Should the GOP push to lower the drinking age to 18?

posted at 5:41 pm on April 24, 2014 by Allahpundit

Camille Paglia wants to see it happen. So does InstaGlenn, who adds that it’d be particularly smart for Republicans to take the lead on this since it would help ingratiate them to otherwise chilly left-leaning young voters. I remember reading his op-ed on this subject last year and nodding along, but the more I think about it, the more unsure I am. Would a Republican effort on the drinking age help them win young adults?

First, here’s Paglia:

Learning how to drink responsibly is a basic lesson in growing up — as it is in wine-drinking France or in Germany, with its family-oriented beer gardens and festivals. Wine was built into my own Italian-American upbringing, where children were given sips of my grandfather’s homemade wine. This civilized practice descends from antiquity. Beer was a nourishing food in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and wine was identified with the life force in Greece and Rome: In vino veritas (In wine, truth). Wine as a sacred symbol of unity and regeneration remains in the Christian Communion service. Virginia Woolf wrote that wine with a fine meal lights a “subtle and subterranean glow, which is the rich yellow flame of rational intercourse.”

What this cruel 1984 law did is deprive young people of safe spaces where they could happily drink cheap beer, socialize, chat and flirt in a free but controlled public environment. Hence in the 1980s we immediately got the scourge of crude binge drinking at campus fraternity keg parties, cut off from the adult world. Women in that boorish free-for-all were suddenly fighting off date rape. Club drugs — ecstasy, methamphetamine, ketamine (a veterinary tranquilizer) — surged at raves for teenagers and on the gay male circuit scene.

Okay, but how likely is it that lowering the drinking age by a few years would spark a cultural transformation in which American parents are suddenly pouring wine for their teenagers at dinner? Letting people drink at 18 might demystify alcohol a little but it’s hard for me to believe it would put a big dent in college binge-drinking, which is also a (sub-)cultural phenomenon. Alcohol laws barely exist for underaged college kids as it is; dropping the last remnants isn’t going to revolutionize the practice.

I’m more sympathetic to Glenn’s fairness argument, that it simply isn’t just to tell an 18-year-old that he’s adult enough to die for his country if need be but not quite adult enough to crack a Bud in front of a cop without getting arrested. If Republicans want to repeal the law for that reason, I’m all for it. But is this a political winner? Here’s what Gallup found when it polled the subject:

ga1

Remarkably consistent. A more recent poll, from 2010, also found the public heavily opposed, 27/69. But surely the numbers are different among young adults, no? They’re the coveted demographic, after all. The data:

ga3

There’s more support among young adults (especially among 18-20-year-olds, I’d bet) than there is among the wider population but even they’re overwhelmingly against lowering the age. Question, then: Would the GOP lose more older voters in pushing to lower the drinking age than they’d gain among the minority of younger voters who support lowering it? Remember, it’s older people and married couples (i.e. the parents of teenagers) who comprise much of the Republican base these days. Making a play for their kids with a measure like this — which is, after all, a boutique issue — carries a real risk of alienating them.

On the other hand, there’s a caveat to these numbers: Since 2007, when Gallup’s poll was taken, the public’s become vastly more agreeable to the idea of legalizing marijuana. It may be that, as they’ve liberalized on that drug, they’ve also quietly liberalized on teenage drinking and the big pollsters simply haven’t picked up on it yet. It’d be worth knowing that, just to see if a push on the drinking age is more viable than it used to be. But even that could be tricky. If the GOP’s older, married base is (a little) more open to legal weed than they used to be, might they be less open to letting teens drink in the belief that drug liberalization is now moving too fast? And is it even fair to extrapolate opinions on kids drinking from opinions on adults using pot? Lots of people sympathize with the idea that an adult should be free to put what he wants in his own body, but when you start pushing that principle on teenagers, they might get nervous.


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Comment pages: 1 2

What’s the drinking age in Mexico?

kcewa on April 24, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Only if they push to up the Voting age to 26..
/

Electrongod on April 24, 2014 at 5:45 PM

I would gladly trade the repeal of the 26th Amendment for a drinking age of 18.

thuja on April 24, 2014 at 5:45 PM

26 is the new age of adulthood and responsibility pr Obamacare.

