Here’s a 60 Minutes story about the debate to reduce the legal drinking age from 21 to 18. I found the story rather interesting. John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont started a campaign to lower the legal drinking age. While I don’t endorse his position, I find portions of his educational initiative beneficial. Teaching both chemical and consequential results of alcohol intake might help students understand the seriousness of their choice.
While I think the discussion is warranted, I do find McCardell’s rationalization approach weak. Enlistment age and legal drinking age are unrelated positions. Just because someone is old enough to enlist, should not automatically qualify one to purchase alcohol. I think positions of this magnitude should be debated by higher arguments.
The bulk of this story is really defined by choice. College students as well as other adults have a choice. You’ll find “inappropriate” choices and behavior demonstrated throughout this clip. Choice often determines behavior. I do find it interesting that abstinence is so easily dismissed as an option in this story. Abstinence is discarded along with prohibition. These are two very different positions. Prohibition entails someone else making the decision for you. Abstinence is about you making the decision for yourself. We need more students (and adults) in my opinion, making better lifestyle decisions. Perhaps an education regimine promoting abstinence isn’t too bad of an idea when it comes to drinking.