Earl Dodge, 1932-2007

Earl Dodge, the Prohibition Party's perennial presidential nominee, has died at age 74, presumably of whatever the opposite is of cirrhosis of the liver. Former Reasoner Bill Kauffman wrote an affable profile of Dodge for The American Enterprise during the 2000 campaign. Here's an excerpt:

Earl Dodge is amiable and garrulous -- "my mother said I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle" -- even after we establish that I would legalize marijuana and he would criminalize beer. While he is a True Believer, he does not routinely break out the Carrie Nation hatchet or subject stray wets to harangues on the Demon Rum. "Don't drive me to drink!" he jokes with wet friends. And no, he is not a reformed drunk out to scourge the liquid that put him in the gutter: "I've got many faults but I've never had a drink of alcohol in my life."....

Dodge concedes that immediate prohibition today is impracticable: "There'd be no point in enacting a law without majority support because you couldn't enforce it, and drinking is an ingrained practice in America." So while "prohibition is the ultimate answer, in the meantime we favor education" and the semi-prohibitionist steps advocated by groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "We are slowly going in the direction of a dry nation," Dodge says confidently. "If I live to 80 or 85, I expect to see some form of prohibition."

Although Dodge doesn't "know of a single person in our party who smokes," the party takes a laissez-faire line on tobacco. "Unless they're blowing smoke in your face, they're not infringing on your rights," he says, whereas alcohol "takes good people and turns them into beasts. Marijuana, LSD, cocaine: All those drugs put together don't hurt a fraction of the people that booze does. The only parties that are honest and consistent on the alcohol-drug issue are the Prohibition Party and the Libertarians. They want to legalize it all; we want to ban it all."

Six years shy of Dodge's 80th birthday, how close are we to "some form" of Prohibition? David Harsanyi answered the question in the November Reason.

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  • ||

    Although I completely disagree with the man, I have to give him some respect for his honesty.

    Begrudgingly, R.I.P.

  • ||

    "There'd be no point in enacting a law without majority support because you couldn't enforce it, and drinking is an ingrained practice in America."

    Is there a culture in which drinking isn't an "ingrained practice"?

  • ||

    What did he advise we do differently from the last time we tried Prohibition? That wasn't exactly a smashing success.

  • ||

    Although I completely disagree with the man, I have to give him some respect for his honesty.

    Sadly, his honesty is blatantly dishonest. It saddens me that so many people are willing to call people criminals for the mere reason they don't measure up to some moral standard.

    Many of these people claim the Bible as their moral authority. Of course the Bible has something in there about not bearing false witness against thy neighbor. When you label a behavior as criminal when it doesn't meet any meaningful definition of criminality, isn't that "bearing false witness"?

    RIP... you old lying SOB.....

    ;-)

  • drawnasunder||

    Was the phonograph needle made from a peanut?

  • ||

    whereas alcohol "takes good people and turns them into beasts.

    Hey, dammit, I've had some of the best times of my life while being a drunken beast. Began some wonderful friendships, too.

  • ||

    Is there a culture in which drinking isn't an "ingrained practice"?

    Utah and Saudi Arabia?

  • ||

    Utah and Saudi Arabia?

    I wonn't speak about Saudi Arabia, but if you can't find a drink in Utah, you're not very thirsty.

  • ||

    I wonn't speak about Saudi Arabia, but if you can't find a drink in Utah, you're not very thirsty.

    I know you can find a drink, it was just some snark directed at the Mormons. All I know is Utah has the strictest alcohol laws in the Union. You can only buy 3.2% beer in grocery stores, no bars unless you are a member of a "club", its illegal to bring alcohol in from out of state, etc.

  • Nephilium||

    I'll be sure to raise a beer tonight...

    Of course, I was planning on doing that anyways...

    Nephilium

  • ||

    I would rather have to go to a moonshiner for my booze and the cannabis co-op for my weed.

  • ||

    I would rather have to go to a moonshiner for my booze and the cannabis co-op for my weed.

    If I had to outlaw only one drug, it would probably be tobacco.

