Rupert Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 10, 2010

Rupert Howell

Palin grabbing for straws with ‘Let’s Move’ criticism

Don’t want to start a political fuss but obviously Miz Palin is out speaking about that of which she knows not.

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In a recent interview she took aim at First lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity. She said it reflected “government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician’s wife’s priorities. Just leave us alone, get off our back and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track.”

Oh, I wish it was so easy, Sarah. You obviously come from a different part of the country where everyone is intelligent and healthy.

 Palin said of the first lady last February, “She is on this kick, right? What she is telling us is she (Michele Obama) cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat.”

We in Mississippi live in the most obese state in the union. We also live in the most malnourished. How can that be? Is it because we don’t have anything to eat or is it because we are not eating what’s good for us?

Guess what, Sarah? We can’t trust all parents to feed their children healthy food. We can’t even trust all parents to eat healthy themselves.

In our state fried chicken would win an election for state bird. “Cooked” and “fried” are synonymous. And guess what? It’s too easy to eat less healthy food and less time consuming to go to a local fast food drive-thru and order pizza, fried chicken and burgers with fries.

And Sarah, if you watch TV, you would know this because that’s what is advertised over our airwaves. We’ve been bombarded with commercials that make us feel like we are not normal if we don’t eat fast food on a daily basis.

Michele Obama’s emphasis on healthy foods and exercise is a blessing for our part of the country because it puts a spotlight on what many of us need physically–a healthy lifestyle that includes eating right and exercise.

Long term effects of this could be astronomical in reducing health care costs associated with heart disease and diabetes just for starters.

Short term effects of this are already being felt. Have you noticed a recent surge in farmers markets? Do you think that just happened? Local customers are spending local dollars with local vendors. Plus many who were either too old, too lazy or too ignorant to grow things, could go home with garden fresh vegetables.

Change comes slowly to our area and we often look first to informing our children about change needed for cultural issues. Hopefully the parents will buy in and adapt.

I often think of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No,” campaign which was once ridiculed. Now, how cool is it to drink and drive?

I then think of our former Senator  and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. The very popular and very electable senator proved my theory that, “If you leave your mouth open long enough, you are going to say something that will get you in trouble.”

The 2012 election is not that far off, but there is still plenty of time for Sarah to shoot herself in the foot.

Messing with Michele’s “Let’s Move” initiative is not helping.