It's hard to find an issue that truly unites liberal and conservative in today's split-down-the-middle, name-calling America. What is liberal is not conservative, and what is conservative is not liberal. That is what we know for certain.
But I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development may have found that issue in proposing a ban on smoking in all public housing.
To have a serious discussion of the proposed ban, you have to forget the fact that bans on crack smoking have failed in public housing, as have bans against guns, incest, rape, domestic violence and gang membership.
If you've ever been in the projects (and as a reporter, I have) part of your image of the project dweller includes a cigarette in the hand. Still, if nothing else, the government of the United States remains optimistic. and they're considering the ban because considering bans is what they do for work.
The unification between liberal and conservatives provoked by this ban is obvious.
Liberals believe in secondhand smoke the way born again Christians believe in God's grace. Both may be unseen but the believer knows they're real and may treasure them all the more just because they cannot be seen.
And, of course, it's liberals who forever encumber us with rules meant to save our lives or make us more polite or force us to be nice to members of other races and religions.
The smoking ban is a liberal dream, the opportunity to reach behind the locked door of a project apartment, pluck the cigarette from Mom's lips and crush it under the jack boot of liberal nanny/Nazi oppression. Take away her candy bars, too! They make you unhealthily obese!
Conservatives should love this initiative, too. Though only because it carries on the great conservative tradition of torturing the poor.
Getting welfare befits? Pee in a cup, the conservatives say. It's proven to be a wildly ineffective method of finding out if welfare recipients are on drugs but do it anyway. It gets big votes out in the lawn suburbs where the white Christians live. Propose making welfare recipients work cleaning the streets, suggest spaying the women and neutering the men, cut their benefits for every child they have, and don't let them buy anything but oatmeal with EBT cards.
Yeah, every whack-job theory on how to punish the poor finds a nest among the conservatives, who will love the smoking ban because it gives right-thinking tax payers an opportunity to reach behind the locked door of a project apartment and pick the cigarette from Mom's lips, that oversexed little welfare queen. Take away her candy bars, too! It's morally wrong to eat a candy bar if you're on public assistance!
It's been long decades of strife, but finally liberals and conservatives have found one area of your life they both want to invade, one choice they both want to take away from you. We are a nation once again!
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book "Marc Dion, Vol. I," is a collection of his best 2014 columns and is available for Nook and Kindle.