My philosophy is simple.
To the greatest extent possible, I want freedom.
I don’t think that’s a radical notion. I believe most people everywhere want that.
Of course there should be laws. I’m no anarchist. But we need as few as necessary to ensure a relatively orderly society.
Beyond that, just give me freedom. Bucket loads of it.
So here we are at a crossroads in Corbin again. Just like in 2003. Are we going to allow the sale of alcohol in our city? Back then it was for restaurants. We took the plunge. It’s been OK. The world did not end. Now, it’s whether we are going to give people the freedom to buy it in a store by the package.
To me, this is a no-brainer. When you brush aside the hysterics you are left with a simple question? Do you want to be more free or less?
There are arguments over economics, of course.
To be sure, the city will take in a lot of tax money from alcohol sales if this goes through. And, despite what you may have heard to the contrary, that money will be used on all sorts of things like more police, improved equipment for the fire department, better roads and sidewalks, etc. I can cite you one city after another in Kentucky that has done so. Also, some jobs will be created. But these are just side effects of more freedom. It’s not really about economics.
Neither is this debate really about overindulgence, alcoholism, DUI’s, teen drinking or any other greater societal problem associated with alcohol. Lest we forget, alcohol possession and consumption is NOT illegal in the city of Corbin. Never has been. People can literally guzzle it by the gallons and never be arrested for doing so. Nobody is suggesting we change that. Any problems that go along with drinking alcohol will remain, no matter the outcome of next Tuesday’s vote, as long as possession and consumption is allowed.
So, let’s be honest with ourselves here. Continuing the ancient policy of Prohibition has become sort of a joke. We all kind of know that deep down I think, except in Barbourville, apparently. I know some like living an anachronism, but our political leaders repealed it nationwide, in no small part, because it was viewed as an affront to personal liberty. The pockets of it that remain are becoming increasingly isolated and are the subject of curiosity and snickering by those who figured out long ago it is sort of silly. Just about everyone that lives in a “dry” or “moist” territory is within easy driving distance of somewhere to buy alcohol – either a business or a bootlegger. Every year, more communities are signing up to go “wet.” Once they do, they never go back to being “dry.” Opponents will make all sorts of dire predictions about what will happen in Corbin if we approve this. Slums, rampant DUIs, an increase in wife beatings, starving children, strip bars, etc. Funny thing is, for something that causes so many problems, it is strange to me that few if any of the cities and counties that do this ever throw in the towel and undo it. Isn’t it logical to assume that perhaps they know something we don’t?
There are three more votes on alcohol happening in this area this month and next. Somebody is going to do it. Do we want to be left out in the cold? Why allow our community to bleed cash to London, for instance, when we can keep it right here? That, to me, would be foolish and unwise.
I think the trend here is inevitable. The reason for it is clear.
At the end of the day, most people desire more freedom. The choice is pretty straightforward. You either want more freedom or you don’t. You decide.