You know, sometimes I am just completely baffled by liberal logic. And by sometimes I mean all the time. Case in point: the contradictory “hands off” and “hands on” policies regarding abortion/contraception and diet nannyism, respectively. Leftists are often big supporters of bloated government programs and federal intervention. However, on the abortion issue many claim to be downright libertarian. “Out of my uterus” has long been a rallying cry for liberal women. When it comes to abortion and contraceptive services, these women try to keep government at an arm’s length. However, when this “hands off” policy is juxtaposed with other liberal policies, the logic is contradictory.

Here’s where the contradiction occurs. While pro-choice advocates criticize Republicans for “interfering with the reproductive rights,” they are more than happy to allow the government to regulate everything they eat and put in their bodies. Take New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s recent ban on fountain sodas exceeding 16 ounces. In regards to the ban, Bloomberg said that he is simply “forcing” people to understand what’s good for them. This comes from a pro-choice guy who has had a positive relationship with pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood. Bloomberg is fully in support of women having the right to choose to end the life of their child, but when it comes to soda consumption, he is far from “pro-choice.” This is an ideology that is not limited to just Michael Bloomberg. Just take a look at Michelle Obama’s “War on Obesity.” She is fully in support of the government regulating what we eat, but taking a life should be your “choice.”

However, while there is a contradiction in this form of liberal logic, I do believe that I’ve discovered a way to rectify seemingly incompatible differences. It all comes down to our nation’s increased desire for immediate gratification. We have been taught to always look for the easy way out. Liberals are more than keen to provide that easy way out, especially if it includes government intervention. For example, while I do sympathize with the plight of single or impoverished mothers who become pregnant, I propose that abortion is the easy way out. Yes, carrying a child for 9 months is physically, emotionally, and financially taxing. However, in no way does that justify murder. Why not adoption? Abortion is the “quick fix.” Women who choose this option disregard the opportunity for adoption and providing happiness for a childless couple. They want to get rid of the “problem” quickly through abortion. In the words of our president, no one wants to be “punished” with a child.

This sense of immediate gratification also comes to play in the diet nanny state. Losing weight and remaining healthy is hard work. Why not take the easy way out? If the government “forces” you to eat correctly, it takes all the work out of losing weight. Positive changes take time and they are supposed to come from the inside out, not the top down. The government is incapable of creating a nation of perfectly healthy citizens, even if they regulate everything that we put in our bodies. We can’t make long lasting healthy changes if we are simply eating healthy because the government forces us to eat healthy. A nutritionally balanced lifestyle implies a personal choice. This choice is denied with the government heavily regulates the food industry. People in New York City aren’t going to opt for smaller sodas because they want to be healthy. They will opt for smaller sizes because they are being forced to do so by Mayor Bloomberg.

Our culture’s fascination with immediate gratification shows a dangerous trend. Often, when we as individuals seek immediate gratification, it implies that we give up some of our power. Often this power falls in the hands of the government. The government has legally certified murder under the guise of abortion. Want to be healthy? Let the government take care of your diet. However, when the government seizes power, it is sure to take more. For the short-term benefit of immediate gratification, we are potentially sacrificing our long-term freedom.

Hard work and diligence helped make this nation great. “Quick fixes,” have no place in the American character and they have no place in our government either. Here’s a life lesson that even I have learned thus far: Life is hard. We will have hard choices to make every day. Don’t give up your personal power and allow the government to make those choices for you.

Amy Lutz | Saint Louis University | @AmyLutz4