A Moral Failure
I’m at a loss to understand how one can commit the moral failure of demanding that while a 20 year old be allowed (encouraged!) to stand toe to toe with another man and attempt to kill him for his country, he not be allowed to sip Pinot Nor.
This is the position of MADD, AKA
"Morally Absent Day after Day" "Mothers Against Drunk Driving".
It’s about time: A group of college presidents are asking that our nation re-evaluate our 21 year-old drinking age. I’m not sure exactly what motivates them to take this brave, but nearly suicidal, position. However, I’m willing to bet it has something to do with the fact that in addition to trying to control binge drinking on campus, they are also required to police binge drinkers on campus. If common sense ruled, these colleges would have more time to spend explaining why binge drinking isn’t such a great idea.
I have to be honest, my position on the drinking age is affected not one iota by fears that if it is lowered to where it should be, 18 years old, more drinkers might die in car accident. It doesn’t even enter my equation. I’m much more concerned that the 21 year-old drinking age probably does more to extend a childhood mentality among those that should be expected to act like adults.
See, here’s the thing. If the 21 year-old drinking age reduces drunk driving, as MADD insists and some studies show, then wouldn’t a 35 year-old drinking age reduce drunk driving even more? What in the world is stopping MADD from advocating a 35 year-old drinking age? What is it that makes an 18 year old too immature to be trusted with a Cabernet, but mature enough to shoot an Iraqi in the face with a large caliber side arm? I’m just not sure I can pinpoint that difference.
I wonder if Laura Dean-Mooney, national president of MADD knows the answer to that question? She apparently is possessed of a great deal of information. Why just the other day she declared unequivocally about the colleges to which the brave administrators advocating discussion belong that, "It’s very clear the 21-year-old drinking age will not be enforced at those campuses."
I certainly hope she’s right.
John McCardell, a former president of Middlebury College in Vermont and a member of the college presidents calling themselves the Amethyst Group said, "It is a law (the 21 year old drinking age) that the people at whom it is
directed believe is unjust and unfair and discriminatory."
How is it that a group of 18, 19 and 20 year-olds could have so much more common sense than the president of MADD?
It strikes me that if we are really going to take MADD’s advise and treat adults like children in the area of drinking alcohol, we really should be intellectually honest and go all the way by prohibiting anyone under 21 from entering the military, voting, or, when they break the law, trying them as adults. The 21 year-old drinking age is a moral failure by the United States. Not the only one, to be sure. But one that should be taken note of.