Raise it to 26.

Murphy9 on April 24, 2014 at 5:46 PM

If you can buy pot at 18 then why not alcohol? This is not a value judgement . . . just a logical question.

rplat on April 24, 2014 at 5:46 PM

It should push it to 16.

Cheers.

uatu1878 on April 24, 2014 at 5:46 PM

…so the Democrats…can lower it… to kindergarten?

KOOLAID2 on April 24, 2014 at 5:47 PM

They should push to raise the voting age to 21

cartooner on April 24, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I’d love to see Obama fight this…

chris0christies0donut on April 24, 2014 at 5:48 PM

They should go after marijuana legalization before this. It sounds crazy but the drinking age isn’t a hotbed issue like legalization has been, and with Colorado and Washington legalizing we will see more and more of a push in that direction. The GOP should adopt some winning ideals and tell the base that they can argue about it when we control the house, senate and Whitehouse. Right now we have too many positions on which we choose to martyr ourselves on. If we can’t evolve on any position we need to just admit it and be content with never growing our base.

ThomasPaineandsuffering on April 24, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Two questions should be asked, neither of them political:

1. Does the existing age limit and associated penalties meaningfully reduce underage drinking?

2. If so, is that reduction worth wrecking, or at least making significantly more difficult, the lives of otherwise upstanding young people who now have to explain DUI’s (zero tolerance for minors) and M.I.P’s to college admissions boards and potential employers.

As a 25 year old who still has a pretty good memory of high school and college, my experience suggests that the answer to 1 is “negligible,” which pretty much answers “no” for number 2.

LukeinNE on April 24, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Reid counters by offering a bill to lower the age of consent to “alive”. Pedo’s form a large constituency.

BobMbx on April 24, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Paglia’s logic doesn’t hold.

I’m more sympathetic to Glenn’s fairness argument, that it simply isn’t just to tell an 18-year-old that he’s adult enough to die for his country if need be but not quite adult enough to crack a Bud in front of a cop without getting arrested.

That’s the exact same argument that was made for lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 during the Viet Nam era when the draft was in effect.

So let only the military age at 18 drink or vote.

INC on April 24, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Why not get just rid of all age requirements for alcohol and tobacco and marriage and driving a car?

VorDaj on April 24, 2014 at 5:51 PM

It was 18 for me. We survived.

KCB on April 24, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Recalling back in the early 80′s, frequently driving 90 miles north to Kenosha, WI (“Hogs and Kisses”) where 18 year olds indulged on quarter beers….., then driving back 90 miles south at closing time.

I don’t recommend it.

aquaviva on April 24, 2014 at 5:52 PM

My parents allowed me and my brothers to drink at the dinner table when we were teenagers. By the time I went to college, I did not see the point of binge drinking.

BroncosRock on April 24, 2014 at 5:53 PM

That’s the exact same argument that was made for lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 during the Viet Nam era when the draft was in effect.

INC on April 24, 2014 at 5:51 PM

And the draft ended decades ago, before today’s 18 year olds were even born, and yet the 18 age to vote continues. Virtually no one under 19 years old was drafter during Vietnam anyway.

VorDaj on April 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Should the GOP push to lower the drinking age to 18?

Yes. Next question.

Texas Zombie on April 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

…so the Democrats…can lower it… to kindergarten?

KOOLAID2 on April 24, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Hmmm, Vodka and Bourbon Koolaid, Merlot and Zinfandel Hi-C for the sophisticated and discriminating 5 year old?

hawkeye54 on April 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Great. Another slow news day on Hotair. I thought we needed to hear about something else besides Paul or Bush but I expected it to be something a bit more interesting than this!

shubalstearns on April 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

If you need an age for adulthood (voting, drinking, signing contracts, marrying, whatever) pick one and make it uniform. If you can be drafted at 18, you can drink at 18.

