If when you say "whisky" you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame, and helplessness, and hopelessness--then certainly I am against it. But, if when you say "whisky" you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes . . . if you mean the drink that enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows . . . then certainly I am for it.
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This quote is linked to the event - Quitting Drinking
Source Notes: Campaign speech, 1948, in Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History, ed. William Safire (1992). Sweat was running for state representative in Alcorn County, Miss. Safire indicates that Sweat copyrighted the speech in 1952 because so many politicians were using it.
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