Thursday, September 03, 2009
The Rude Pundit
Twenty years ago, in his first year as President, George Bush the Smarter gave a speech broadcast live to schools around the nation. The September 12, 1989, talk was done with less than a day's advanced warning, but a good many schools stopped everything to put televisions into classrooms and hold assemblies to watch. In the speech, Bush sought to scare the living fuck out of kids about drugs. After telling the story of a cop who was blown away at point blank range, killed on the orders of a drug kingpin, cold and calculated," Bush offered, "[O]ut on the street a nightmare for America is happening, every day, every night. Somewhere a teenaged girl who ought to be in school is giving birth to a baby already addicted to cocaine, and that baby is coming into this world shaking and twitching from withdrawal, so sensitive to the touch that it can't be held or fed properly." He informed the now-terrified students that "Saying no won't make you a nerd," asked them to narc on friends, quoted Michael Jordan, and concluded with "Have a good year."
The backdrop of the speech was that Bush was trying to get Congress to pass a tough and useless anti-drug program that included lots more prisons, prosecutors and other things that don't really work. Democrats wanted to add more drug treatment and prevention measures to the bill. Bush had already spoken to the nation on September 5 about drugs, even getting the DEA to set up a crack sting near the White House just for a visual and a story in that address.
So, in other words, in 1989, President Bush spoke to students with the blatantly political goal of getting his harsh new drug laws passed in order to demonstrate, again, how tough he was. And the outrage from the left? Well, some of the kids thought the whole thing was worthless and/or bullshit. Some liked it. Otherwise, not a damn peep from anyone, not even on the good liberal McNeil/Lehrer Newshour.
And why was there no outcry of indoctrination to conservative causes, no uproar about inflicting such unpleasant thoughts on the precious children, no kerfuffle over whether or not the students were forced to watch it? Because there wasn't. Because he was the President. And if the President of the United States wants to make some little statement to students, then he gets to fucking do it. And, really, unless he's got spinning hyno-eyes telling them to kill their hippie grandparents, who the fuck cares? There was more important shit to do then, like debating whether or not there should be a flag-burning amendment. (God, the 80s sucked.)...(Remainder.)