This “you have to be this old to do this, but this old to do that” is for the fokceng birds.

thejackal on April 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Why do we need a federal law for this?

Just repeal the current federal law and let the states decide for themselves what their drinking age should be.

#federalism

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Why not get just rid of all age requirements for alcohol and tobacco and marriage and driving a car?

VorDaj on April 24, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Toss in fire arms and ya got a deal.

hawkeye54 on April 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Fine.

If pulled over and suspected of drinking, automatic breathalyzer. If it registers something, automatic blood test. Create a punitive set of increasing fines. If living at home and until working full-time, include the parents net worth for purposes of determining the fine.

If causing a car accident, provide for stiff jail time. If you kill someone, it’s a capital crime for a blood alcohol level over a certain level. Summary execution; no appeals.

BuckeyeSam on April 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Great. Another slow news day on Hotair. I thought we needed to hear about something else besides Paul or Bush but I expected it to be something a bit more interesting than this!

shubalstearns on April 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Seriously?

You didn’t see the 1100+ comment thread on Clive Bundy being a racist or something?

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

If you’re old enough to serve as a Soldier you’re old enough to have a stupid beer.

Key West Reader on April 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Of course it’s a great idea because it’s a proven fact that drugs, alcohol, and addiction have never ruined lives before. We should encourage more of that, so we can generate more taxes and invest in the future of our children….

publius75 on April 24, 2014 at 6:01 PM

I’m more sympathetic to Glenn’s fairness argument, that it simply isn’t just to tell an 18-year-old that he’s adult enough to die for his country if need be but not quite adult enough to crack a Bud in front of a cop without getting arrested.

+10000000000000000000000000000000000000

Resist We Much on April 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Yes and no.
Yes to move the overton window back to liberty.
No, only in the sense that this never should have been a federal matter to begin with.

AH_C on April 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

I’m generally very pro-federalist, but I do have a concern here. Colorado just legalized marijuana, which is great and everything, but it created a major and readily available source for the stuff and the result has been an explosion of drug activity in some of Nebraska’s rural border (with Colorado) counties. The local police departments don’t have the manpower or resources generally to handle the situation.

So yeah, federalism is great….provided it doesn’t directly damage other states.

LukeinNE on April 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

After watching 20 odd episodes of the World’s Dumbest Partiers, I ready to reinstate prohibition. I was a public defender for 20 years and I think 95% of the cases I was appointed in involved alcohol and/or other, illegal drugs.

flataffect on April 24, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Old enough to die for me, old enough to drink with me.

Bmore on April 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I want to hear Cliven Bundy’s take on this.

Mark1971 on April 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Whoa…the powdered alcohol lobby acts fast!

Anyway, not the GOP nor the Dems would risk supporting lowering the drinking age. I believe it should be at 18…but it’ll never get supported by either party. Just like, I’m pro-life, but Roe v. Wade will never be overturned.

JetBoy on April 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Old enough to die for me, old enough to drink with me.

Bmore on April 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Well stated. I’m done with this thread.

KCB on April 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

My parents allowed me and my brothers to drink at the dinner table when we were teenagers. By the time I went to college, I did not see the point of binge drinking.

BroncosRock on April 24, 2014 at 5:53 PM

This.

AH_C on April 24, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Democrats are just trying to block basic access to hydration. Hydration should be free and openly accessible.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Totally support. I am sick of getting arrested for providing 18 and 19 year old girls with booze. Giggidy giggidy.
/s

El_Terrible on April 24, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Sure why should Democrats be the only ones to pander. The point is that you are legally responsible for yourself at eighteen, except health insurance, so why not.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Better than legal pot.

Tater Salad on April 24, 2014 at 6:10 PM

We already tried prohibition. It was a miserable failure. Why are democrats trying to block basic access to alcohol?

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:10 PM

I am very sympathetic to this argument. But what has occurred is that 21 year olds give beer and liquor to 18 year olds. That’s one reason for all the car accidents by 18-21 year olds.

If we make the drinking age 18, that will likely mean kids 15 and above will get liquor.

