Thursday, October 27, 2005

"Mob to take over $500 million liquor industry"

The Onion helps us celebrate the anniversary of the passage of the 18th Amendment. It made all alcohol illegal, which created such problems that it’s the only amendment to be directly repealed.

When looking on the noble history of the Constitution I think it’s important to keep episodes like this in mind. In our current political world the FMA was partly defeated by the argument that it would be bad to alter the constitution for something as trivial as the definition of marriage. There’s this idea that the Constitution should be only about the fundamental political rights and how our nation is governed, not the passionate cultural mores of the day.

But random cultural mores do work themselves in. At some time, the overwhelming majority of our country thought it would be a good idea to prohibit alcohol. Not just in terms of democratic law, but in a way that was almost irrevocable and completely universal. Enshrining it at the same level as the freedom of speech.


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