This letter is attributed to Congressman Fred Schwegel who represented Iowa between 1949 and 1955.

I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at present. However, I want you to know that I do not run away from controversy. I will take a stand on any issue, at any time, regardless of how controversial it may be.

You have asked me how I feel about whiskey and I will tell you. If, when you say "whiskey" you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, literally takes bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation and despair, shame, helplessness and hopelessness -- then certainly I am against it with all my power.

BUT if, when you say "whiskey" 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, laughter on their lips and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes. If you mean the drink that enables man to magnify his joy and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies, heartbreaks and sorrows. If you mean the drink, the same which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our aged and infirm, and allows us to build highways, hospitals and schools -- then certainly I am in favor of it.

This is my view and I will not compromise.

Fred Schwegel



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