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"The Republican Drag: Free Whiskey"

Topic:
Prohibition and the Tariff Question
Source:
Harper's Weekly
Cartoonist:
William Allen Rogers
Date:
September 15, 1888, p. 692
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >
Benjamin Harrison, the Republican presidential nominee and a devout Presbyterian, drives his campaign carriage topped by mostly proper-looking gentlemen as a plumed trumpeter blares the party’s message of “Temperance and Morality.” The riders’ tranquility is interrupted by James Blaine, who is dressed in the garish attire of a “confidence man” (con artist) and acts as a circus barker. His shout from the sidewalk reveals the true nature of the Republican vehicle: it is a whiskey jug on wheels traveling down Old Rye Road. The cartoon reflects the Democratic strategy to win Prohibitionist votes by associating Republicans with “free whiskey” because of the GOP platform call for an end to all internal taxes, including on alcohol. It also reinforces the assumption that Blaine would set policy in any Harrison administration.

Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >

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