Dear Public Health: the public despises you, so you are probably doing it wrong (part 2)
This is the logical and inevitable (through predictable subconscious processes) extension of the underlying public health pseudo-ethic: The longevity and purity of bodies is the only goal that matters. Sometimes the annoying actors who occupy those bodies want to do things that are contrary to the goal, at which point they need to be forced, cajoled, or tricked into doing the right thing (compare: insects sometimes want to eat the crops, and they need to be manipulated into not doing it). But now some of those people are not merely quietly taking bad actions; they are actively speaking up against the public health goal and those who pursue it. As such, they are no longer just automata who need to be reprogrammed (without sympathy for their preferences, but also with no more personal hatred than one directs at the weather). By speaking up, the public have become the active enemies of the goal of public health.
Public health professionals — and this is not just the extremists but most everyone who exists in that culture — are so narrow-minded that even this obvious contradiction is not enough to make them realize the fundamental flaw in their worldview.
So the actual people who make up the public go from being ignored by “public health” to being genuinely hated. And with that, the temperance nuts find their home, not so much because they destroyed public health, but because public health made its way to them. They always hated people, thinking of them as sinners who needed to be controlled. The rest of public health joined them in this hatred when the public started rebelling against their pseudo-ethic and the grandee opinion leaders in the field redoubled their defense of it because they are not capable of seeing its absurdity.
It is easy to despise “public health” for what they do. But it is a different matter if you can understand what it looks like from the inside and how they got there. Once you understand that, you can still despise them for what they do, but you might want to consider despising them even more for how they got there.