Thursday, April 24, 2014

Repeal the Drinking Age!

If the Republicans really want to swing young voters away from the Dems, one issue they could use is the drinking age law.  It's absolutely asinine that Americans under the age of 20 have all the rights and privileges of an adult but are not allowed to purchase and consume alcohol!  Interesting, though, that the impetus for this specific OLS post comes from feminist Camile Paglia who, by the way, has been the recipient of several previous, highly positive OLS posts (see here and here).  In a recent article at Time, Palia pretty much nails the issue in the first two paragraphs:
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, passed by Congress 30 years ago this July, is a gross violation of civil liberties and must be repealed. It is absurd and unjust that young Americans can vote, marry, enter contracts, and serve in the military at 18 but cannot buy an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant. The age 21 rule sets the United States apart from all advanced Western nations and lumps it with small or repressive countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

Congress was stampeded into this puritanical law by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who with all good intentions were wrongly intruding into an area of personal choice exactly as did the hymn-singing 19th-century Temperance crusaders, typified by Carrie Nation smashing beer barrels with her hatchet. Temperance fanaticism eventually triumphed and gave us 14 years of Prohibition. That in turn spawned the crime syndicates for booze smuggling, laying the groundwork for today’s global drug trade. Thanks a lot, Carrie!
Paglia covers a lot more ground in her, likely to be controversial article, along the way pointing out numerous unintended consequences of alcohol prohibition for the young.  Personally I was pleasantly surprised to see her admit to being a libertarian!  Anyway, and with a hat tip to, read it all here.