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We can all get along together, if the zealots back off


Two recent events that occurred on opposite sides of the world demonstrate that when it comes to the clash between pro- and anti-alcohol sentiments, common sense can result in compromises everyone can live with.

Over in El Dorado County, in the Sierra Foothills, they’ve been having a battle for years between wineries that stage tourist-attracting events, and resident neighbors who object to the increased noise and traffic. As I blogged here just the other day, wine tourism contributes billions of dollars to the California economy every year, and so ought to be encouraged. However, as a resident on a busy street in the inner city, I know full well the annoyance of constant noise and vehicular traffic. So the people who live near the wineries have rights, too. Read this description of a new draft agreement between the wineries and their neighbors in El Dorado. It may not have made anyone completely happy, but it’s a good compromise that lets everyone feel they got something.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Thailand, a similar drama played itself out, as the country’s Public Health Minister backed off a ridiculous proposal to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol on religious holidays and even over the New Year holiday. “[u]nrealistic” and unenforceable, thundered the After the public outcry reached a crescendo, the minister withdrew his proposal, and the good citizens and tourists of Thailand will continue to be able to enjoy a glass of wine or beer in peace.

Both of these are instances where extremists tried but failed to impose their will on everybody else. I have a feeling the outcome will be the same here in the U.S., come Election Day.

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