Monday, July 11, 2011

Excellent Alternet Post about the Drinking Age

The recent post on Alternet about the drinking age is probably one of the few (if not the only) occasion the progressive alternative news site wrote an article about this issue.   It is surprising that they don't discuss it more frequently, especially given their very liberal stance on the legalization of other psychoactive substances.  It is truly refreshing to see them be in favor of liberty and justice for all, not liberty for "just us" like some so-called "progressives" and drug-law reformers.

The article, which is clearly in favor of lowering the drinking age, does almost as good a job at debunking the latest Carpenter and Dobkin study as we did back in May.  It also discusses the wisdom of Barrett Seaman, author of Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You and current president of Choose Responsibility.  Seaman knows what a failure the 21 drinking age has been, especially on college campuses.  In addition, the article points out just how out of step America is with the rest of the civilized world.

As for the book Binge, while we at Twenty-One Debunked agree wholeheartedly with Seaman's evaluation of the failure of the 21 drinking age and how the law appears to throw gasoline on a fire (so to speak), the author does seem to over-egg the pudding a bit on the other issues he discusses when comparing today's campus life to the way it was in the 1960s when he was in college in upstate New York.  Yes there are kernels of truth in what he says, but we hardly believe that today's students are embroiled in the kind of crisis he appears to suggest they are in.  There is definitely a nostalgia bias at work here.  And while we question whether technology really deserves much of the blame for the apparent "disconnection" he notes, we certainly agree that the 21 drinking age (which artificially and arbitrarily divides members of the college community) certainly isn't helping.

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