Behold, the sad fate of the Prohibition Party.
While I was doing some research about third parties in the US, I remembered an article I had read years ago about the Prohibition Party--the longest third party still technically in existence. The keepers of the flame of temperance, so to speak, knew it was a lost cause, but seem to keep things going out of principle.
And here is their web site, in all its glory. I half expect Angelfire popups to show up. I will admit, though that their choice of political mascot--the camel--is pretty funny.
I had long forgotten about them until I started reading up and...well, it's a little sad.
I get the point of doing things on principle; hell, I'd be willing to do it just for the novelty of the thing. Even though their total in the last election barely cracked 500 votes, there's a little bit of charm upholding an antiquated platform via the centuries-old tradition of mixing participatory democracy and bureaucratic paperwork.
Sadly, though, as I researched more, there's recently been a bit of a schism in the party, all of which appears to be manifest in the fact that there's an $8000 annuity tied to a fund granted to the party each year, and control of that fund has caused a good bit of disturbance, thus throwing a third truly American spin on the party, the wasteful chasing of unearned money that's going to a lost cause.
(I also read through their platform, which largely seems like a standard populist right-wing, Constitution Party clone. However, I was going to make fun of them for saying that alcohol is "America’s #1 narcotic drug problem" but it turns out that alcohol is actually a narcotic. So there's that.)
Anyway, you can easily track the downfall of the party over the past few elections by the location of their national conventions each election cycle. As recently as 1992 they managed to hold their convention in Minneapolis, and then Denver in 1996, but it just goes downhill from there:
"Conference call" is the saddest of all the convention sites ever in the history of America.
Anyway, let's all raise a glass* to the Prohibition Party at some point this election season. We could do worse, and by the looks of things we shall.