David Harsanyi on MADD

The group radiates an intransigent, “there is no permissible debate” attitude on its subject, and “there is no politician who has the audacity” to call its bluff (“Let’s chuck the drinking age”, Denver Post, Aug. 21)(via Protein Wisdom). Earlier on the so-called Amethyst Initiative (to reconsider the 21 year old age limit) here, with many reader comments.

More: Steve Chapman, with whom it is rare for us to disagree, takes the opposite view (syndicated/Washington Times, Aug. 24).


  • What else would you expect from such an aptly named organization? They are mad in both senses of the word. Too bad this rational approach to drinking on the part of the college presidents is not exhibited in their attitude towards political correctness. Brody from Hopkins and Brodhead from Duke are two of the more egregious offenders when it comes to political correctness.

  • I’m all about as few laws as is necessary for a free society to flourish. But there is something about a product whose consumption, by its very nature, alters judgment AND its correlation to better judgment which comes almost exclusively from more years alive (in the overwhelming majority of cases – IMO). Now, when I hear MADD, Al Gore & Company, or anyone else tell me that “the debate is over,” I tend to get hoppin’ suspicious about the argument said group is putting forth. As my most favorite epistemology professor taught me, the most genuine and thorough way to argue a point is to first hold your opposition’s point is the best possible light. Anything less is disingenuous. If these gals START OUT saying the matter is settled and continue from there, something tells me even they question their own logical footing.

  • I think the fact that the lady who founded the organization recently cut ties with it says all that can be said. They have become the Carrie Nation’s of the 21st century.