  • ||

    This seems appropriate at the moment:


    THE SONG OF THE TEMPERANCE UNION

    We're coming, we're coming, our brave little band
    On the right side of temp'rance we do take our stand.
    We don't use tobacco, because we do think
    That the people who use it are likely to drink

    Away, away, with rum, by gum,
    Rum by gum, rum by gum
    Away, away, with rum, by gum,
    The song of the Temperance Union.

    We never eat fruitcake because it has rum,
    And one little slice puts a man on the bum.
    Oh, can you imagine the pitiful plight
    Of a man eating fruitcake until he gets tight?

    A man who eats fruitcake lives a terrible life.
    He's mean to his children and beats on his wife.
    A man who eats fruitcake dies a terrible death,
    With the odor of raisins and rum on his breath!

    We never eat cookies because they have yeast,
    And one little bite turns a man to a beast.
    Oh, can you imagine the utter disgrace
    Of a man in the gutter with crumbs on his face?

    We never drink water -- they put it in gin,
    And one little sip and a man starts to grin.
    Oh, can you imagine a sorrier sight
    Than a man drinking water and singing all night?

    We never eat peaches because they ferment,
    And a peach will ferment at the least little dent.
    Oh, can you imagine a sight more obscene,
    Than a man getting tipsy on peaches and cream!

    Beware of plum pudding, the kind that they light.
    They drench it in brandy so it will ignite.
    The thought is revolting to temperate folk,
    For people go blotto inhaling the smoke.

    We never touch coffee; it makes our eyes gleam,
    At least when they add Irish whiskey and cream.
    Oh, can you imagine a fate more unkind
    Than sluggin' down coffee and going stone blind?

    We never drink milkshakes 'cause they're made with malt,
    And one little slurp makes your brain somersalt.
    Oh, can you imagine behavior so rash
    As bartop gymnastics with a frothy mustache

    We never play jumprope 'cause jumpers take hops,
    And once they start hopping, they hops 'til they drops.
    This vile degradation starts out as a game
    And grammar school innocence turns into shame.

    We never have backrubs because it's a crime,
    And we will oppose them in song and in rhyme.
    For an alcohol backrub is worse than straight gin
    When you think of the liquor absorbed through the skin.

    We never use Brylcream 'cause that's got bay rum,
    And too many rubbings can turn your head numb,
    But if there's a thought that'll leave you in fits,
    Just imagine the millions of paralytic nits.

    Now if you go hiking and get sores on your feet,
    Don't use rubbing spirits as a means for to treat,
    'Cause it seeps through the pores of your feet by osmosis,
    And you end up by having ten drunk little toesis.

    We never eat cornflakes because they have malt,
    And we can't imagine a much greater fault.
    Oh, can you imagine a sight that's more droll
    Than a woman at breakfast slumped over her bowl!

    We never dance Morris -- you have to drink ale,
    And respectable people, who see us, turn pale.
    Oh, can you imagine the staggering sight
    Of a man who drinks ale, dancing ''Saturday Night?''



  • Brian Sorgatz||

    So even if you never drink a drop of alcohol in your life, you'll die? Well, that changes everything!

  • LibertyPlease||

    ..All I know is Utah has the strictest alcohol laws in the Union. You can only buy 3.2% beer in grocery stores, no bars unless you are a member of a "club",..



    I'm a member of many of those clubs :-). They're everywhere and easy to join. If you want to split the nominal membership fee (usually $5 or $10), you sign up you buddy as your spouse. :-)

    Utah should be a case study of oppression breeding depravity, the suburbs of SLC harbor some fun stuff....

  • iih||

    Jesse:

    presumably of whatever the opposite is of cirrhosis of the liver

    What a mean thing to say about a dead man!

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    Aresen,
    I smell a rat. I bet that's really either Mark Twain or Shel Silverstein.

  • ||

    Brian Sorgatz

    "The Song of the Temperance Union" has been around for ages. I remember singing it at summer camp as a kid.

