18-year old drinking?

In response to a distinguished college’s claim that the ability to join the armed forces qualifies you to drink, I offered this rebuttal.
Since when did joining the armed forces have anything to do with drinking? Seems to me that the two are fundamentally different. The point of voluntarily joining the armed forces is irrelevant. It’s a draft that makes the dying for your country argument valid. The potential to be involuntarily pressed into service gives (or at least should give) those of fighting age a myriad of rights. If you’re old (not mature because age is the question) enough to think clearly and make good decisions under fire, you should be old enough to think clearly and make good decisions about alcohol. Anyway, I know plenty of 21+ year olds who are immature enough to get into a drunk driving accident and many 18 year olds who have enough common sense not to drink and drive. Age should be no measure of maturity.

Also, the creation a federal drinking age is an unconstitutional delegation of power to the federal government. The infamous elastic clause has no bearing here, as a drinking age is not necessary, nor proper to protect any of the other rights in the constitution. The decision therefore should be left up to individual states. Actually, this was the case, but then the federal government blackmailed the states, refusing to fund highways unless they consented with a national 21-year-old drinking age. While implicit, this act still effectively creates a national drinking age and is therefore illegal and unconstitutional.


6 Responses to 18-year old drinking?

  1. Neal says:

    Are you kidding, if you are old enough to hold a gun and kill people for your countrie then you are damn well able to have your self a beer. When you do your duty at the age of 18 then you can decide what side you stand on but I say that if your in the military than you have the right to drink at age 18.

  2. Matt says:

    I see 18 as a reasonable drinking age, especially for those in the military. However, your assertion that a national drinking age is unconstitutional is ridiculous. The elastic clause absolutely applies here: how can I possibly enjoy any of my constitutional rights if my life is taken by a 16 year-old drinking legally who decides to drive? Don’t get me wrong: there are limits on what the government can do, but all of society must often bear the price for the idiotic and irrational actions of irresponsible individuals. A drinking age is necessary to enjoy the right to personal property, the right to live and the right to live in a society with some semblance of order, a right inherent in the very concept of government. The Constitution of America is the shortest in the world and one of the least-revised in use. This is fine, but one document alone does not and cannot establish every right and duty of a government. Read strictly enough, the Constitution denies the federal government the right to regulate drugs, enforce traffic rules, spend even a penny on transportation/education/healthcare/welfare/research/environmentalism. A total strict constructionist approach to the Constitution is unfeasible, weakening and entirely obstructive of progress. Even Jefferson, the great strict constructionist, recognized this through the Louisiana Purchase. Although the Constitution necessarily restricts the power of government and limits its scope, the Constitution alone is not enough for defining and operating a good government that is “of, for and by the people.”

  3. Kevin says:

    The 21 + drinking age was established post-70s, when college drinking and the associated accidents happened all too often. This drinking age has become outdated in my opinion.

    I agree with Neal in that in that if you make good decisions on a battlefield, you can make good enough decisions involving an inaminate beverage.

    THough I must ask my fellow BSO writers/readers: what is the appeal of alcohol? Why do so many people drink it? Doesn’t anyone realize it has the same chemical composition as lighter fluid?

  4. Matt says:

    Again, I have no issue with an age 18 drinking limit. I do have an issue with saying that the drinking age laws are unconstitutional at the federal level.

    I don’t share in the obsession with alcohol: I have never drank beyond a few sips or at, duh, Church, which is clearly a different story. People seek a means to abandon responsibility for their actions, or at least something that justifies walking away from responsibility. That’s why drugs, drinking, cutting and sex are so glorified: it gives people an escape from their own irresponsibility. It’s a way out from facing the truth: we alone are totally responsible for our actions, thoughts and choices. To be truly existentialist, it is our choices that define who we are. Most people can’t handle that. Enter anything that makes people feel that they can avoid the absolute truth that they are responsible for their choices, or that make their choices feel acceptable to them. In this way, dogmatic religions and ideologies are the same. Religion is the opiate of the masses when people blindly follow it, just like anything else (alcohol, drugs, materialism, ideology, sex…)

  5. Neal says:

    In our world today the major stars and icons that the young children are looking up to are displaying drinking and sex as thing that should be done in great quantity and by people in large groups. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think either is bad own there own but mixing them can get you into trouble with the law and could make you lose some of you friends.

  6. Kevin says:

    That’s not generally a problem with kids our age Neil. Most people, at 16, realize that these so-called “idols” live an unrealistic lifestyle.

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