Here’s an interesting editorial from the Wisconsin State Journal. It concerns the Dane County Fair held last weekend in Wisconsin. It’s the world’s largest brat fest and this year organizers added a beer tent for the first time. Neo-prohibitionists, naturally, had been complaining since at least 2000 when the idea was first floated. The neo-prohibitionists predicted all manner of horrors, none of which came to pass. In the words of Monty Python, “all of a sudden, nothing happened.” As the editorial puts it:
Despite wild predictions of problems, the rides, entertainment and youth exhibits went off just as wholesomely as before.
The editorial continues:
But moderate drinking can be relaxing and healthy, doctors tell us. Drinking responsibly also can set a good example for young people who, before long, will be old enough to drink as they choose.
Family events such as the Brat Fest, Dane County Fair and Rhythm & Booms close before midnight, which discourages heavy drinking. Organizers also tend to use wristbands, designated areas and other precautions to ensure beer is served and consumed sensibly.
The sizeable crowds come for the entertainment first. The beer is just one small option for those adults who want it. It’s not even close to being the main event.
So lighten up, alarmists, and respect the vast number of Wisconsin residents who drink responsibly especially at daytime and early evening events catering to families.
The fact that people can and some people do abuse alcohol has been used by temperance groups and the modern neo-prohibitionists for time immemorial. People abuse food, too, but I’m not about to give it up or argue for its prohibition. For any pursuit, hobby, or activity you can name there’s at least a couple of people who will take things too far. That seems to be a facet of our human nature. But the vast majority can enjoy any pursuit, including drinking beer responsibly, without becoming a burden on society or corrupting our youth. As usual, the potential corruption of our youth was the bulwark that the neo-prohibitionints in Dane County tried to raise to keep beer out of the brat fest. But the reality is that adults should be allowed to enjoy adult pleasures in the presence of children without the fabric of society unraveling. If kids never see their parents or other adults drinking responsibly how will they learn to do so when they reach the arbitrary age of consent?