    Every citation I've seen has been "Anonymous"

  • ||

    Utah and Saudi Arabia?

    Now isn't that a lovely prospect?

    I'd hate to drink to anybody's death, but this guy's beggin' for it.

  • ||

    After having read the review in the New Yorker of the new book, "What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848," by Daniel Walker Howe, I'm confident we are not headed toward another Prohibition Era.
    Prohibition was some sort of vile though unavoidable by-product of women getting the vote.

    Keep your eyes on the new research done on swarming in animals and humans to get a feel for what a fine mess US humanity will be getting itself into next.
    (Prohibition it won't be. Beyond that I will not venture.)

  • iih||

    Prohibition was some sort of vile though unavoidable by-product of women getting the vote.

    How come?

  • ||

    I shall toast Mr. Dodge with a shot of Jagermeister.

  • iih||

    Off topic:

    Another US ally is in trouble (in fact emergency rule, too) and we have not heard anything about it anywhere (including reason.com(?)). The Rose Revolution has withered.

  • ||

    iih,
    Uhhh, reason.com covered it last week. Now, there may be new developments that have not been discussed but the subject has been touched upon.

  • iih||

    kwix: Thanks. I guess I missed it.

  • ||

    I don't know about Saudi Arabia, but Iran is another Islamist country where alcohol is strictly banned. Yet from this article in Modern Drunkard magazine it seems that sly boozing is one of Iran's national pastimes.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Prohibition was some sort of vile though unavoidable by-product of women getting the vote.

    That's a canard. Prohibition was the 18th amendment; women's suffrage was the 19th. Yes, there was a strong connection between the temperance movement and a particular wing of the feminist movement; and there may be particular states and territories where newly empowered female voters pushed through Prohibition. But the idea that women got the vote nationally and promptly banned the bottle doesn't fit the chronology.

  • Edward||

    Another do-gooder nanny-state oppressor bites the dust.

    Ron Paul can win if we can wake America up to the vast Gulag of government interference that we languish in. The somnulent American slaves want to eat their Dorrito chips, go to their movies, copulate in their over-taxed beds, and forget the tax-supported public education that dulls their minds, the government-funded so-called healthcare that ravishes their enslaved bodies, and the hideous tax system that robs them of their wealth and dignity. Well, RON PAUL won't let them sleep! Ron Paul--7% and climbing! With Ron We Will Win!


    Marijuana all around
    A gold-backed currency that's sound
    Out of Iraq and off my back
    Tax this -!- you government hack!
    Ron Paul's gonna take our country back!

  • iih||

    Jesse, I found it strange too (by simply looking at the chronological order of the amendments). How can women effect the 18th if they had not had the 19th yet.

  • M||

    Phonograph needle vaccine trope courtesy Groucho Marx.

  • rarian||

    Tax this -!- you government hack!

    In the meantime...

  • ||

    iih,

    How can women effect the 18th if they had not had the 19th yet.

    rolling pins

  • ||

    Jesse, you always post the most interesting stuff on here.

  • ||

    Jesse, I found it strange too (by simply looking at the chronological order of the amendments). How can women effect the 18th if they had not had the 19th yet.

    To what extent it had on the effect on passage of the 18th amendment, I do not know, but the fact is most states had already granted women the vote before the passage of the 19th amendment.

  • iih||

    Jesse, you always post the most interesting stuff on here.

    I second that.

  • iih||

    rolling pins

    Fact 1: I had no idea what a rolling pin is.

    Fact 2: It was on wiki!

  • Eric Cartman||

    Prohibition was some sort of vile though unavoidable by-product of women getting the vote.

    If some sissy-chick tried to take my drink I'd be all like, "hey Missy, get your bitch-ass back in the 19th century and make me some babies!"

  • ||

    Is there a culture in which drinking isn't an "ingrained practice"?



    Native Americans. One of the theories behind why Native Americans can't handle alcohol is that they didn't settle in one place (towns). Alcohol tolerance was built up among cultures that built towns and cities because the water became so bad and well - alcohol didn't kill man but it killed the things that kill man.

