This news story about a child killed by an illegal immigrant drunk driver would be just another in the endless string of DUI fatality
stories. But this one has people angry because it comes at the same time President Obama has stated his intention to make drunk driving convictions a non-deportable offense.
While this is playing out nationally as part of the immigration issue, there is another issue inspiring the President. And it taps into the cultural change that needs to take place if we are going to put an end to drunk driving.
This president is a stunningly normal guy. He has a many traits that are common with a lot of people. One of these traits that he has shown publically and repeatedly is that he likes to drink now and again. [“we’ll have a Your Favorite Drink – Summit”] This puts him eye to eye with average folks like you and me. We see high profile people from entertainers to businessmen to presidents who use alcohol as a noticeable facet of who they are in order to make us like them.
But here’s the thing. When a high profile figure publicly expresses an appreciation for alcohol, it would be positive for the Culture to see them also come out and take a stand against drunk driving. Again, it’s really the same for you and me. Regardless of whether we drink or not, we each need to take a personal stand against drunk driving and vow to prevent it around us. That affects the people around us in our own private audiences. The President’s audience is as big as it gets. The impact could be huge.
It is a challenge though, because inherently when we like something controversial, we seek to intellectually ‘accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.’ Think about it. When was the last time you heard any major sports team owner or manager say anything bad about drunk driving? The truth is, when a player or manager gets arrested for DUI, these guys never even utter the words drunk driving. Now that’s eliminating the negative! Only the drunk driving doesn’t seem to go away by sweeping it under the rug. Like my aging mother-in-law, they are surprised every time the same thing happens again.
Drunk driving is deadly. A third of all the DUI offenders to be affected by President Obama’s decision Will be arrested again. Many of them WILL kill. Is it really too much to ask that we not roll out the welcome mat to potential killers?
Perhaps inside, it complicates matters for Obama that his uncle is a serial drunk driver with immigration issues. People who drink tend to be compassionate towards drunk drivers to the point of drinking with them and letting them drive away. It happens all the time.
So we have a president deciding who should stay and who should go. He has the unusual opportunity to take a bold stand against drunk driving and literally save hundreds of lives. He could impact modern culture. But something won’t let him. Is it a kinship he feels with the likeable soul who has simply had a beer or two and managed to drive home? Is it the family thing?
I’d really like to have a Latte Summit with this guy find out what’s driving him. Why are so many Americans going to have to die because of this decision?
And as I like to point out, drunk driving is common in both parties. This has nothing to do with political parties and everything to do with preventing death. Don’t forget, we could experience three 911 style attacks every year and drunk driving would still kill more Americans. That’s Terror! Drunk driving needs to be addressed publically and consistently. It needs to be part of the dialog if we are to see any real change. Any opportunity to change the behaviors cause drunk driving needs to be seized.
That said, I predict a golfcart DUI in this president’s future.