Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our Cutting Edge is Pretty Dull

Our fair state likes to think we are on the cutting edge. (After all, we have a female governor.) And, we are no longer in the nineteenth twentieth century. The country, as a whole, has become progressive.  In fact as of yesterday two states have recreational drug laws more liberal than those in Amsterdam. And, in several more states, people are free to marry their true loves.

The United States has come a far cry from the temperance movement against the sins and perils of liquor, pleading for the passage of the 18th amendment to save the souls of those who had gone astray. And then passing the 19th amendment giving American women the right to vote. Of course, on December 5, 1933, the country, much to the dismay of Frances Willard and her crew, saw the error of its way and enacted the 21st amendment which repealed the 18th amendment. Happy Days were here again. 

So over the years, as Virginia Slims said it so well in their 1970's ad campaign, "You've come a long way baby." But, have we (all)?

On election night, some national media outlet (I cannot remember which one) posted a trivia question, "What do only South Carolina and Kentucky outlaw on Election Day?" The choices were (a) dancing, (b) applying for a business license, (c) selling alcoholic beverages, or (d) all of the above. Knowing South Carolina and our penchant for not wanting to be too reckless, there was a good chance the answer was (d) all of the above. But, naturally since many Baptists in the state legislature were still contemplating the wisdom of the 21st amendment, the answer had to be (c) selling alcoholic beverages - which is the correct answer.

Perhaps "cutting edge" is up to interpretation. Here we have one part of the country where an individual can go into a regulated store and buy marijuana for recreational use and our state where the legislature feels they need to protect the electorate from the evils from alcohol on election day and the Blue Laws keep us all in check on the Sabath, should we be tempted by Satan to stray.

However, it is still legal to beat your wife on the courthouse steps, but only on Sunday. And, horses may not be kept in bathtubs. (We really need to work on that one.)

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