District Judge Louis Lightner Columbus, Nebraska
THE essential features of my plan can be stated simply and are suggested by the present state of affairs and the past history of the temperance movement in this country. The reason many states and lesser communities voted dry prior to the 18th Amendment and the reason the 18th Amendment was finally adopted by so overwhelming a majority is that for decades earnest men and women, realizing the evils of intemperance, created by propaganda and education a sentiment against both drinking and the saloon.
This movement for temperance was given a powerful impetus by the attitude of business leaders. Men who controlled billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of men, notably the railroads with nearly 2,000,000 employees, enacted positive and drastic rules against intemperance.
These forces gradually built up an almost universal sentiment in this country in its favor. Thousands of traveling men and other employees formerly addicted to drink became outspoken against it.
The present partial change of sentiment represents only the natural reaction against so sweeping a measure combined with the general antipathy to restrictive measures engendered by the world war. It has gained more headway than it otherwise would because the advocates of temperance, placing too much faith in the adoption of the 18th Amendment, rested on their oars and relaxed their efforts.
The way to make the 18th Amendment effective is to return to the policy that led to its adoption. What is required is propaganda and education to swing the sentiment the other way again, to make friends for the law.