I’d be much more sympathetic to an exemption for 18-21 year olds in controlled situations under adult supervision where no one who has been drinking leaves the area or, in particular, drives.

I’d also be supportive of more modest penalties for the violation where the kid has not been drinking and driving. Right now, for instance, minors in possession (where they blow any alcohol on a breathalizer–sic?) can have the offense removed in some states if they are below (I think) 18 and if they take a class, do community service and don’t have other violations for several months. That’s much like a ticket for speeding or a minor fender bender.

When they reach 18, their ability to have the offense removed from their record goes away (at least that’s my understanding).

jim56 on April 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Great. Another slow news day on Hotair. I thought we needed to hear about something else besides Paul or Bush but I expected it to be something a bit more interesting than this!

shubalstearns on April 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

You should have a drink.

El_Terrible on April 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Make it part of the small government, non-nanny state, campaign.

Tater Salad on April 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM

So yeah, federalism is great….provided it doesn’t directly damage other states.

LukeinNE on April 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Funny thing happened on the way to liberty – one has to take the good with the bad. Nebraska has two options; beat them by erecting a blockade to check people crossing state line or join them. Colorado needs to do nothing.

AH_C on April 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

I guess I’m just not getting it. Drinking age in a lot of states used to be 18. In my home state, it was 19. The drinking age was upped because of all the teenage drinking, bad behavior, drunk driving, so a big push was made to have the age raised across all the states.

I went to school in Colorado, it was an unusual hybrid, where hard alcohol required you to be 21, but 3.0 beer was available for the younger crowd. You could … and I did … get blasted on 3.0 …

I hear and understand the argument about how Europe does it differently, but we did too … and we changed it to 21 because lower limits didn’t work.

Prohibition didn’t work either.

Regardless, we seem to have short memories on this subject. I don’t think lowering the drinking age to 18 is going to reduce the amount of binge drinking in college. Other things are going to have to occur to reduce binge drinking in college.

As far as the argument that if I’m in the military, I should be allowed to drink … with 34 years in the military, I can say that wearing a uniform does not make me a more responsible drinker.

Grinch on April 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Letting people drink at 18 might demystify alcohol a little but it’s hard for me to believe it would put a big dent in college binge-drinking, which is also a (sub-)cultural phenomenon. Alcohol laws barely exist for underaged college kids as it is; dropping the last remnants isn’t going to revolutionize the practice.

I binge drank in college so I could have it in my dorm room (snuck in of course, if putting it in a brown paper sack counts as sneaking it in), get drunk, go to the bar with my older friends and not be stone sober at midnight. I was a young’un, and didn’t turn 21 until the middle of my senior year of college.

cptacek on April 24, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Some people become adults at younger ages than others. The legal drinking age should be the age at which a person is a fully independent, self-supporting adult. This means paying taxes, not collecting welfare benefits, and not being considered anyone else’s dependent.

20-year-old electricians apprentices working 40+ hours per week? Yep.
18-year-old military enlistees? Yep.
21-year-old college kids who are claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax forms? Nope.
Baby mamas of any age collecting wic, snap, etc.? Nope

CJ on April 24, 2014 at 6:16 PM

I’m generally very pro-federalist, but I do have a concern here. Colorado just legalized marijuana, which is great and everything, but it created a major and readily available source for the stuff and the result has been an explosion of drug activity in some of Nebraska’s rural border (with Colorado) counties. The local police departments don’t have the manpower or resources generally to handle the situation.

So yeah, federalism is great….provided it doesn’t directly damage other states.

LukeinNE on April 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

We are getting a lot of traffic on I-70 with police chases and other things I hadn’t heard much of before Colorado passed that law. I guess I just look at it like our counties are getting a lot of free drug cars/trucks.

cptacek on April 24, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Oh look, another non-issue. What’s the angle? Will Repubs who say “no” be called ageist?

Scottie on April 24, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Old enough to die for me, old enough to drink with me.

