Before I joined this learned and cordial group, all I knew about Prohibition came from a scant mention during my history classes in school plus watching the TV shows, "The Untouchables" and "The Roaring 20's". In fact, I had little interest in the phenomenon, except for its role in fostering organized crime.

Now I find myself wondering how such a stupid idea ever gained sufficient public support to become law -- and not just a statute, but an amendment to The Constitution.

Do you realize what a high barrier must be surmounted to amend The Constitution? To originate in Congress a proposed amendment must be approved by a 2/3 majority in both houses. Then it must be approved by the legislatures or specially convened conventions in 3/4 of the states. When was the last time our society achieved such an overwhelming consensus? On anything? (In today's environment, even a resolution in support of motherhood, the flag and apple pie would certainly go down to defeat.)

In an actual case those requirements proved sufficient to thwart an attempt to establish as the law of the land the truth of a proposition that is obviously true based on all historical precedent, both legal and social -- except that in this matter a few pinhead judges have chosen to ignore it. But I digress.

How, then, did Prohibition achieve the necessary support to become the law of the land? In spite of my political leanings, I find myself idly wondering whether there is any parallel between the outcome of the past election and the conditions that led to Prohibition.

Does anyone know of a history of Prohibition that addresses my question in a pragmatic way?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield