Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Repeal Day

Today, as I was informed by TNR, is "Repeal Day" - the anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment - repealing Prohibition.

I do like being reminded that this country, based on freedom and liberty for all, forbade the sale and transport of alcohol. It's important to remember that whenever we talk about our "freedoms" and about the separation of church and state, that in 1919 a bunch of religious zanies convinced enough other crazies in 36 states to ban alcohol. So when you think "It Can't Happen Here" - referring to anything our current crop of crazies want, from banning abortion, or science, or other religions - remember prohibition.

To further emphasize that point: while it was the 18th Amendment that prohibited alcohol, it was the 21st Amendment that we celebrate today. What were the 2 Amendments that came between? Well, the 19th gave women the vote (1920) and the 20th changed the date of assumption of Federal office from March to January (1933).

The 20th makes sense when you realize that Hoover (who will soon be called the "20th Century version of George W. Bush") who was roundly kicked out of office in 1932, was still able to mess the country over for 5 more months. When Jan 21 2009 rolls around we will thank the 20th Amendment with almost the same fervor that it inspired back in '33. [Fun fact: the GOP renominated Hoover to run in 1932; those kidders.]

But it's the 19th that hammers home the point about prohibition. That we're such a free country that we thought of restricting individual freedom even before we allowed 50% of the country to even vote! Yes, America is truly the land of the Free... but when do we say the freedom actually started?!

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