Bmore on April 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

It’ll be more than the 18 year old military personal that will be drinking though. Basically, you’ll be having teenagers drinking in bars. Lets not pretend like teenagers are known for their professional driving skills and decision making abilities. There will be an increase in drinking and driving fatalities if they lower the drinking age again.

publius75 on April 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

My parents allowed me and my brothers to drink at the dinner table when we were teenagers. By the time I went to college, I did not see the point of binge drinking.

BroncosRock on April 24, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Your parents should have been arrested for child abuse…since they didn’t strictly follow the laws of the state in child rearing!
/s

nextgen_repub on April 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Wouldn’t it be great if we could finally get enough laws on the books so nothing bad ever happened? Then we could focus on the grand unified law. A single law that would encompass all badness and make it go away. Yeah. The perfect law. Then life would be all unicorns farting rainbows.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:19 PM

go back to letting the states decide

newrouter on April 24, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Great. Another slow news day on Hotair. I thought we needed to hear about something else besides Paul or Bush but I expected it to be something a bit more interesting than this!

shubalstearns on April 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

You should have a drink.

El_Terrible on April 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM

How about a post about Palin getting drunk when she was 16? (Doesn’t matter if its true….thats not the point)

Ed….Allah?

Have you two dropped your best bait? Put up a post with the Cuda’s pic on it, BAM! 500 comments guaranteed.

BobMbx on April 24, 2014 at 6:21 PM

If you are responsible enough to join the military you are responsible enough to drink.
I’d rather get rid of the welfare state first!

astonerii on April 24, 2014 at 6:21 PM

I remember going on liberty in Alameda after a 6 month WestPac at the age of 19, I could drink in my home state of MN but not in Cali. I was trusted to operate an M2 but couldn’t even enter a bar, it was pretty damn sad.

Bishop on April 24, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Should the GOP push to lower the drinking age to 18?

They should prohibit alcohol entirely.

Stoic Patriot on April 24, 2014 at 6:22 PM

I’m generally very pro-federalist, but I do have a concern here. Colorado just legalized marijuana, which is great and everything, but it created a major and readily available source for the stuff and the result has been an explosion of drug activity in some of Nebraska’s rural border (with Colorado) counties. The local police departments don’t have the manpower or resources generally to handle the situation.

So yeah, federalism is great….provided it doesn’t directly damage other states.

LukeinNE on April 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but what’s the use of federalism if we’re going to use it only selectively?

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

If you are responsible enough to join the military you are responsible enough to drink.
I’d rather get rid of the welfare state first!

astonerii on April 24, 2014 at 6:21 PM

I have known more than a few recruits who were not at all responsible.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

They should prohibit alcohol entirely.

Stoic Patriot on April 24, 2014 at 6:22 PM

That’ll make it go away.

Just like it did the first time Prohibition was enacted.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 6:24 PM

The local police departments don’t have the manpower or resources generally to handle the situation.

What, exactly, needs to be handled?

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Funny thing happened on the way to liberty – one has to take the good with the bad. Nebraska has two options; beat them by erecting a blockade to check people crossing state line or join them. Colorado needs to do nothing.

AH_C on April 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Option 3: Probably the most likely based on the news reports I’ve seen: Sue Colorado for damages. While I happen to agree with Colorado’s position, their position is in violation of federal law and Nebraska’s is not.

LukeinNE on April 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Punish the crime. We make an activity illegal, then punish people for taking part in that activity when no actual harm occurred. Meanwhile, kids are still drunk driving.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

While I’m prepared to vote to lower the legal age to drink alcoholic beverages, since the ‘old enough to serve, old enough to be served’ argument is a powerful one, I’m not prepared to discuss linking lowering the legal age to drink alcoholic beverages with legalizing the use of cannabis.

Here’s why: We are seeing increasing evidence that cannabis has some very real damaging side effects, particularly in young users So until we understand the effects of the various compounds in the drug, indeed, how many compounds are in the drug ( 85 have been isolated so far) I can’t vote to legalize a substance we don’t yet fully understand.

