Our Nation Is in Trouble (II)

Wright Randolph
Cincinnati, Ohio

The Constitution of the United States is made up of many Articles which serve as a foundation upon which our nation is built. Some of these Articles are statements of privileges while others are statements of prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment to our Constitution prohibits the "manufacture and sale" of intoxicating liquors. Section two of this Article says the Congress and several States shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This Amendment was ratified by the required number of states in 1919. But, in 1933 this Amendment was repealed by the people and Congress of our nation7 One of the prime factors contributing to this repeal was the inability of our nation to enforce the act. "Boot-leg" whiskey was being sold as though it was going out of style. Citizens reasoned (?) that if liquor was going to be available, they may as well legalize it and receive the tax from the sale. This day of "repeal" may very well he the darkest day of our nation's history. Grief and pain have been the result.

Tragic deaths on our nations highways are another of our problems. It is commonly agreed that approximately one half of the highway deaths are caused directly, or indirectly, by the use of liquor. Hundreds of people lose their lives on any given "weekend holiday." Most of these are attributed to the drunken driver. Law enforcement agencies, government officials and society in general are alarmed. They are all searching, without success, for the solution to this problem. There appears to be no acceptable solution in sight.

There is an answer but it is far from acceptable by the greater number of our citizens. Our problem is made up of "cause and effect." We are alarmed about the "effect" but little, ii any, concerned about the "cause." The physician never considers "fever" of the patient as the problem. It is the "cause" of that fever that concerns him; and rightly so! The Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the "cause" of the most of our freeway tragedies but our citizenry was, not too ignorant but, too much in love with alcohol and its deceptive effects to retain the prohibition.

In our day, drinking is considered to be the qualifying condition of an acceptable society. "Can I get you a drink?" has replaced the "how is the family?" when one enters another's home. We, and our children, are exposed to such on most of the television shows that are viewed. One commercial effectively portrays all the horrors of drunkenness only to be followed in close proximity by another which, just as effectively, pictures all the lovely benefits of the "aged-in-the-woods killer! The poor, uninformed and ignorant soul is completely sold on the idea that it is not only desirable but you are a "nobody" if you would refuse to imbibe!

For want of the better, the cliché "If you drink don't drive; ii you drive don't drink" may be a discouraging factor to the drinking driver but "don't drink" should never be qualified by "if you drive." The simple, the effective approach would simply be "DON'T DRINK!"

Why don't those in authority so instruct? The answer is obvious. The manufacturer of alcoholic beverage "loves money" and those who buy it and use it "love evil," and so they are given to the satisfying of the "lust of the flesh." The first is getting richer and richer; the second is getting poorer and poorer. The combination of the two continue to wreak havoc on our nation; robbing wives of husbands, husbands of wives, parent of children and continually push the death rate higher and higher.

We hear powerful demands to outlaw dangerous drugs; and I am all for it. How long since you heard a congressman or senator demand the outlawing of whiskey? It is an insult to humanity to insist that we cannot find a solution to our problem. It is a greater insult to the people of our nation to suppose "we can't enforce any law" that is for the betterment of our people. We have just about qualified ourselves as a people who "love darkness rather than light." Why doesn't some idiot rise up and prove Paul wrong when he said; "the love of money is the root of all evil?" People would laugh him to scorn. We know it is! Then why do not people, even some church members, quit kidding themselves by saying there is no harm in a drink?


April 16, 1970