John McCardell is not exactly the face you would expect to be making an issue of lowering the drinking age in the US. But he is becoming the issue’s poster child.
McCardell, the president emeritus of Middlebury College, is described as having “gray hair, gray suit, soft voice” in an provocative piece on the subject by George Will in the WaPo. Quote:
McCardell thinks that, on campuses, a drinking age of 21 infantilizes students, encouraging immature behavior with alcohol and disrespect for law generally. Furthermore, an “enforcement only” policy makes school administrations adversaries of students and interferes with their attempts to acquaint students with pertinent information, such as the neurological effects of alcohol on young brains. He notes that 18-year-olds have a right to marry, adopt children, serve as legal guardians for minors and purchase firearms from authorized dealers, and are trusted with the vote and military responsibilities. So, he says, it is not unreasonable to think that they can, with proper preparation, be trusted to drink.
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