Alcohol is a simple product. We know what it is, what it does, and what dosages are generally recognized to be harmful. We cannot yet say the same for cannabis.

thatsafactjack on April 24, 2014 at 6:32 PM

There is no drinking age limit in Louisiana, and the state has somehow survived. It’s amazing that kids can drive, sleep around, smoke pot, serve in the Army, and even vote but cannot drink. This country is still as disgustingly Puritan as it was in pilgrim days.

Rix on April 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I can’t vote to legalize a substance we don’t yet fully understand.

Didn’t. Stop. Use.

YOU have to fully understand MJ before I can use it. Thanks, dad.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:37 PM

When it was 18 it’s wasn’t pretty. Lot’s of dead kids. I can’t see any reason it would any different this time.

old school on April 24, 2014 at 6:37 PM

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:37 PM

You’re welcome, Ms. Pelosi.

thatsafactjack on April 24, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Yeah, another “the GOP should adopt the liberal social agenda” topic.

These kids are going to vote democrat no matter what, but this way the GOP can get blamed when they and/or those they hit are maimed/killed.

People who suggest lose/lose scenarios for the GOP, aren’t our friends, folks.

Rebar on April 24, 2014 at 6:42 PM

age of adulthood should mean just that.
if 18 not old enough to drink then it should not be old enough to vote, join military, etc.
the sliding scale of adulthood has always pissed me off.

dmacleo on April 24, 2014 at 6:43 PM

This country is still as disgustingly Puritan as it was in pilgrim days.

Rix on April 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Geez, give the Puritans a break.

2L8 on April 24, 2014 at 6:46 PM

I was the legal drinking age for four months and then illegal for almost two years when Illinois raised the drinking age to 21. Stupid.

Can 18 year olds in the military drink?

Fallon on April 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Who gives a crap about whether pushing for this would “help ingratiate them to otherwise chilly left-leaning young voters.” Laws, particularly laws dealing with something as serious as alcohol, should not be sought (or fought against) solely or even primarily because doing so might mean your party gets some extra votes.

JackAsterson on April 24, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Can 18 year olds in the military drink?

Fallon on April 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM

As I remember it they could drink on-base only and of course overseas but I could be mistaken about on-base.

I learned how to really, I mean REALLY drink from professionals known as Chiefs over in Subic Bay as a 19 year old.

Bishop on April 24, 2014 at 6:50 PM

State by state decision.

iwasbornwithit on April 24, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Can 18 year olds in the military drink?

Fallon on April 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM

have to follow local laws for Army, not sure about naval.
so in army you could one morning, fly back to US and not be allowed to.

dmacleo on April 24, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Can 18 year olds in the military drink?

Fallon on April 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Not stateside, at least in the AF. Before I left, the young loadmasters couldn’t even drink with the rest of us old farts when flying overseas…unless the crusty NCOIC bought him a round and made him promise to dispose of it “properly”.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 6:55 PM

No.

In fact, drinking, the right to vote, should be limited further to age 26 minimum.

Double that, voting should be limited to PROPERTY OWNERS above age 26.

Diluculo on April 24, 2014 at 6:58 PM

have to follow local laws for Army, not sure about naval.
so in army you could one morning, fly back to US and not be allowed to.

dmacleo on April 24, 2014 at 6:52 PM

It’s local laws for all branches. That was adopted back in the 80′s when I was still in.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 7:01 PM

“I’m more sympathetic to Glenn’s fairness argument, that it simply isn’t just to tell an 18-year-old that he’s adult enough to die for his country if need be but not quite adult enough to crack a Bud in front of a cop without getting arrested.”

I’m not. Unless you’re active duty you’re not going to die for your country, so I want to hear this complaint only from folks in the military between 18 and 20 y.o. and not from Insty.

Moreover, unless you’re at Ft. Hood you’re not dying in a war if you’re stationed in the US. If you’re overseas, you can go off base and drink if you’re in Europe. If you’re not, ask your base commander why 18-20 year olds can’t drink on base and s/he will tell you about how many soldiers die every year from DUI. In the 90s there were more deaths in the military from DUI than from any other cause.

