With what can only be described as noble indifference – the new political posture of politically correct and “tolerant” Republicans – many otherwise thoughtful Utahns have gone just plain goofy over Utah liquor laws, especially the “Zion Curtain.”
Whenever Sutherland Institute publishes any argument to further regulate liquor sales and consumption, the boo-birds come out in full force – not to argue, just to mock from their perches (far away from the “embarrassment”).
Sutherland Institute continues to emphasize the cultural and educative role of liquor policy. First, liquor is a personal and societal negative. Pertaining to character, liquor never has made any human being a better person. Never. And a free society requires that we become our better selves.
Second, liquor makes human beings less free, if being truly free requires full mental faculties. A corollary is that liquor consumption by degree makes a human being less free by degree.
Third, liquor consumption impairs cognitive judgment and mechanical skills. In the wrong place at the wrong time, liquor consumption creates public safety problems.
Fourth, liquor consumed by children is harmful to the child, especially in brain development. To dismiss the ill effects on children of the outward culture of drinking as an isolated matter for parents not only displays a naiveté about the real world, it also displays a sad ignorance of the proper role of law and government in the maintenance of a free society.
Fifth, in an aggregate, a culture of drinking can exist – such as in a bar setting. In these circumstances, most policy-makers feel fully justified in regulating a culture of drinking.
The argument over the Zion Curtain is about addressing a culture of drinking in restaurants – not in an existing culture of drinking but in a culture of dining. Again, few serious people object to regulating a culture of drinking in a bar. Oddly, though, a growing number of otherwise intelligent people fail to see how they unwittingly invite this culture of drinking into non-drinking cultures, as in a restaurant. They argue in a circular fashion that we don’t need bar-like drinking regulations in a restaurant because a restaurant isn’t a bar, so why regulate drinking in restaurants? Continue reading