"Woodman, spare that Tree, Touch not a single bough; In youth it sheltered ME, And I'll protect it now."
“You ought to get a good deal out of this cartoon, for it is more true than lots of the preaching you hear. It is the axe at the root of the tree that does the business. Nothing else counts.
Neither the politician nor the liquor traffic itself cares a copper about the gentle pruning processes which lots of good people are constantly employing towards the saloon and its allies.
The fact is that cutting off an occasional twig does not at all hurt the tree. In fact, it may strengthen some of its evil branches, and make them all the more vigorous, while the tree itself offers a more cooling shade to the politicians and hoodlers who gather under it.
The only thing that will chop down the tree, and cause it to forever cease from troubling, is a Prohibition axe. But the axe itself will not chop. It must therefore be wielded by an individual Prohibitionist at the ballot-box, and a Prohibition party in the Legislature, and the executive branch of Government.
Let the politician sing his little ditty about sparing the tree. Your business as a citizen is to ‘put in the whacks,’ and thus help to bring the tree to the ground.”
(from Prohibition Cartoons by D.F. Stewart and H.W. Wilbur, Defender Publishing Company, 1904)