It may seem counterintuitive, but John McCardell, president emeritus of Middlebury College in Vermont, might be on to something about why to lower the drinking age, as George Will discussed in his recent Washington Post column.
The usual argument for lowering the legal drinking age to 18 is: "I can vote, go to war, adopt a child — why can’t I buy a beer?" McCardell’s argument, which stems from years of observing students on a college campus, is that underage drinking is happening, has always happened and will continue to happen. So why not lower the legal drinking age to 18, when most students are still under parental influence and supervision, and the issue can be addressed, much like driving, as a privilege that must be used responsibly?
Parents who fool themselves into thinking that their children will not drink alcohol until they are 21 are doing their children a disservice. It is the parents’ duty to prepare their children to become informed, responsible adults.
Posted by Patrice Hein
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