Some time ago, I first encountered the idea (put forth by my very liberal psychology professor, of course), that liberals believe in the basic goodness of mankind while conservatives believe in man's inherently sinful nature. There's a run down of the concept here. That link calls it a tragic vs. utopian viewpoint.
I was rather startled by it back in 2008, and it doesn't make any more sense now. Though I know plenty of conservatives who think their pessimism makes them realists, I know at least an equal number of liberals who think folks need the government to take care of them.
Then comes this puffery about how Bloomberg wants to ban big sodas, which I swear to God is 90% attention whoring because his Mayors Against Illegal Guns idiocy wasn't churning up enough talk. The idiocy is obvious to anyone with a glimmer of sense, of course, but it brings me back to my original point.
How can conservatives be said to have a dim view of human nature when we're not the ones who believe people need to be protected from themselves?
It's not just a soda ban. It's banning junk food from being bought with food stamps (and while one version of this idea was put forth by a Republican, it seems to come from Democrats and liberal organizations such as the CSPI far more often). It's banning trans-fats (another Bloomberg debacle), trying to ban toys in Happy Meals, browbeating candy companies into doing away with king size packages...The list goes on. Hell, look at school vouchers. We can't have parents deciding where to send their kids to school, now can we?
But conservatives are the ones who think people are bad. Mmkay then.