The Moral Panic Continues


Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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39 Responses

  1. Avatar Scott says:

    I don’t think it is moral panic so much as the liberal mommy statism. Mommy always knows best for her children just like SF and their Happy Meal ban.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

      I’m inclined to stay with the moral panic angle. I find the invocation of “our children” particularly revealing. Here, I’d thought alcohol was only sold to adults 21 and over, and charges to the contrary clearly aren’t what this issue is about.

      Either a 21-year-old is an adult, or he’s a child. The answer can’t be whatever suits your side in the debate of the moment.Report

      • Avatar Aaron W says:

        @Jason Kaznicki: Well, the way this is going anyone under 30 is still a child, apparently. We’ll have to create a new class of citizens for young adults besides just ‘adults’ and ‘minors’… Yadults? Y’Dolts? Any ideas on a name?

        @Scott: Thankfully Gavin Newsom vetoed that ban, but he’s running off to the Lt. Governor’s office at the end of the year…Report

      • Avatar ThatPirateGuy says:

        All I can say is I’m glad that this moral panic isn’t going to ruin as many lives as the secret satanic abuse/cult one did.

        Damning with faint praise and all that.Report

  2. Avatar MFarmer says:

    It’s a liberal who’s morally panicking.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Unfortunatly substance warriorism is a bipartisan affair, otherwise it’d be easier to get rid of.Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

        Really North? What goofball in the GOP other than those that should be commie-Dems, would support this nonsense….this is pure, unadulterated commie-Demism!
        Hey, did you see all our new friends..they’re funny!Report

        • Avatar Barrett Brown says:

          The, um, commie-Dems are certainly guilty of a lot of this nonsense, but let’s remember who created the position of drug czar for which conservative stalwart. The Tea Party crowd will get my sympathy when I see them take the criminalization of half the citizenry by way of the drug war as seriously as they do far more innocuous instances of statism.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            The Tea Party crowd will get my sympathy when I see them take the criminalization of half the citizenry by way of the drug war as seriously as they do far more innocuous instances of statism.

            Is there any crowd that takes the drug war seriously? Let alone as seriously as the stuff they call “Commie-demism/Fascism” that the other side dismisses as “innocuous instances of statism”?

            (I know the libertines do, but they’re irrelevant.)Report

            • Avatar Barrett Brown says:

              There’s a distributed faction of people who would jump at the chance to end the drug war but of course we’ve been marginalized by both major parties due to a variety of dynamics. Now that the landscape is changing due to the internet, it’s only a matter of time before someone takes the lead in uniting these people into a single entity that will work outside of the system to change the system itself. The alternative is to depend on the American people to tackle the issue in some manner consistent with what it claims to believe about individual liberty.Report

            • Avatar MFarmer says:

              No one is taking the lead. But, marijauna is practically legal as it is — it’s hard to believe we can’t take one more little step. I’ve got land I need to put to use.Report

        • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

          I was going to say that the lefty moral panic over Four Loko is nothing compared to the fascist Republican[1] moral panic over gay homosexuals.

          [1] Confidential to R.C.: Turnabout is fair play, isn’t it? Your commie-Dem schtick really wears after a while.Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

            J.K. …me, annoying? If this keeps up I may subscribe and/or contribute to Cato! Did you have anyone in mind when you wrote “fascist Republican?”Report

            • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

              I had absolutely no one in mind. I just find your nicknames for Democrats unhelpful.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

                In the spirit of concilliation, in which I am well known, I could return to “librul-Dem?” Does that work?Report

              • Avatar Barrett Brown says:

                I’ve always thought Dhimmicrat to be relatively clever, even if it is entirely insane in light of the Bush/House of Saud alliance.Report

              • Avatar Matty says:

                From a conservative? yes that worksso well , I must say I’m looking forward to America’s version of the spending review, not to mention the strategic defence review.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

                Actually, your “fascist-Republicans” makes a decent point, though not the conscious recognition that “commie-Dem” does e.g. most folks understand that to be a registered Democrat one must have a decided statist inclination.
                If your really experiencing angst I can go to “C-Dem,” if that’ll hep.Report

      • Avatar MFarmer says:

        I was just saying that Schumer is a panicking liberal, trying to combine the charges.Report

        • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

          The Democrats do seem to be much worse on these sorts of nannying issues when it comes to food and drink, no question about it.Report

          • Avatar Oroboros says:

            I rather like Jonathan Haidt’s take on this in his TED talk. In short, he claims that “purity” is a universal moral value. The primary difference between (social) conservatives and (eco) liberals is that the former focus on sexuality while the latter focus on food.Report

  3. Avatar D.A. Ridgely says:

    “Parents should be able to rest a little easier knowing that soon their children won’t have access to this deadly brew.”

    That Chuck Schumer! Such a card!Report

  4. Avatar Matty says:

    So when will you be reinstating the 18th ammendment?Report

  5. Avatar Will says:

    League Public Service Announcement –

    There is now a “Four Lokator Map” that tracks legislation banning or restricting Four Loko:

    Anyone who has used the accompanying site to post his or her Four Loko story is encouraged to reproduce them here, at no extra charge.Report

  6. Avatar Rufus says:

    I’ve never entirely understood the undergrad fad for combining vodka and Red Bull, but what’s funniest about this law is that people have been mixing stuff like that, on their own, for years- and long before Four Loko- and will continue to do so without problem. It’s not like they’re making one substance illegal; they’re saying that two substances are perfectly legal until you mix them together- although, actually, that’s legal too, provided you don’t sell it. So, I suppose you could just ask for the bartender to give you a rum and a coke and please look away.Report

    • Well, if I’m prohibited from ordering a non-decaf Irish coffee in a freezing cold poker room in Atlantic City, I just want to announce in advance that there will be blood.Report

    • Avatar Barrett Brown says:

      It’s actually not a fad; I lived in Dar es Salaam back in 98 when there were more Americans than usual in the area due to the embassy attack and vodka and Red Bulls were the big thing at the ex-pat bars. Among the few things I remember about that period was that everyone was pissed off about the Red Bull shipping containers being stuck on the docks due to “fees.”Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. says:

        Okay, well then I support any legal means to prevent people from drinking that swill. And I’d like a law requiring all men over the age of 35 to retun to smoking pipe tobacco.Report

        • Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

          ….or cigars?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            I was reading an essay by C.S. Lewis and he mentioned something about “young men and their cigarettes” in contrast to the serious adults who smoked their pipes.

            The past is another country.

            And now I’m thinking about cigarettes again.Report

            • Avatar Rufus F. says:

              When I was too young to smoke and still smoked, we found it much easier to have a friend buy a big bag of pipe tobacco than regular packs of cigarettes. I have several pictures of my 16 year old self doing a J.R. “Bob” Dobbs impression with a pipe.Report