Politicians Shouldn't Grandstand the "Tide Pod Challenge"

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I can’t help it: I just have to say something about the “Tide Pod Challenge.”

Look at all of those lawmakers prancing around in front of the cameras proclaiming that Proctor & Gamble (the company that makes Tide) is at fault because their Pods look too much like candy. Seriously?

Think about that for a moment…

(1) We literally have lawmakers who think that the government should be involved in pressuring or even forcing companies to make their laundry detergents look a certain way. Kim Jong-un and Josef Stalin would be proud.

(2) This is part of the blame-corporate-America-first crowd. Only people who live at the very top of the proverbial ivory tower–not just in it but on the very top floor–could believe that the Tide Pod Challenge is linked to a corporation’s desire for profit. “Hey, marketing guys, I have a great idea for profit: How can we convince people to eat our laundry detergent so as to sell a few more of these?” Ridiculous. (Plus, since when did “profit” become a dirty word in this country? In an attempt to profit, I may found my own company one day and see no need to apologize for that. Even so, the hypocrisy of rich politicians who profit handsomely from their offices while criticizing others’ market-based profits isn’t lost on me.)

(3) We have lawmakers who seem to be trying to score political points from the deaths of people who’ve eaten detergent.

(4) The implications of what these lawmakers are saying is really preposterous when you think about it. By default, they’re arguing that some seemingly normal people who are in their teens and even early 20’s cannot help eating poisons if those poisons look like candy. I mean, seriously, how can we expect teens to know that they shouldn’t eat soap when that soap just looks so darn delicious? (“Hey, honey, before we head out on vacation, I just want to make sure that you put the antifreeze where the dog can’t get into it–oh, and that you put the Tide Pods where little Johnny can’t get into them.”)

I must consider myself fortunate, I suppose; I don’t know any otherwise-normal/healthy 20-year-old people who gobble up everything that’s colorful out of a mistaken belief that they are getting a yummy piece of candy. One wonders how these people survived exposure to Crayons in kindergarten. If this describes you, then you have bigger problems and should probably refer to the image above.

I mean, seriously, don’t eat soap.

​I’m pretty sure that that isn’t rocket science and am equally sure that, in any event, people who eat detergent “candy” don’t have future careers in rocket science–nor should they. The last thing an astronaut needs to hear before blasting off into space is that his mission controller was the 2017 runner-up in the Tide Pod Challenge.

Houston, we have a problem, and it isn’t the way our detergent looks.

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