Who defines the ideology that drives a political party? The Republican party was organized to increase tariffs during a depression begun by migration of capital from These States into England’s Opium Wars. Protectionist looting gradually lost its appeal with the addition of the communist income tax to the US Constitution. This shift had the unfortunate side effect in the form of an opportunity for a power grab by fanatical theocrats.
But the thing went slowly. The Democratic party had in 1908 come out for the communist manifesto income tax as preferable to the mercantilist protective tariff. Why? Because farmers had to sell their crops in free commodity markets and buy implements of husbandry in protected cartel-organized markets. Their attempts to free themselves of this dilemma resulted first in the nullification crisis, which actually did have the effect of temporarily reducing the Tariff of Abominations. The second attempt–the appeal to secession when the second Tariff of Abominations was imposed during the opium war recession, resulted in their crushing defeat and branded them the party of slavery–of holding girls in bondage and used against their will as chattel stock. There was an uncomfortable amount of truth to that accusation.
Right at the outset of the Civil War, a prohibition law forbad selling drinks to soldiers in the District of Columbia, and that was the signal for a resurgence of Maine Law fanaticism. Oddly enough, these movements gathered strength during Indian opium gluts, when cheap morphine was added to distilled spirits for an addictive enhancement. The result was that alcohol began to seem truly addictive, and large amounts of unspiked liquor were consumed by inadvertent addicts in an effort to diminish withdrawal symptoms. All of this only worsened alcohol’s image as an agent of Satanic Possession.
Finally, religious fanatics and looter ideologues got their wish during the depression foreshadowed by the Panic of 1907. Men with guns were sent to kick in doors to collect income taxes and confiscate beer, houses, breweries, wineries, stills yeast and sugar, and bank accounts… Prohibition and income tax Amendments were ratified. The Volstead Act was a handy source of fines, graft and bribery for local governments, judges and politicians, and after it was passed, the Dem and GOP eventually endorsed it in their platforms.
When the GOP finally endorsed prohibition in 1928, Herbert Hoover was the enforcement candidate. Aided by prosecutor Mabel Willebrandt, Hoover conscripted the income tax law into the dry army and the resulting asset forfeiture completely destroyed the economy. By the time FDR was sworn in there wasn’t a bank left open in These States. The fanatical enforcement had attracted all manner of mystical evangelists eager to add blue laws and antisex legislation, but Hoover’s defeat left them without a cause. Labor agitators, all of whom had maintained a cowardly silence during the 1932 campaign, jumped on the FDR bandwagon, and historians assure students this opportunism was a leftward swing. It was definitely a swing away from the devout theocracy.
As reason replaces religion, only the brainwashing of youth can preserve mystical remnants. The banning of abortion, popular in the Middle East and other warlike and theocratical regions, has gradually joined and sometimes supplanted sumptuary prohibitionism in spite of the nearly vertical population increase curve. Prohibitionists now infiltrate four different parties, all of them failures, and send out tentacles toward the libertarian party.
Let’s hope their efforts to infiltrate and wreck the LP.org fail as miserably.