Saturday, December 04, 2010

MADD's Addictive Behavior - The Problem

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and its associated organizations (Students... Teachers... etc.) is one of the most prominent and active of the Nanny State's "non-governmental organization" (NGO) allies in remaking American society. Organized as an advocacy and lobbying group, they have more in common with ACORN than virtually any of their members or leaders is willing to admit, and have totally skewed the national scene regarding highway safety.

The referenced article (click on the headline) is a brief look from a politico-religious perspective (and one somewhat right-libertarian) on a growing movement to FIGHT MADD, and to repeal or at least revise the current nationwide ban on drinking under the age of 21.

The legal ban (hardly an absolute ban) on drinking for almost 1/4 of our nation's population is a product of the era of the end of federalism. It is an example of the nanny-state at its worst, and of the triumph of emotion and hype over reason. Passed in 1984 and signed into law by President Reagan in a betrayal of his principles of federalism, it was the product of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, ( an organization which is the epitome of liberal AND conservative hypocrisy.

Although it was claimed (then and now) that forcing all states to treat thousands of its adult citizens as second-class would "end" the drunk driving menace on American highways, the evidence of the last two+ decades has shown otherwise. MADD claimed (and still does) that it was THE solution to drunk-driving fatalities in this continent, a steady stream of further attempts to solve the problem which supposedly has already been solved is impressive, and sickening: the zero-tolerance laws, the 0.08 blood-alcohol laws, and more. All done in violation of the Constitution and through a very nasty (and sadly effective) mechanism: withholding of highway user trust fund money from the states until they lick the boots of the Congress that supposedly works for them - a form of extortion, since the money being withheld was stolen from the people of the States to begin with.

Like anti-gun activists who push for "just one more" law - indeed, like the drunk who wants "just one more" for the road, MADD and their ilk are addicted to lobbying and laws, proven by the way that they continue to push for more and more laws, more and more punishment, more and more "enforcement" - claiming each time that THIS will once and for all solve the problem.

Like the gun-haters and the alcoholic, MADD is ever willing to lie to themselves and others to get their way. Even in the early 1980s, the majority of DUI deaths were not caused by the 18-20 year olds who have been turned into plebes by this law; far more were the result of older (if not "more mature") chronic drinkers who often are multiple offenders. But to read MADD's own propaganda you would think it is the 18-20 age group - until you study their own statistics very closely. (After all, old alcoholics and drunks make poor "poster children.")

In the same way, in one place they claim that 30,000 lives have been saved "each year" by the 21-law. But when you look at the chart on their home page (use "print screen" to look at it for more than 10 seconds), you find that almost 10,000 of the 30,000 per year drop that they claim happened BEFORE the 1984 law was passed. In fact, in 1986, drunk-driving deaths were back at pre-law levels. And it took a decade (and apparently a lot more laws) for the "30,000" drop to be reached. In fact, since about 1992, the number of drunk-driving fatalities has basically been frozen at just about 20,000 per year. Nor can they deny that (again, by their own claim) there are still 500,000 alcohol-related injuries on highways each year: some "final solution." Worse, they exaggerate about other highway fatalities increasing (claiming a 34% rise in 25 years) by ignoring the billions of miles more we drive each year, and the tens of millions more motorists on the roads in 2007 as compared to 1982. And they totally ignore the last half-decade of steadily dropping fatalities, in both real numbers and per miles driven.

The college presidents (135 of them as of December 2010) have some strong points (

A culture of dangerous, clandestine “binge-drinking”—often conducted off-campus—has developed.
Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students.
Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.
By choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law.

Obviously, there are many pros and cons, but they are not calling for an outright change - merely an informed debate. MADD and the usual knee-jerk liberals who believe that NO one can control themselves, don't want to talk about it - except to slander and revile the people suggesting we talk about it.

Both sides are, to a degree, wrong. It is NOT government's place, and especially not the FEDERAL government's place, to regulate alcohol sales, except to prohibit states from collecting tariffs or duties on imports and exports from other states, as provided by the Constitution and the "Commerce Clause" when properly understood and applied. It is ESPECIALLY not government's place to tell people how to raise their children, and to take action which takes away the responsibilities of parents for their children.

In the next part, I’ll look at the solution to the problem.

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