Cheap Beer is a Conservative Plot

cheap-beerHeather Mallick is back with another sanctimonious rant, this time on how Ontario needs an intervention to prevent liberalization of alcohol sales, from her of course.

The Ontario Conservative government has an alcohol problem. It wants the alcoholic vote. Call this an intervention. The ability of everyone in Ontario to get a drink with the least effort and at the lowest cost — the cheap drunk is one easy demographic — is a crucial part of Premier Doug Ford’s strategy.

Those wanting more freely available (and therefore cheaper) alcohol are all alcoholics. Not a good start.

In theory, this is just another wing of its plan to keep so-called Ford Nation happy and that is why it named its latest scheme — it will destroy a legal contract with the Beer Store at a possible $1 billion cost — the “Bringing Choice and Fairness to the Alcoholics Act (Beverage Alcohol Retail Sales).” Yes, the Act technically refers to “People” rather than “Alcoholics” but I’m not wrong.

I beg to differ. Labeling anyone who drinks as an alcoholic is about as wrong as it gets.

What worries me is the possibility that it is not a plan but an instinct. In the Conservative world view, when you have a problem, your dream solution is to reach out your hand and have a drink placed in it.

You’re projecting.

But this is not true, not even for alcoholics, who will happily cab to purchase that brief careless rapture. Everyone has moments when they’ll take anything, anything, that eases the rub of life on the nerves. People become almost irretrievably attached to booze, legal pills, illegal pills, pot, injectables, snortables, inhaling, betting, work as a narcotic, food, shopping, streamed serial TV, coffee, sex with the person who is most wrong for them, semi-detached houses that don’t need a lot of reno in Toronto neighbourhoods with access to transit … all those things are very much wantable by someone at some point. How attractive is folly.

Not everyone has your inept level of impulse control. I don’t need a government nanny to save me from myself. Like most adults, I’m capable of controlling my impulses.

The reporting by the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau on Ford’s peculiar sense of mission has been stellar. The idea that voters are consumed with the idea that the means to buy booze should be slightly cheaper or prettier or more ample is a myth. Who drinks at 9 a.m. at a golf course? They do at the airport, and even then they wish they didn’t have to.

What the hell? Who doesn’t want cheaper alcohol?

No, it cares about beer because beer is a social marker, a shorthand. Wine is considered urban but buck-a-beer is rural/semi-urban. Men drink it. Men with beerbellies drink it. To a government mysteriously seeking a vote that it already has, drinking beer is a signal that a man is a regular guy. But Ford is not a regular guy. He doesn’t drink. He’s not anxious. He’s not renting.

How the fuck is beer sexist? Just because Ford realizes that reducing the hassle and cost of purchasing alcohol is popular, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

It is very much a problem that any government in power would believe this of the regular guy vote. Alcohol causes hospitalization, crime and early death. It destroys families and jobs, and eventually its victims drink to block out what they lost by drinking.

When alcohol is consumed responsibly, it does none of these things. In our society, alcohol is–as it should be–legal. Get off your sanctimonious high horse. The only reason you are bitching about this is that you don’t like Doug Ford.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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