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This Way Lies MADDness

It’s becoming clearer, with each appointment President Obama makes, that his agenda is a simple one: control. The latest example is the naming of Chuck Hurley as the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Hurley is currently the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

While it’s encouraging that a group with “Mothers” in its name would allow a man to be its CEO, that brief amusement is dwarfed by the realization of just what MADD has become: a profound exemplar of the “nanny state” mentality.

MADD started with a truly  noble cause: to fight drunk driving. At the time, DWI was viewed largely as a minor offense, and a bit of a joke. They set out to change the public’s perception, to make everyone aware of just how great a scourge the phenomenon was. They wanted to turn the drunk driver from a laughingstock to a pariah.

And they succeeded.

But then they ran into the same problems that most successful advocacy groups have: what do you do after you’ve won? In most cases (see the March of Dimes, which was started to fight polio — and is still going strong decades after the disease was pretty much eradicated), they repurpose themselves and find some related causes to keep their momentum going.

In MADD’s case, once enough people came around to seeing drunk driving the way they do, they decided to dedicate themselves to other forms of highway safety. And they brought the same crusading, sanctimonious moral high dudgeon with them.

In recent years, MADD has  come out in favor of mandatory seat belt laws, they’ve shown up to sobriety checkpoints (presumably, to make sure the offenders are properly scolded), they’ve called for the legal limit for blood alcohol to be cut in half, and they’ve argued for ALL cars to have mandatory alcohol-testing interlock devices installed on them. And Hurley himself has been a strong advocate of “red light cameras” which have been shown to actually increase accidents under some circumstances.

With Hurley heading up NHTSA, we can rest assured that the government will do everything it can to keep us from taking silly, foolish chances or thinking for ourselves. All we have to do is just sit back, relax, and let them do our thinking for us.


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