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On Campus, Legal Drinking Age Is Flunking the Reality Test

Maryland's C.D.
Maryland's C.D. "Dan" Mote is among those college presidents calling for a lower drinking age. (Rafael Cris Stomo/ftwp - Rafael Cris Stomo)
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But what if a lower drinking age might teach a vast number of young people moderation, even as members of the reckless fringe continue to endanger themselves and others? Anti-drunken driving activists hide behind the faux-clarity of highway death statistics.

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When he signed the initiative, Mote says, "I thought the country might be ready. Now? It depends on how quickly people shut down open discussion. Will this lead to a national movement? I don't see how that would happen at the moment."

Can you imagine either presidential candidate discussing a change in the drinking age? They'd be more likely to call for an end to anti-terrorism measures.

So Mote will stand before the freshmen, implore them not to drink and threaten them with enforcement -- and then, because it's the responsible thing to do, he will tell them how to handle it when they get plastered. Which they will. But we don't want to see it, because there's a law on the books.

That's the first lecture in Cynicism 101.

Join me at noon today for "Potomac Confidential" athttp://www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline.


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