What do the Tea Party and the Prohibition advocates of the 1920s have in common? To most people not much, if anything at all. However, according to Ken Burns they’re very similar. In an interview yesterday with podcast host Adam Carolla, Burns had this to say about the upstart political party:
Carolla: Prohibition as it pertains to – I guess you know a lot of people draw the comparison to drugs….
Burns: you know what it’s such a stupid parallel to draw and the reason is, yea, you could talk about that stuff, but drugs have always been parts of some very rare subculture – every culture drinks alcohol, as fermented or distilled spirits. The real connection about prohibition to me the thing that there’s nothing new under the sun is that this is a story about right-wing, single issue, campaigns that metastasize it. This is the story about the demonization of immigrants, this is story about state and local governments complaining about unfunded mandates, this is the story about smear campaigns against Democrats, this is a story about unintended consequences, it is almost exactly what’s going on now, it’s the last gasp of Protestantism. We keep these Romans from getting their wine; you know we’ll still be able to hold on; it’s like a Tea Party thing. It’s unbelievable how….
While this is a rather odd parallel for someone to make, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Burns is an unabashed liberal who has slammed everyone from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, to former President George W. Bush, and did an 18-hour documentary on his love America’s national parks.
So while none of this comes as a surprise it’s a good reminder about the type of director we’re dealing with when we see his films.