Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama Declines to Lower Drinking Age

In a recent discussion with veterans, Presidential candidate Barack Obama said that if he was elected President that he would not lower the current drinking age.

"I know it drives you nuts. But I'm not going to lower the drinking age," he said.

When Army veteran Ernest Johnson pointed out the discrepancy between being considered a boy when it came to having a drink, but being considered a man when it came to being eligible to die for his country, Obama remained firm. He said that setting the legal drinking age at 21 had helped reduce drunken driving incidents and should remain.

OK, fine. Perhaps the minimum age for entering the armed forces ought to be set at 21, too. That would certainly save young lives as well. Surely if you're too young to have a beer at 18, then you're certainly too young to be used as cannon fodder in a war.

Your mileage may vary, but I call 'em as I see 'em.


D.K. said...

Here's another discrepancy (we seem to be full of them):

You can be 16 years old and pay taxes, but you can't vote until you are 18.

If you are old enough to pay for the government, than you should be old enough to vote for the government.

transfattyacid said...

Drinking and dulce et decorum est is a tricky combination.

Logically there is not a connection, but factually there is.

For some reason I am reminded of the book, The First Day of the Somme by Martin Middlebrook, in which he recounts the experience of the volunteer army of 1916 which was known as Kitcheners army.

As the troops massed for the 'breakthrough' the issue of rum appears to have been quite an issue.

The rum in question was an alcoholic mollasses, to which water was added, and of a strength that one cup would give you dutch courage and two cups would leave you unable to go over the top.... and liable to be shot by the military police on a charge of desertion.

Divisions, that for the religious convictions of their commanders were denied this 'privilege' were resentful, and it is a debatable point, fought less well than divisions who were issued with the rum ration - but then when the attack came 50,000 British soldiers became casualties (some 16,000 killed).

My guess is that that the reason Obama is not prepared to bite the bullet is because of his inclination not to scare the horses (does Obama say anything about what he really thinks?).

From a military pov - alcohol might help to deal with the levels of post traumatic stress disorder, but from the social pov, perhaps he is correct in wishing to maintain the age of majority.

But then in America you do not have the Abbot challenge - eight pints of Abbot ale....

Libertine said...

I've always believed that all rights making one an adult: paying taxes, getting married, voting, signing contracts, and so on, all ought to come at the same age.

The drinking age was 18 when I was 18 and the world didn't end during those few years it was 18.