It’s been noticed more than a few times that there aren’t many substantive differences between the Republicans and Democrats.
While this is true in many ways for the parties themselves, the Left and Right certainly differ on a range of issues from welfare to abortion to gay rights.
What they have in common — at least the mainstream varieties — is a desire to use the state to shape society in whatever way they see fit. As Andrew Napolitano put it, “We have migrated from a two-party system into a one-party system, the big-government party. There’s a democratic wing that likes taxes and wealth transfers and assaults on commercial liberties and there’s a republican wing that likes war and deficits and assaults uncivil liberties.” And both parties love prohibition, just of different things.
There aren’t many people left who believe the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s was a good idea. Interestingly enough, it was the progressives of the time that pushed for that. As historian William Leuchtenburg noted, “It was a movement that was embraced by progressives.” On the other side, in the words of historian Daniel Okrent, were the “… economic conservatives who … pushed so hard for repeal.”
Prohibition turned out to be a disaster. A report from the Cato Institute found that after Prohibition passed in 1920, homicide rates increased, corruption increased, alcohol-related deaths were unchanged and after a short dip in 1921, alcohol consumption returned to what it had been before the law was passed. Furthermore, in the midst of this chaos, Al Capone and organized crime came to power. Indeed, black markets and prohibition go together like peas and carrots.
In the past, it was usually the progressives who wanted to use the state to tell people what they could and could not put in their own bodies. However, something must have changed among conservatives as the Right has generally been at the vanguard of the War on Drugs (although, with plenty of help from many on the Left). In 1971, Richard Nixon decided to try prohibition all over again, but this time with cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
And of course, it has failed in every way imaginable.
One comment on “Guns, Drugs, and Booze: The Bipartisan Support for Prohibition”
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Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.
If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
POLICE STATE USA
You learn that you either are going to have a police state where you don't have any freedom left, or you're going to build a world that doesn't create terrorists, and that means a whole different way of getting along.