If we have to pick a time when things went really bad in American politics, we might choose the 1980s, because while Reagan seized the higher levels of power and used that authority to fight off the insane Soviets, the useful idiots and insane neurotics of America were steadily destroying the understructure of American society.
At the forefront of this was Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). They are a classic liberal outfit, complete with pictures of children killed by drunk drivers, and most importantly, pre-emptive guilt. Pre-emptive guilt is the power of all Leftist tropes: they are things which you cannot oppose without “looking bad” to your social group.
For example, who advocates drunk driving? None of us, because except for a few rare exceptions who are good at it because they enjoy it, it is a terrible idea. Most of us are less competent and have terrible judgment when drunk, which is why we try to avoid it.
The real problem of drunk driving is simple: people drink, and they need to get home. They go home at the end of the night, after drinking, when the “high” of the drunk has faded, and the depressant symptoms kick in, making them more likely to fall asleep and jump the center lane and plough into that bus full of orphans, which then bursts into flame.
(Insert imaginary screams of homosexual transgender minority learning disabled atheist orphans dying in agony here.)
MADD took over the political landscape by storm. Where the old guard opposed special interest groups like MADD, people were convinced to support it by the tear-jerking stories of the endless casualties of drunk driving. No one thought to look to the cause of drunk driving, which was surmised to be moral evilness.
Soon there were many laws against drunk driving. Not surprisingly, the only party that came out ahead was government, which collects between $6,000-$10,000 per drunk driving arrest and conviction. Mostly however they catch the unwary, people who are irregular drinkers.
The drunks on the road, at least in this part of the world, continue. They have realized that the cops do not patrol the freeways, and so if they manage to sneak past the waiting legal predators on the side streets, they have a straight shot home. The cops in the meantime have realized that waiting outside bars to catch wayward dads is more profitable.
This is typical for a venture by Democracy, Inc. The special interest group rises, and demands reforms. These are accomplished through law and regulation, which creates mirrored sets of bureaucrats, those in the government and in private industry to deal with the new reality. In the end, the only people who pay are the ordinary folk.
Drunk driving was illegal before MADD got involved, but it demanded that you actually be drunk and not just tipsy. Using the tipsy standard, which is usually about three beers in an hour, the cops can arrest more of the people who can pay — ordinary people — and not arrest the career drunks, who spend all their money on alcohol and thus would be a net loss for the State to prosecute.
And yet, if anyone were to advocate peeling back these bad laws, they would be accused of hating children. If you support anything but absurd and dramatic action against social ills, you are obviously the devil.
Since few have looked into the causes of drunk driving, the problem remains serious as the fatal crashes continue. One sensible approach might be to provide public transportation, and another would be to encourage local watering holes so that drunks can stumble home instead of driving.
Another unorthodox solution would be to end the laws that demand bars close at 2 AM. Those who are drinking until closing time would then have a place to stay, and/or pass out in a corner, instead of being forced out into the cold world with no option but to drive their car home before it gets burgled.
Of course, we also might inquire as to why so many people are regularly drinking until obliteration. This is also a fertile line of exploration, as miserable jobs and shattered families encourage this kind of mundane binging.
Real social problems require widespread fixes, not symbolic and emotional acts. But those are what get the votes and money, mainly because people are foolish sheep, as the ongoing success of MADD shows us. And in the model of MADD, thousands of new special interest groups have sprung up, each one further tearing apart social order with its polarized demands that do not take into account the structure of the whole.