing the American public with our teenage kids. And Big Mommy government is here to tell the American public, just like America’s teenage kids, what we all need to do.

So sit up straight. Stop wasting water. Recycle your trash. Shut up, and do what you’re told. Big Mommy government is telling you what to do. And you had better obey.

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