Thursday, March 25, 2010

Prohibition and the Healthcare Bill

In 1920, 37 states ratified the 18th Amendment to our Constitution and it became law. That Amendment started the Prohibition era of American History. It may have been a noble endeavor to restrict the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States, but it did not work. During the next 13 years, Prohibition proved that sometimes even good intentions have bad consequences. Not only did Prohibition ruin many good businesses (it devastated the city of St. Louis), it gave the Mob, or organized crime, the economic power to grow into a organization almost as powerful as our Government. In addition, many otherwise upright and model citizens (the moonshiners and rum runners) became criminals in the eyes of the government. (On a side note, it also gave us what was to become NASCAR.) One of the families rumored to have gotten rich off of illegal booze during the Prohibition was named Kennedy. In 1933, after thirteen years of such flagrant disregard for the law that the government was simply unable to enforce it, the 21st Amendment to our Constitution nullified Prohibition. It is estimated that before the law was struck down, there were more than 100,000 illegal "speakeasies" in New York City alone.

What does Prohibition have to do with the recently enacted Healthcare Bill? I think at least two things. 1. Laws that affect everyone personally and do not concern "right or wrong" are not popular and are not soon forgotten. 2. It may take a while, but eventually the People will have their way.

I just hope that we are not subjects to a totalitarian regime before we are angry enough to have our way. Even so, as our founding fathers proved, being subjects of a totalitarian regime is not enough to keep a committed group of fiery patriots from having freedom!

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