On National Donut Day, eat a donut and strike a blow for liberty

  • Donuts from San Francisco's Dynamo Donuts

    Donuts from San Francisco's Dynamo Donuts  (Dynamo Donuts)

Today, Friday, June 7 is National Donut Day, an event that started in the 1930s as a Salvation Army fundraiser (back when donut was spelled “doughnut”) and that in recent years has become an occasion for donut chain giveaways and new food rollouts. We suggest transforming it into something with moral significance—a day to celebrate freedom.


By eating not one donut but two—one for yourself, and one for your liberty.

What do donuts have to do with liberty, you might ask? Plenty. 

Government today has crept into most areas of our lives and is rampaging into the rest.  It’s no longer just the Nanny State; it’s Niagara, overwhelming and seemingly unstoppable.  

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We have the White House nagging us to eat this and not eat that; FDA slapping warning labels on everything in sight; EPA declaring that every breath we take poisons the climate; and the Department of Energy pushing incandescent lights bulbs into contraband status.  

We have the so-called obesity epidemic being used to justify one new agency initiative after another: “walkable cities”, “strollable suburbs”, mandatory calorie counts on restaurant menus,  proposed sin taxes on a host of foods that are suddenly sinful.  In short, we have the United States of Bloombergistan.

But just as our hands on the ballot box can accomplish wonders, so can our fingers around a donut.  Today is the day to turn that delectable entity into a tool for telling politicians and bureaucrats to mind their own business, all the while treating ourselves to something that’s damn tasty.

So you see, this proposal isn’t a marketing ploy instigated by secret donations to us from Big Donut; it’s a way to tell government to bug off.  Rather than just get drenched by this torrent of government “don’ts”, let’s stick a “u” back in and turn them into donuts. (A cheap pun, I admit, but we’re not talking foie gras here.)  

And let’s do it today by unashamedly eating them in public, with smiles on our faces and glazed crumbs on our hands.  

As my colleague, Michelle Minton, puts it, “It’s sweet revenge to eat sweets to protest government attempts to stop us from living as we see fit.”

Of course, even though extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, don’t overdo it.

Now my organization, the Competition Enterprise Institute, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) group duly designated as such by the IRS.  Advocating donuts shouldn’t get us in trouble with them, but you never know.

Sam Kazman is general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market organization in Washington, D.C.