12/16/2006 06:39 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

If You Smoke, You Lose All Your Progressive Cred

Look around in your city, in your gentrifying neighborhood, your college town.

On foot and on wheel, younger and older political progressives are everywhere. Heck, I'm one.

You see them in and around the independent coffee houses, music stores and clubs. Not a Bush fan in the bunch.

By their buttons, by their bumper stickers, via their rhetoric, perhaps their body piercings, the music they listen to, and their almost uniformal hatred of Bush and the Republicans, you'll know when you meet someone that is not in synch with the establishment.

But then I see some of these same people light up a cigarette.

In that one act, they lose all progressive cred with me.

They have surrendered their value system for the cigarette in their hand.

A cigarette most likely branded and marketed by an international conglomerate- the same type of international conglomerate so many of these same people I just described absolutely hate.

A cigarette made by an international conglomerate whose products poison and have killed millions both here and abroad.

Cigarettes made by American corporations who mostly contribute campaign funds to conservative Republicans- the same politicians who stand for everything progressives are against and stand against everything progressives are for.

Killed millions of Americans with their poison- and then contribute to politicians who vote against Universal Health Care that would pay for treatment of people who are suffering from some of the same diseases cigarette smoking promotes.

That cigarette you are smoking has probably been made by a corporation whose tobacco products have killed untold millions around the world- more than have died in Darfur and in Iraq.

Consider this, cigarette-smoking progressives.

The next time you light up, you are just enriching the "evil-doers."

I know quitting smoking is tough, but are you going to let the evil-doer tobacco companies keep your lungs enslaved as they use your dollars to enslave others in Third World countries?

The same Third World countries you are always saying are being exploited by trade practices and predatory corporations?

A predatory corporation much like the one that owns the trademark for the cancer stick you are about to light up?

So quit smoking already.