  • robc||

    Why do people assume women couldnt vote before the 19th amendment? It merely guaranteed them suffrage, there was nothing preventing states from granting them the vote before it - and many did.

  • ||

    Why do people assume women couldnt vote before the 19th amendment? It merely guaranteed them suffrage, there was nothing preventing states from granting them the vote before it - and many did.

    29 out of 48 states, to be exact.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Why do people assume women couldnt vote before the 19th amendment?

    What "people" are you referring to? I was the one who brought up the 19th amendment, and I wrote this: "there may be particular states and territories where newly empowered female voters pushed through Prohibition. But the idea that women got the vote nationally and promptly banned the bottle doesn't fit the chronology."

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    "If I live to 80 or 85, I expect to see some form of prohibition."

    Thank fsm he's gone.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    If I had to outlaw only one drug, it would probably be tobacco.

    I choose PCP.

  • Bingo||

    A toast to a fallen nanny stater! May many more choose to follow your example and fail to enact any reforms before their inevitable demise.

  • ||

    rolling pins

    Fact 1: I had no idea what a rolling pin is.

    Fact 2: It was on wiki!


    I love modern technology.

    The slapstick image of a fat lady in an egg stained chenille bathrobe with hideous curlers under a kerchief, whacking her drunk husband in the head with a rolling pin (or a cast iron frying pan) as he staggered through the door at zero dark thirty was the prat fall of its day. And, as is the case with stereotypes, there was a bit of truth there.

    Five bucks Jesse has a portfolio of early B&W cartoons with women hitting the old man (who was always a dinky little scrawny guy) over the head with a rolling pin.

  • ||

    Alcohol tolerance was built up among cultures that built towns and cities.....

    Well, everywhere but Ireland. :-)

    Dude, my in-laws are Indian (feather not dot) and Irish. That is a lethal combination. The random chances of that many alcohol related deaths (accidental and otherwise), alcohol related health problems, drunk driving arrests, and just plain craziness in one family of ten kids and their children is just not there. They can go for two weeks without stopping. Drinking, fighting, crying.....

  • Bingo||

    I choose PCP.
    No way, legalize PCP and meth and crack and then implement a castle doctrine. That way you can play zombie apocalypse!

  • ||

    "We are slowly going in the direction of a dry nation," Dodge says confidently.

    Actually there is maybe some truth to this. In some circles I've frequented, alcohol use is frowned upon and considered less sophisticated than marijuana. The feeling seems to be that alcohol makes people act like fuckwits. Can't say I disagree with that.

  • ||

    I will drink (a fine Belgian Trappist ale) to that.

  • ||

    And I will drink (a fine Napa Cabernet) to that.

    To your health!

  • ||

    The feeling seems to be that alcohol makes people act like fuckwits. Can't say I disagree with that.

    Been around the block a couple of times. Seen a lot of strange stuff, some pretty grotesque. Like child abuse, fuckwittedness crosses all social strata.

  • ||

    We never use Brylcream 'cause that's got bay rum,
    And too many rubbings can turn your head numb,


    Brylcream? Hey, a lil'dab'll do ya! ♪♫ ♪♫

    :-)

  • ||

    Keep your eyes on the new research done on swarming in animals and humans to get a feel for what a fine mess US humanity will be getting itself into next.



    FOR THE HORDE!

  • ||

    No way, legalize PCP and meth and crack and then implement a castle doctrine. That way you can play zombie apocalypse!

    hahaha @ Bingo.

    I laughed so hard imagining that I almost spilt the bong.

    Anyways, reading on Earl Dodge it's nice to see that not all prohibitionists are A'holes who can't hold a lucid discussion. I was tempted to put that last sentence into the past tense, are there more like him out there ?

    Cigarettes get my vote for prohibition. At least I get something besides cancer after a 40oz of whiskey or my two after work joints.

    Well, I guess cigarettes are giving me bad skin and a nasty cough besides cancer.

  • M||

    You guys have no imagination.

  • ||

    Maybe I'm just illiterate but wtf was that M ?

