A photo by Quentin Dr. unsplash.com/photos/gvm_Kmm3-9o

Let Them Drink

Hypocrites advocate only for things that benefit them exclusively; for example, every 18-year-old in America wants the legal drinking age lowered to 18. Check-in with those same folks in about 15 years and see how few of them still believe it.

Lucky for you, I am not a hypocrite. I smoked marijuana once in my life, 27 years ago, and hated it; yet I am for legalization of marijuana. I, personally, gain nothing from it, but I know right when I see it.

The United States of America has undergone a long-overdue socially progressive enlightenment in the past decade. The majority of Americans overwhelmingly support gay marriage (http://news.gallup.com/poll/210566/support-gay-marriage-edges-new-high.aspx), we agree beyond a reasonable doubt that the children of illegal immigrants are innocent victims who deserve to stay in America (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/354702-poll-finds-little-support-for-deporting-daca-recipients), and even the majority of Republicans now favor legalized marijuana (https://patch.com/us/across-america/majority-republicans-now-favor-legalizing-pot-poll?google_editors_picks=true)

It’s time for us all to wake up and join the rest of the civilized world when it comes to our legal drinking age. Our current policy is not only idiotic and dangerous, it’s factually and intellectually indefensible, something I was arguing as a precocious alcohol loving 16-year-old, and something I have never wavered on for 30 years as a functioning alcoholic adult.

For the longest time, even suggesting such a thing was taboo. Right away, fascist groups like MAAD call you “irresponsible,” and every indoctrinated nut recoils in horror at the thought of a “child” being allowed to legally purchase a beer. But with social attitudes changing and releasing many of their antiquated and ill-informed views, it’s time to loudly demand that we take a stand and make a statement as the most important nation on Earth; when you turn 18, you’re either a child who should be given almost no responsibility, or you’re an adult who should be allowed to make your own decisions, many of which will be bad. Period.

For starters, let’s consider all of the things an American adult can do legally in every single state, for the first time, on their 18th birthday, that they couldn’t do the night before:

  • Vote

  • Get an abortion without anyone’s consent

  • Join the military

  • Donate blood

  • Rent an apartment

  • Buy a house

  • Get a tattoo

  • Buy pornography

  • Become a stripper

  • Sue someone

  • Go to any festival or concert or event that is 18 and over

  • Get a hotel room

  • Gamble

  • Stay out all night (no curfew anywhere for 18+)

  • Go skydiving

  • Adopt a child or pet

  • Pawn your belongings

  • Get married

  • Smoke cigarettes

  • Buy a car

  • Light fireworks

  • Serve on a jury

And that’s just the tip (yes, just the tip) of the iceberg.

So, take a moment and absorb the fact that we have decided that, as a nation, we are prepared to allow and/or encourage people at the age of 18 to carry a gun and die for our nation, make the decision to abort a fetus, become a stripper, adopt another life, gamble, smoke, make major purchases, and even help decide whether or not someone goes to prison for the rest of their life, yet we have also decided that none of those people are mature enough to consume alcohol. At what point do we look ourselves in the mirror as a society and admit how stupid we are? Perhaps soon?

Many argue that lowering the legal drinking age back to 18, where it belongs, would curb binge drinking and college campus sex crimes. Honestly, I’m agnostic on this point, but it’s worth adding to the discussion. https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2014/05/07/lower-the-us-drinking-age-to-reduce-binge-drinking-and-sexual-assault

Additionally, I almost always eschew those who argue American policy by pointing to other countries because there’s a reason, in most cases, that we’re America and the greatest country on Earth. But sometimes we have to admit that we can learn from the world. Perhaps it’s time for us to recognize that we are not just behind the times, but we are blatantly idiotic on this subject. There are 190 countries on the planet…the United States is one of 12 to have a drinking age of 21. Everyone else is 18 or 19. And the list of countries that we’re aligned with is a who’s who of “I’ve never even heard of that country.” https://drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004294

Get it together America; they’re either adults at 18 or they aren’t. Either we begin stripping them of all of their rights, including voting, gun ownership, smoking, jury duty, and porn, or we grow the hell up and let them have a beer. You decide if you want to live in the dark ages or not.

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