Sunday, March 21, 2010

Taking Personal Responsibility

Psychologist Sarah Allen Benton, has written a blog attacking the availability and perception of wine, because alcoholics feel forced to drink. In response, Steve Heimoff has written a blog arguing that self control is the real issue. Yes, Like Steve, I agree with Benton that some people suffer under the mistaken impression that wine is less of an alcoholic substance than beer or liquor. Of course, that's wrong. One can get blitzed on wine, just like one can get blitzed on scotch, gin, or beer.

What bothers me, and what Steve failed to address, is the trend of trying to regulate things, simply because those things may cause problems for some people. We've banned the importation of unpasteurized cheese, many states have banned gambling & public smoking, New York City has even banned trans fats in restaurant food. Where does it end?

Sadly, there ARE alcoholics in the world, and tempting alcoholics with wine is just plain immoral. Personally, I have a hard time picturing adults trying to pressure alcoholic friends and family members to drink at social events. If such behavior is in fact happening, beyond the ninth grade level, as Benton claims, such behavior belongs high up in the @$$hole category along with teasing drug addicts with crack. Yet, the taunting of alcoholics, by moral cripples, is still no reason to legislate access to wine for the rest us. I want to be free to play poker at my local bar while downing a triple cheeseburger, fries, onion rings, and a hunk of French Brie. I want to be free to wash it all down with a good bottle of wine as thick smoke hangs over the table like a cloud.

Not every harmful substance/activity should be banned, and not every bad idea should be illegal. Trying to legislate morality, or even common sense, is not only futile, it's counter productive. Half your population is going to turn to organized crime to get their fix of whatever it was you banned, and the other half will be molded into high fiber eating conformist robots who can no longer think for themselves. Instead of making laws, how about pumping money into education, so folks can make informed decisions about how to spend their Saturday nights and what to put into their bodies?

Better yet, how about taking personal responsibility for our actions, and accepting the consequences, instead of having big brother dictate every little piece of the puzzle? And, if you do have a problem with, alcohol, gambling, or cholesterol, how about surrounding yourself with people who are going to encourage you to do the right thing, instead of tempting you with the substance/activity you’re trying to avoid?

1 comment:

  1. You just said it all. Personal responsibility instead of the government telling us what to do.