Liberals and Prohibition … The Continuing Saga

The liberals/left just love to preach against, dictate, and then move-in on things THEY believe we shouldn’t have. This is ironically hilarious, given today’s pushy preachy “progressive” libs/left are yesterday’s 1960s “if it feels good do it … anything goes” open drug and sex culture. But our history shows “prohibition” is a miserable failure with the exact opposite result of it’s intention. Heck, libertarians argue our country has such a drug and crime problem because drugs are illegal … although I don’t agree with legalizing them as a solution. Countries where they are legal have just as many crime problems and drug addiction. Kyle Smith at the New York Post outlines some very interesting highlights from a new PBS mini-series, “Prohibition”, that have a lot of parallels with the prohibition and regulatory attempts by the left and the feds on our lives today. I will bet you thought, as I did, that the alcohol prohibition movement in this country in the early 20th Century was conservative-driven. Nope…

“People think of Prohibition as a conservative movement, but not at all. It was a movement that was embraced by progressives,” says historian Wiliiam Leuchtenburg in Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s riveting, rollicking, infuriating and very contemporary documentary “Prohibition.”

“Prohibition,” a three-part miniseries that airs starting tonight on PBS and comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, has many lessons to teach us about such antiquated, 1920s-era ideas as federal overreach, unfunded mandates to states, runaway taxation, a belief that great political leaders can accelerate human progress, crony capitalism, and of course the dire need of Washington to take steps to improve the lot of the poor and the children.

In other words, “Prohibition” is, to an almost mischievous extent, an investigative report about 2011.

Historian Catherine Gilbert Murdock, who provides a feminist voice to Burns and Novick’s film, says, of the times that gave rise to the dry movement, “There is a belief in human perfectibility — that humans can be perfect and alcohol is the fly in the ointment. You could have a perfect marriage if it weren’t for alcohol. You could you have a perfect husband if it weren’t for alcohol. You could have a perfect community if it weren’t for alcohol.”

And if you want perfection, who better to supply it than the federal government?


The many flaws in progressivism — the top-down, big-government, high-taxation model that seeks controls for benevolent reasons yet invariably falls prey to corruption — are as blatant today as they are in Burns and Novick’s film.


“Prohibition” is a virtual checklist of everything people dislike about DC today…

Read the whole thing

Meat. Smoking. Salt. Trans fats. French Fries (the potato in general). Happy Meal Toys. School bake sales. Public prayer. Christmas. “Bless you”. Incandescent light bulbs. Gas-fueld cars. Coal-fired power plants. Phosphates in our detergents. CO2. Free speech. The rich. Just to name a few…

6 thoughts on “Liberals and Prohibition … The Continuing Saga”

  1. What are the chances that Burns knows that Prohibition is a form of leftism? Do you think he meant this as a warning against Obamaism? I bet not.

    If you understand that it doesn’t work because conservatives know that man is not perfectible, then
    why do you oppose decriminalization of drugs? People will take them anyway. Let them be cheap and available so people will not have to steal to pay for them and take the money out of criminals’ hands. I think the reason this is not happening is that cops and others are on the take. Make it a severe crime to sell it to minors and let cops be freer to deal with real crime.

  2. This may be off-topic, but every time I see a cop being used to ambush somebody for a perfectly trivial traffic violation (which of course generates ticket money), I wonder what the priorities of the police are. Actually, I don’t wonder that much.

  3. @Honey –

    The parallels are made by the NY Post writer after his viewing of the mini-series. Not sure if Burns and Co. meant it to present the anti-left snide of our current feds situation, but with the liberals they always end up over-playing their hand and inadvertently revealing the REAL truth.

    As to drug legalization, I have problems with it that are too complicated to bother with, except that I have read several stories/studies on the countries that do have legalized drug use, and it is not the easing of crime and addiction/abuse that those in favor of legalization present it to be. As a matter of fact, in some of the Scandinavian countries they have whole segments of their population that are completely useless and on the nanny state teet for everything they need, including the drugs and the healthcare that goes along with the addiction/abuse. Also, when a crime is committed here the perp’s defense is that he/she was on drugs at the time. That should (because it is) be added to the charges because drug use is against the law. Either way, it is an excuse that is meant to lessen the personal responsibility of the person who committed the crime. With alcohol only drunk driving in an accident is the primary charge not dropped. Everyone I know in the medical profession (even the liberal ones) say drug legalization would be a disaster.

    @asombra –

    Hey! Them dollars mean donuts, ya know…

  4. The two main problems of drug use to me are the cost because criminals sell it and the fact that criminals sell it and make a fortune doing so.
    How could we reduce the cost and price the drug dealers out of the market?
    People take drugs anyway. I can’t believe that those who began in the first place might not have if some pusher didn’t encourage it. They are available everywhere. How do we scare people enough to make it ugly and reduce usage?

  5. You really can’t. Just look at somebody like Lindsay Lohan who continually gets what amounts to a ‘pass’ at every bad turn. The courts are back-logged with these people, as are the jails/prisons. So they cycle them through to make room for more.

    I had an aunt (was my Godmother) who smoked all her adult life. Whenever anyone tried to encourage her to stop smoking by stressing the cancer risks she would always say, “We all have to die from something.”

    She spent the last two years of her life fighting esophageal cancer (like what writer Christopher Hitchens is now battling), and the effects of the multiple surgeries and chemo/radiation treatments … One afternoon about a week or two before she died she hugged me sobbing (and this was a liberated woman who stood on her own all her life and took care of everyone in the family), “I didn’t know it would be this bad!”

    These people think it’ll just be a flash of lightening that takes them. Not the long drawn-out cycle of death every inch out of this world.

    Anyhow, they have to save themselves. Just like with alcoholism. You can drag them down to the crack houses or under the bridges, but they truly believe that’ll never happen to them.

  6. I just started watching the program and I see nanny Bloomberg and loving Mrs. Obama and the rest of the liberal crowd controlling what we eat and do. It always makes me laugh that the very people who talk about preserving a woman’s right to choose are the same ones who want to destroy the rest of our autonomy.
    I also sense on the program some comparison to the Tea Party. Is that good or bad according to the makers of this film?

Comments are closed.