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New Reasons to Take Up an Old Young Cause


When I was newly 18 years old, one of my high school classes somehow got on the topic of the national drinking age. We all knew the arguments for our obvious opinion: “I can go to war, but I can’t have a beer to relax on leave”; “I can get married, but I can’t have champagne at my reception”; “I can vote, but I can’t get drunk enough to believe what the politicians are saying.”

The class ultimately concluded that a major obstacle to our being able to drink legally within the following three years was the diminished importance of the issue to the majority of registered voters. We reasoned that, once people are old enough to drink, younger folks’ inability to do so is of very little consequence to them, so they don’t give the issue thought, let alone lobby to change the law. Until very recently, I was living proof that we were correct. However, a recent news story has brought the drinking age to mind, and a new perspective — parenthood — has, ironically, reaffirmed my forgotten convictions

This essay has been published in Just Thinking: Volume I, 10/29/01–10/21/02 and is available in Confidence Place: The Timshel Arts Store.



05/27/02 Breaking the Slump (Society)

05/20/02 Self-Evident Equality (Society)

05/13/02 Grownup 101 (Life)

05/06/02 Choosing a Lyric Battle (Religion)

04/29/02 A Bright Future for Revolution, Part 2 (Media)

04/22/02 A Bright Future for Revolution, Part 1 (Art)

04/15/02 A Love-Lit Shelter Sets Me Free (Life)

10/29/01 through 04/08/02 Archives