Republican Senate candidate Murray Sabrin is about to go on a “Legalize Freedom College Tour” to appeal to young voters. At least on the issue of a national drinking age, he gets it right:
It is hypocritical to ask 18 year olds to die for our country and tell them they are not able to enjoy a beer. It is wrong to tell a 19 year old it is his or her responsibility to vote or serve on juries yet they aren’t responsible to have a glass of wine with their families. It is illogical to give a 16 year old the keys to a 2-ton vehicle and yet tell a 20 year old he or she cannot toast champagne at their sister’s wedding. How is it we can hold a 17 year old accountable for adult crimes and yet tell someone they aren’t old to drink alcohol until they are 21?
America is supposed to be the example of freedom around the world. If you listen to some of our elected leaders, our number one export is supposed to be freedom. Yet, our country has the highest drinking age in the world.
This is one of the most arbitrary and insulting laws on the books. I don’t understand why this is even a politically dicey issue. In a debate a few years back, Jon Corzine said he thought the drinking age was already 18. That was reported as a gaffe. Har har! As Sabrin says, that’s almost as funny as the fact that we send 18 year olds to drive tanks through IED-laden roads, but not let them have a beer when they return.
This won’t score Sabrin any political points, but it’s still nice to see someone talking honestly about it. His challenger Joe Pennachio, on the other hand, is too afraid to touch it and deflects with a lame attempt at humor: “Professor Sabrin would have us put Jack Daniels in baby bottles.”
Senator Lautenberg wrote the legislation that raised the national drinking age to 21 and punished states that didn’t enforce that limit.