It's gonna be a long summer. It’s no secret that forbidden fruit is the sweetest. And if people want to do something badly enough they’re going to do it.

For a lot of people, especially young people, summer is about parties, congregating, socializing and drinking with friends.

That’s one of the reasons that there was such a push to open bars and restaurants at the beginning of the summer. During prohibition, we saw that no law was going to stop people from drinking and congregating if that’s what they wanted to do. So of course they were forced to do it in hidden bars and underground speakeasies. When Gov. Phil Murphy had his little temper tantrum early in the summer and rescinded his plans to re-open restaurants, what else would he expect besides the out-of-control parties that we are seeing proliferating across New Jersey?

This time it was 700 people in an Airbnb in Jackson. And of course these parties turn out to be more dangerous, if you think about it, because with fewer places for people to hang out, everyone is herded into one of the few parties instead of equally distributed among hundreds of bars in the area.

Wouldn’t it be safer to just re-open bars and restaurants where there’s actually a limit on capacity? Where there is actually some adult supervision like bouncers and managers and bosses to make sure that rules are being followed and that kids aren’t getting so stinkin' drunk that they can’t see straight?

Like a lot of Murphy’s draconian policies during the COVID-19 shutdown, this was not well thought-out. The parties will not stop. Eventually he’ll have another tantrum and begin reducing capacity limits again. Even New Jersey State Police Col. Pat Callahan admitted at a press conference this week that the ban on indoor dining is probably what’s creating this trend. Ya think? Have we learned nothing from prohibition?

But Murphy will continue to hold fast to his rules, whether they make sense or not, whether they are constitutional or not, or whether they really help or not. He’s the boss, after all.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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