Yes, the Prohibition Party Still Exists

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The 2016 presidential primaries are already underway, and we’re heading toward the general election with frightening speed. If you, like many Americans this year, aren’t thrilled by either the Republican or Democrat nominee, you might be looking into third-party candidates. And you might be surprised to hear of a surprisingly old-school option: If you live in Colorado, Arkansas or Mississippi, you can add the Prohibition Party to your research.

The oldest political “third party” in America, the Prohibition Party was founded in 1869. As the name suggests, the group is best known as a driving force behind the nationwide alcohol ban that started 1920.

Though they’ve fielded candidates in every election since, the Prohibition Party  never received more than 2.2 percent of the popular vote. And its base doesn’t seem to be growing: In 2012, it only received 512 votes total. Unsurprisingly, alcohol reform has always been at the top of the party’s platform, but today the organization focuses on other forms of social activism, too, including women’s rights and tax reform.

Jim Hedges, the executive secretary of the Prohibition Party, is the presidential candidate this year, and yes, he still opposes alcohol—unless you make it yourself.

If you will make it [at home], drink it there and remain there until you sober up and if, while you’re under the influence, you will refrain from beating your wife and will not make annoying telephone calls to Prohibitionists, we’ll not attempt to punish you for your indulgence in private vice,” Hedges states on the Prohibitionists website.

Although you can only vote for the Prohibition Party in three states right now, it has its sights on Florida, Iowa, New Jersey, South Dakota and several others, too.

Read more about the Prohibition Party at Atlas Obscura.

Series & Type: News

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