    I think you owe me 5 minutes of my life back.

  • ||

    presumably of whatever the opposite is of cirrhosis of the liver.

    Overly tightened @ssh0le, I'd say.

  • Episiarch||

    Hmm. I don't really care whether the guy was pretty lucid and had some sense of humor--he advocated stopping people from engaging in victimless activity through violent (government) means.

    Fuck him, rot in hell/Hades/non-existence.

  • ||

    Can't remember who it was, but I remember somebody saying that you could prohibit booze, pot, drugs, cigarettes, mushrooms and everything else, and you'd end up having people < ahref="http://www.highlightskids.com/Science/ScienceQuestions/h1sciQdizzy.asp">spinning around in their front yards after a long day of work.

  • ||

    Wow, that's an ugly mistake. Sorry.

  • ||

    Hmm. I don't really care whether the guy was pretty lucid and had some sense of humor--he advocated stopping people from engaging in victimless activity through violent (government) means.

    Drinking is victimless? Maybe on an individual level, but certainly not on a collective level.

  • R C Dean||

    Is there a culture in which drinking isn't an "ingrained practice"?

    Saudi Arabia?

    Maybe the question should be, is there a non-dysfunctional culture in which drinking isn't an ingrained practice?

    "If I live to 80 or 85, I expect to see some form of prohibition."

    He did. WTF did he think the WOD was, anyway?

  • R C Dean||

    Maybe on an individual level, but certainly not on a collective level.

    The same could be said of Prohibition.

  • ||

    Cigarettes get my vote for prohibition. At least I get something besides cancer after a 40oz of whiskey or my two after work joints.

    Little known fact. Brain functions temporarily improve after smoking a cigarette. Still, don't be a retard like me! That first cigarette is a mother fucker.

  • ||

    Drinking is victimless? Maybe on an individual level, but certainly not on a collective level.

    The same could be said for being an idiot.

  • ||

    "prohibition is the ultimate answer, in the meantime we favor education"

    Drinking isn't good for us. The government has a right and in fact an obligation to make anything that isn't good for us illegal. One of the primary purposes of the government is to keep us all safe from things that aren't good for us. Anything that helps the cops to keep us all safe and healthy is inherintly a good thing. I'm all for it.


    Drinking is victimless? Maybe on an individual level, but certainly not on a collective level.


    Correct, we all pay for each others health care througth medicare, medicaid and insurance, so everyones individual health choices are everyones responsibility.

  • edna||

    Drinking isn't good for us.

    but it's *very* good for *us.*

    drink!

  • ||

    "Drinking isn't good for us."

    Au contre.

    Recent studies have shown that alcohol consumption can have the following POSITIVE effects.

    Lower myocardial infarction rates.
    Reduced heart failure rates.
    Reduced risk of ischemic stroke.
    Lower risk for dementia.
    Decreased risk of diabetes.
    Reduced risk of osteoporosis.

    "Correct, we all pay for each others health care through medicare, medicaid and insurance, so everyone's individual health choices are everyones responsibility."

    Well since whisky is a preventative medicine we should get some subsidies. Better yet whisky stamps, or whisky pipes to our homes!

    Maybe your "logic" aint so bad after all.

  • ||

    whatever the opposite is of cirrhosis of the liver.

    Asshole cancer?

  • ||

    While alcohol in moderate to tiny amounts has been shown to be beneficial in some, the destruction done to millions over the years is beyond debate. Broken families, broken individuals, road fatalities, and physical diseases prove it to be the most damaging of ALL "substances".

    Drink to THAT if you like. But the destruction is real.

  • ||

    How surprising to read so many nasty comments from people who had no knowledge of my father, Earl Dodge, save for a paragraph written after his death.

    Dad never tried to force anything on anyone and only exercised his American right to free speech and the right to have his own opinions. (the same rights which now allow complete strangers to call him names and criticize his beliefs.)

    He demonstrated more respect for people who choose to drink that is being accorded him and his family after his passing.

    I am glad he is not here to witness it.

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