Thursday, 17 July 2014

Long, Long Time Ago

This was the week....thirty years ago....that drinking ages suddenly went to twenty-one.  President Reagan pushed on this a bit, and the legislation was pretty easy.  It was actually introduced by a Democratic Senator on 26 April 1984 as a bill.  It took four days to pass the House, and sixty days to pass the Senate.....both on voice votes, and no one is noted having voted against it.

Could you get the same enthusiasm today for such a vote?  No.

By 1984, I was past twenty-one....so this never affected me.  To be honest, I don't even remember this being a page one item with the local Stars and Stripes newspaper (maybe it was).

It's an odd item to get into a discussion.  You accept eighteen year old punks into the Armed Forces....to kill people and destroy entire cities if necessary, but the same logic doesn't hold if the kid wants a beer.  Same for driving skills....at age sixteen getting a license.  Same for credit card applications or loans.  A nineteen-year-old kid could walk into a doctor's office.....get a prescription for a major painkiller, and take the dosage himself that night. The list goes on and on.

Up until this point.....states controlled their situations.  Again, one of those cases where the federal guys exceeded their authority, taking a little bit of power from each state.

The curious thing about the law?  Well....it had a waiver written into it.  If you were doing communion wine for religious reason....even several bottles for the afternoon service at some friend's backyard 'revival'......that's ok.  Wine for Godly reasons.....was written into the legislation....which makes you wonder about how they could write fine acts of legislation in 1984....but really lost the art to such writing by 2009/2010.

Did it fix much?  I'm not sure about this.  Maybe it did.  But you can walk into any college dorm and find eighteen-year-old kids puking their guts out at midnight because they drunk a lot of booze and don't remember much of anything.  Who sold them the booze?  Don't know.  The taxes for the booze?  Oh, that went into the county and state taxation racket.

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