On the 16th day of January 1919 the loudest and squeakiest wheel of all squeaky wheels of the day, the Temperance Union, achieved their ultimate desire with the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment.
The Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the production, transport, and sale of intoxicating liquors in the United States. The proponents of the law believed that all of society’s ills would be magically washed down the drain along with the many gallons of alcohol. Of course, this was just an ill-conceived fantasy.
The Prohibition of alcohol increased the nation’s thirst for alcohol and with legal means of production and distribution now forbidden organized crime was all too happy to fill the void. Sometimes it’s the medicine itself that causes the pain.
While Prohibition slogged on for 13-plus long years there was a growing understanding that Prohibition had caused more ills than had solved. Many former Prohibitionists vocally joined the repeal movement and by 1932 the will for repeal was strong enough to become a platform for politicians. On December 5, 1933, Utah, became the final state required to reach the three-quarter majority, ratifying the Twenty-First Amendment repealing Prohibition.
It is this day, December 5 – Repeal Day – that we celebrate. However, we can never forget that there would have been no need for the 21st Amendment had there been no 18th Amendment.
It is a human flaw to believe that one knows what is best for their neighbor. When this arrogance is married with government you get tyranny. Jefferson warned, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Even a nation that was conceived in liberty can veer towards tyranny when a good number of its citizens permit the government to tell them what they must purchase or what they cannot.
We at BevX raise a glass to Repeal Day the beautiful reckoning of a grave error and the warm embrace of individual liberty.