The poll is based off of this article, which discusses the attempts of several states to lower lower the drinking age from 21 to 18.
Some states – Kentucky, Wisconsin and South Carolina – have introduced legislation that would lower the drinking age only for military personnel. Missouri, South Dakota, Vermont and Minnesota are considering lowering the drinking age for everyone.
Let’s address the first part – From my point of view, drinking ages should not be lowered for military personnel only, for several reasons. The primary reason is that it presumes that military folks have some larger measure of responsibility than those who do not choose that route. While military life certainly gives a large measure of skills responsibility to those straight out of high school, learning how to drink (and yes, there is a skill to drinking responsibly) is not one of them.
As to the larger question of “Should all legal drinking ages be lowered to 18?”, it’s difficult to give a pat answer to this without addressing the fact that here in America, we seem to have a fear of alcohol which prevents us from discussing it in a mature manner with each other. It’s akin to our fear of discussing sex with one another without tittering like a twelve year old.
As always, this fear comes from lack of education. If a parent or adult teaches an teenager about alcohol in a mature, responsible way, then yes, I have no problem with drinking ages being lowered. But I’m not sure that this will happen on a regular basis. I would like to see the drinking age lowered, but I’d also like to see people treat eighteen year olds like adults instead of high schoolers +1.