We don’t generally let 18-20 y.o.’s in the military drink for the same reason we don’t give 16 y.o.’s keys to the car and the liquor cabinet: they are too valuable to die and cops and C.O.s hate telling parents why their kids are dead.

I think AP’s right that the politics don’t make this issue a winner for the GOP. You might get a few kids to turn out but you’ll get some parents to stay home, esp. when the body counts get publicity.

pat buchanatar on April 24, 2014 at 7:08 PM

For freedom’s sake…do it.

If you’re an adult at 18 , you’re an adult at 18.

CW on April 24, 2014 at 7:18 PM

They should prohibit alcohol entirely.

Stoic Patriot on April 24, 2014 at 6:22 PM

You sound EXACTLY like early Progressives. I mean, literally, EXACTLY like them. Their experiment failed, as would yours.

Obviously, your authoritarianism should surprise no one considering THE FACT that you have advocated the government installation of ‘bed-cams’ into the houses of Americans to, somehow, ‘prevent’ adultery, incest, rape, and child sexual abuse. As if…

The ‘Absolute Shall’ Shall Always Absolutely Fail, Especially In America! And More Cheers For It!

‘Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky: It is the prohibition that makes anything precious.’

- Mark Twain

‘After Prohibition, after everyone had seen how devastating it was to morals, to policing, to government. It was really a failure. People are picking up the pieces trying to make sense of it. The key thing, though, about this picking up the pieces after Prohibition, was the same God that laughs at our folly — and there was folly in Prohibition — still holds us responsible, still wants us to build a better society, to build a better world, and doesn’t disdain human endeavour. And, I think that post-Prohibition, you were picking up the pieces trying to find a moral framework to build a better America, but without quite so much of the pride, arrogance and self-assurance that the Prohibitionists had.’

- Martin Marty, Theologian

‘Very little good has ever been done by the absolute shall.’

- Anonymous American clergyman, 19th century

‘Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.’

- CS Lewis

Resist We Much on April 24, 2014 at 7:22 PM

“I’m more sympathetic to Glenn’s fairness argument, that it simply isn’t just to tell an 18-year-old that he’s adult enough to die for his country if need be but not quite adult enough to crack a Bud in front of a cop without getting arrested.”

I’m not. Unless you’re active duty you’re not going to die for your country, so I want to hear this complaint only from folks in the military between 18 and 20 y.o. and not from Insty.

Moreover, unless you’re at Ft. Hood you’re not dying in a war if you’re stationed in the US. If you’re overseas, you can go off base and drink if you’re in Europe. If you’re not, ask your base commander why 18-20 year olds can’t drink on base and s/he will tell you about how many soldiers die every year from DUI. In the 90s there were more deaths in the military from DUI than from any other cause.

We don’t generally let 18-20 y.o.’s in the military drink for the same reason we don’t give 16 y.o.’s keys to the car and the liquor cabinet: they are too valuable to die and cops and C.O.s hate telling parents why their kids are dead.

I think AP’s right that the politics don’t make this issue a winner for the GOP. You might get a few kids to turn out but you’ll get some parents to stay home, esp. when the body counts get publicity.

pat buchanatar on April 24, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Uh, the military drinking age stateside was already 21 in the 90′s. I know because I was in the AF at that time.

Kind of blows up your argument that raising the drinking age will prevent more DUIs/deaths.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Yes. Next question.

To borrow a phrase from Instapundit.

JonPrichard on April 24, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Going through this now with my youngest. He is 18 and getting ready to go off to college. My older one is in med school and received a drinking ticket her first weekend of freshman year because she had never experimented with booze before… I know that sounds odd, but true. There are two issues here that I struggle with. One is I teach my kids to obey laws and if I let them drink before legal age I am being a bad role model. The other issue is that my Dad let us drink at home when we were 18 (was legal) and we learned to hold our liquor and when we were at our limit and to enjoy beer, not to get drunk but as a rite of passage. I can’t say that I never was drunk in college, but I certainly knew my limits. Kids now don’t because they are experimenting with booze far away (normally) from family and friends where it isn’t safe to try it.

