In Boozo Veritas #19 by Teege Braune
Pull the Plug, I Beg You (The Text of Teege’s Repeal Day Speech)
Dinosaurs are large, slow, dim-witted beasts that went extinct because of their physical inadequacies and inability to evolve to changing environments. Of the many species of dinosaurs that once lumbered awkwardly across the United States, one still exists. It should have died out a long time ago, and yet despite a complete lack of relevance continues to barely cling to tedious, ever-waning life. I speak now of the American Prohibition Party whose one major political success is seen as a humorously embarrassing blight in our nation’s history, a folly that was largely derided even in its own time.
Founded in 1869, the Prohibition Party is a socially conservative group championing states rights, what they define as old-fashioned American values, and personal liberty. Along with an adult’s right to indulge in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, the right of gays and lesbians to be joined in legally recognized matrimony, and women’s right to make their own reproductive choices are not among the personal liberties championed by the Prohibition Party. Unapologetically Evangelical in rhetoric, the 2012 party platform ran under a preamble “recognizing Almighty God as the authority from Whom all governments receive their power, and with faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ.” The 2011 Prohibition Party convention was held at the Holiday Inn Express in Cullman, Alabama and saw Jack Fellure nominated as their presidential candidate. Receiving only 519 votes, the lowest in the party’s history, it is safe to say that the campaign run by Mr. Fellure was indeed an utter failure. Currently the Prohibition Party holds zero seats in the house or the senate, zero governorships in any of the fifty states, and zero seats in any state legislatures. Their official Facebook page has only 68 members, three and a half times less than the Facebook page Lovers of Ted Bundy.
The Prohibition Party claims a single celebrity advocate: magician / comedian Penn Jillette of the duo Penn and Teller. While Jillette has acknowledged a personal refrain from alcohol and drugs, he has never actually claimed the Prohibition Party as his own. In fact, he is an enthusiastic atheist and libertarian, endorsed Gary Johnson in the 2012 election, and has openly supported the legalization of all narcotics. The Prohibition Party claiming Jillette as a member is equivalent to me claiming that Angelina Jolie is my girlfriend because I like the movie Tomb Raider despite the fact that she is married to Brad Pitt and has never acknowledged my existence nor returned any of my numerous emails.
In the early aughts, the Prohibition Party suffered from drama and infighting that led to a schism splitting the organization in two. The former presidential candidate Earl Dodge was accused of selling the property used for the party’s headquarters, keeping the money for himself, and moving the headquarters into a toolshed. Dodge denied the claims. When the Prohibition Party chose Gene Amondson to replace him, Dodge collected a handful of loyal followers and formed the National Prohibition Party. Both parties declared themselves the legitimate party of temperance and refused to recognize or in any way cooperate with the other. Personally I find inspiring the sheer audacity of a party with absolutely no chance of winning the presidential election to further split their own vote, effectively ensuring that their dueling candidates come in last and second to last, which they did. Unfortunately, the conflict was resolved in 2007 when Earl Dodge passed away unexpectedly, and the party has remained united ever since.
A few days ago I became the 67th Facebook user to “Like” the Prohibition Party. Soon after our illustrious host John King became the 68th. Enthused by John’s support and the oversized gin and grapefruit cocktail I had just consumed, I registered to become an actual member of the Prohibition Party. As I have no intention of paying the five dollar enrollment fee, it is likely that my membership will remain unofficial. One may wonder why I am so interested in an organization that stands for everything I am against. When Chairman Toby Davis emailed me asking me this same question, I only replied that I thought they were weird, and have not heard from my party since, but for the purposes of this post I feel compelled to elucidate on this conundrum. I think that I am interested in the Prohibition Party for the same reason contestants’ humiliating auditions for American Idol are as popular as the good ones. It is always fascinating to watch the continued perseverance of someone facing certain and absolute failure. After all, who wouldn’t stop and look at a man mercilessly beating the skeletal carcass of a long dead horse?