Wednesday, May 25, 2005



By Advocate 1 and Abraham S

I just learned that the Republican State Legislature in the State of Wisconsin will consider a bill that will lower the legal drinking age for members of the United States Military. If approved this asinine measure would allow young men and women, ages 19 and 20, who are members of the United States Military to legally drink in Wisconsin taverns. Luckily, the measure is being opposed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and I can’t say that I blame them.

Of all the measures that the Republican-controlled State Legislature could have considered this must rank as one of the most destructive that I have ever heard of.

Where should I begin?

In the first place, the United States military already has an acknowledged problem with alcoholism and has been forced to take steps to remedy the situation. In the second place, we’re going to be seeing more young men and women who will come home from this war of choice with depression and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which means that many of these young men and women will resort to self medicating—the drug of choice being (you guessed it) alcohol.

Contrary to Republican attitude problems, young people are quite literally our hope for the future, a valuable commodity which should be protected, not thrown away in wars of choice nor encouraged to self -destruct through half-baked, ill-conceived social policies. And yet, for some bizarre reason the GOP seems to think that it is protecting our hope for the future by encouraging young people to drink and drive. True, the sponsors undoubtedly want us to believe that they are rewarding young people in the militay by allowing them to have a couple of beers before they drive home, but you really need to wonder if making it easier for a an adolescent to run his or her car into a 50-year-old maple tree over a middle aged pedestian is a hardly a "reward. "

In other words, this bill actually encourages drunk driving. It doesn’t allow for drinking in the privacy of ones house. Instead it allows 19 to 20-year-olds to drink in taverns. Well, I have news for the sponsors of this bill. In order to go to and come home from a tavern someone is going to have to drive and unless there is a designated driver that means you’re going to have more drunk drivers on the road. Granted, the proposed legislation would forbid young men and women from leaving the premises with liquor, and it does require that they show both a military and a state ID (which was probably designed to prevent Wisconsin from becoming a watering hole for young people from surrounding states), but that doesn’t change the fact that the sponsors seem determined to transform young members of the military and their vehicles into weapons of personalized destruction.

Why, if you didn’t know better, you’d have to wonder if the GOP urge to pander to the Wisconsin Tavern League weren’t more important than the proverbial 3-year-old who might be struck dead by a young and inexperienced driver. Moreover, it seems as if the Republican backers of this asinine move have forgotten that alcohol and tobacco are gateway drugs to harder and more addictive substances. Of course you might argue that young people are already drinking at young ages, but then you really need to wonder why the Wisconsin State government should be making it even easier for them to get their hands on the stuff. In fact, it’s a little like saying: “My house is on fire—I think this would be a good time to douse the front porch with gasoline.”

The irony here is that this Republican-inspired move is actually harmful to the young men and women to which it panders. And to make the situation even sweeter, the Republican sponsors have resurrected the hippy rhetoric that was being bantered about during the 1960’s and 70’s when state legislatures were arguing over whether or not they should lower the drinking age. In other words: “If young people are old enough to go to war then we should allow them to have a beer.” Well, we saw the damage that caused during the 1970’s. Can you say increased levels of drug addiction and alcoholism?

Of course you could turn the whole situation on its head and ask the opposite but obvious question. Instead of lowering the drinking age to match the age at which we brainwash young men and women into killing other human beings, why don’t we raise the age of majority to age 21 and ban participation in the United States Military for those under age 21? That would create the same balance that Mister Pettis and his fellow warmongering sociopaths are so determined achieve, and it would reduce the threshold at which young men and women could be indoctrinated (brainwashed) into killing another human being. Under normal circumstances it takes a great deal of coercion, of psychological abuse to convince a normal, mature human being to kill another human being. This of course is why the United States Military is so determined to get its hands on young people and why No Child Left Behind (i.e. No Child Left Unmonitored By The Armed Services) allows military recruiters to get their hands on our children’s personal information—because young people respond more effectively to the military philosophy of destroying and rebuilding their psyches.

But we seem to have digressed. We really haven't asked the obvious question here. And perhaps, more tellingly, the GOP members of the Wisconsin State Legislature isn’t asking the question either. And the question is: Doesn't this move seem to be just a little hypocritical?

Once again the GOP has revealed the basic contradictions within its own belief system. On the one hand they claim to support the troops On the one hand the GOP claims to support family values and on the other it supports a pro drunk driving measure that could tear families apart. On the other they want to make it easier for them to get their hands on an addictive substance which could turn both young members of the military and their vehicles into weapons of personal destruction. On the one hand they claim that we must wage a drug war to protect America’s youth but then they turn around and encouraged young people in uniform to drink alcohol which is America’s drug of choice.

It’s almost enough to make you wonder. Just how old were the sponsors of this bill when they began drinking. And perhaps, more to the point, what were they guzzling when they wrote this inebriated legislation?

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Im not sure, but I'm beginning to think it might be pure grain alcohol.