Also, these kids don’t drink beer, they do shots and play games that we never would have thought of… the amount of hard alcohol my daughters friends consume is unbeleivable to me (they are 21 now)… Sorry this is so long, but it is something I am living right now:)

momof2 on April 24, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Lowering (or abolishing?) the drinking age would at least be a much needed clear signal that the Republican Party really is working on reducing federal government involvement in our daily lives…

Mortifico on April 24, 2014 at 7:27 PM

There is no drinking age limit in Louisiana, and the state has somehow survived.

Rix on April 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Yes, Louisiana has a minimum drinking age and it is 21. Wyoming was the last state in the Union to increase its drinking age to 21.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/FewerYoungDrivers/appendix.htm

Resist We Much on April 24, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Abolish it and let the States decide.

The federal government can decide how it wants to run things in its own domain, but that domain is not the drinking age for Americans. That is the job for the States and local governments and not one handed over to the federal government.

ajacksonian on April 24, 2014 at 7:31 PM

The drinking age IS NOT mandated by the Federal government. Please see South Dakota v Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987). Per a 7-2 Supreme Court decision, the Federal government can only:

…attach reasonable conditions to funds disbursed to the states without running afoul of the Tenth Amendment.

In other words, if states wanted to receive all of their highway monies, they had to lift the drinking age to 21.

Resist We Much on April 24, 2014 at 7:36 PM

How about remove it all together? Encourage parents to raise their children to drink responsibly while they are young. Remove the allure of binge drinking while they are at an age when they are more under their parents control.

clement on April 24, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Yes-I think they should. My son’s 20. I’ve known plenty of responsible 18-20 year old’s…and plenty of irresponsible 21 year old’s.
21 isn’t some magic number.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 24, 2014 at 7:56 PM

“Would you favor or oppose a federal law lowering the drinking age in all states to 18?”

In principle I oppose federal laws period, as did the founders.

“Personal Comportment” laws should be made at the state level, and damned seldom there. What I would support is a federal law that an American becomes a fully recognized citizen, either at 18 or 21 (there are arguments for both ages). This “kinda-sorta-all-growed-up” sh*t is ruining the country as it is.

jbspry on April 24, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Nope. This is a losing argument among older voters, who are much more active than younger voters. Heck, most voters stop caring about this issue as soon as they turn 21; once the law no longer effects them, it’s a non-starter. So you’re mostly targeting 18-20 year olds, who aren’t all that politically active.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 24, 2014 at 8:08 PM

I think the ‘legal drinking age’ and the ‘legal voter age’ should be RAISED to whatever the maximum age is that the government says “kids” should be included on their parents medical insurance coverage.
.
Wha’d’y’all think about that ?

listens2glenn on April 24, 2014 at 8:27 PM

“I call upon Republican leaders to denounce the idea of 18 year old drinking- or, wait- no , I mean Republican leaders should denounce anyone who stands in the way of hard-working teenagers getting a buzz on after getting off the school bus.”

Wait- wrong thread.

This is SO not an issue for anybody except 18 year olds who hate paying their older brother to buy them booze; I can’t imagine why its showing up on a political blog.

And somebody thinks this is going to translate into a winning!!issue for the GOP? Maybe Bottom Dweller should be consulted, since she’s so in touch with deh yute. She’s got great advice for conservatives- just ask.

Dolce Far Niente on April 24, 2014 at 8:32 PM

I don’t know about the politics of it, but it is the right thing to do.
We have to have a demarcation line that differentiates minors and adults. In everything else that is 18.
You can’t complain about Bloomberg’s nanny state being too big and say that your’s is just right.
A nanny state is a nanny state. Do we believe in freedom or not?

SupplyGuy on April 24, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Sure go for it ‘pubes !!

****

Of course, then the dummyKKKraps will drop it to 16 !

cableguy615 on April 24, 2014 at 9:03 PM

If children are to be kept on their parents policy until they are 26 ten up the age to 26. Make up your minds. You’re either an adult at 18 or 26 but you can’t have it both ways.

Duna on April 24, 2014 at 9:43 PM

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