It's Official -- MADD is About Tea-totalling, Not Drunken Driving

Hat tip to Radley Balko, from 1150 WDEL

And, the leader of an anti-drunk driving group hopes those images don't send the wrong message to the millions of young people who saw the president drinking on TV.

Nancy Raynor is president of the Delaware chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

She says her group isn't "prohibitionist," but it is is concerned about what teens and childrens take away from seeing the president drinking on TV.

Kids would have seen the President drinking a very modest amount of alcohol, and then not driving. And this has what to do with drunk driving? Answer: nothing. Because despite her protestations, MADD has become a prohibitionist organization.

  • Tim

    Coyote, the word is teetotal, not teatotal. The etymology is that the "t" is a reduplication of total, just like D-Day.

  • Danny

    I, due to my religious orientation, think that drinking in generally is ethically and morally wrong. However, I recognize that the rest of the nation does not. I can not change how the nation perceives drinking in an ethical or moral context.

    MADD can't change the ethical or moral perspective of the nation either. So why not focus on how those who we disagree with can reduce their danger to others, instead of trying to change morals? Someone who drinks is of no danger to me or anyone else if that drinking is responsible and contained. I still disagree with it, but at least it is safe.

  • James

    @Danny

    Two things: first, it's nice to see someone disagree with something on a moral level without looking to ban that behavior.

    Second, I'm genuinely curious as to why your religion (don't care which) views drinking as ethically and morally wrong. I've never really understood this. Assuming you're of some judeo-christian faith, both the old and new testament are chock full of booze, as are many religious observations today. Is it the effect that results from being drunk?

  • NewEnglandDevil

    While I do partake, I believe I can shed some light on the religious argument.

    1) The reason for drinking alcoholic beverages in that day was that it was safer than drinking water (at least surface water), which was usually contaminated with various pathogens once enough people were in proximity to it. Also, the alcoholic beverages were usually less potent (by a couple per cent?) than what we produce today.

    2) It is the effects, as even small amounts of alcohol can begin to affect inhibitions and judgment.

  • DKH

    As a college student, the drinking around me always annoyed me because people allow their actions while drinking to affect others negatively; e.g. the party in the next door apartment with the extremely loud music late at night. There may be a negative externality to some drinking, in that people become irresponsible, so I can see why some religions might consider it unethical or some communities want to legislate against it.

    However, given that alcohol exists and that it will be in people's hands regardless of the law, I'm not sure what the best "solution" is, and I think that some current laws exacerbate the "problem," however it is defined.

  • @NewEnglandDevil

    1) Based on taste, I strongly suspect that's still the case with the municipal water supply where I live.

    2) So in many cases it allows people to behave socially in ways they would naturally if they weren't inhibited by ancient superstitions (of course it contributes to plenty of flat-out stupidity as well, DUI being among the worst of it). Many people I know drink (and/or do recreational drugs) because it helps them get over and around the fear and anxieties they have about people seeing them cut loose - and the vast majority of this behavior is harmless fun. It makes them feel like they can be themselves. In vino veritas and all that. Ironically, being less religious removes this "need," and as a bonus you get free entertainment in the form of intoxicated buffoonery from your friends.