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(Full Disclosure: I consulted for Margaret Donnelly during her 2008 run for Attorney General.)

Sometimes I’m not sure what world the glibertarians at Show Me Institute live in. Last week, Margaret Donnelly, Missouri Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, called for Missourians to wear purple on Monday to raise awareness of senior abuse. Sounds innocent enough, right?

In the eyes of Show Me Institute contributor Sarah Brodsky, this constituted leading an official government-sponsored protest against senior abuse. Somehow, this will send us on the slippery slope to official state condemnation of unpopular demonstrations, though she never makes it clear how.

One could quibble with the efficacy of a call to wear purple as a tool for raising awareness, but what Brodsky objects to is any and all government intiatives to alter behavior:

But protesting abuse and deciding what color to wear should be left to the private sector, without state influence one way or the other. [I swear, I did not use an Ayn Rand quote generator to make that sentence up. -Clark]

You could just as easily take a page from Brodsky’s book and use a slippery slope argument (otherwise known as a fallacy) to say that following Brodsky’s objection would lead to anarchy and murder.

Either way, it’s a joke. Donnelly wasn’t “protesting” against senior abuse; she was trying to raise awareness about a serious problem. And there’s nothing wrong with government officials calling attention to a cause that private citizens (mostly doctors) organized.