They are obsessed with minding everyone else's business and, even worse, using the power of government to force people to live their lives the way paternalists want them to live them.
Look at the war on drugs. For our entire lives, paternalists have used the force of government, at the both the federal and state level, to punish people for putting substances in their mouths that haven't been approved by our federal and state masters.
But what business is it of some politician or bureaucrat what I put into my mouth? Why should they have the authority to punish me for putting something in my mouth that I wish to ingest?
The paternalist says: "Jacob, that substance that you're putting into your mouth is potentially harmful to you. We have no choice but to threaten you with jail if you persist in doing so."
How does a person acquire a mind like that? My best hunch is public (I.e., government) schooling.
The latest example of this paternalist phenomenon is the federal government's plan to ban menthol cigarettes. Federal dictocrats say that a large percentage of black Americans smoke menthols and, therefore, they want to protect them from the evils of smoking,