sneiderman war on drugs

sneiderman war on drugs - Just Say No to the War on Drugs...

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Just Say No to the War on Drugs BARNEY SNEIDERMAN INTRODUCTION I would like to begin by dedicating this presentation to George Orwell (1903-1950), the renowned English novelist, essayist; and social critic, and that is because of his brilliant and incisive commentary about the perversion of language to serve political goals. Accordingly I am going to talk about the Orwellian distortion of language under the following headings: The War on Drugs; Drugs; Use versus Abuse; and Addiction versus Habit. I also dedicate this presentation to Lady Godiva (who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in the llth century); to E.T. (that adorable extra-terrestrial); and to that noble bird that, alas, cannot fly: the ostrich. Last but not least, an acknowledgment (dedication seeming inappropriate here) to Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, Nazi Germany, 1933-1945. THE WAR ON DRUGS As the United States was winding down its military commitment in Vietnam, President Richard Nixon replaced one conflict with another by declaring "all out global war on the drug menace." 1 In 1986, President Ronald Reagan and the First Lady re-declared the War on Drugs in a joint television address to the American people, during which Nancy spoke that memorable war cry, "Just say no to drugs." Actually, the word war was only spoken once, although in the press secretary's announcement of the address ten days earlier, it appeared six times: e.g., "The President and Mrs. Reagan will address the Nation from their living quarters in the White House on what we, the American family, can do to win the war on illegal drugs." 2 The following are excerpts from the President's opening remarks: Drugs are menacing our society They're threatening our values and undercutting our institutions. They're killing our children. ... Drug trafficking is a threat to our national security. .. Let us not forget who we are. Drug abuse is a repudiation of everything America is. The destructiveness and human wreckage mock our heritage. Think for a moment how special it is to be an American. Can we doubt that only a divine providence placed this land, this island of freedom, here as a refuge for all those people in the world who yearn to breathe free. 3 After a few comments along the same line by the First Lady, the President responded that "Nancy's personal crusade [against drugs] . .. should become our national crusade." He then went on to use the word crusade four more times, while also referring to the "battle against this cancer of drugs ." 4 In his continuing rhetorical flourish, he proceeded to draw a linkage between World War II and the War on Drugs and then concluded with a stirring appeal to patriotism: My generation will remember how America swung into action when we were attacked' in World War II. The war was not just fought by the fellows flying the
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planes or driving the tanks. It was fought at home by a mobilized nation, men and women alike, building planes and ships, clothing sailors and soldiers, feeding
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course SOC 410 taught by Professor Nicklarsen during the Fall '11 term at Chapman University .

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sneiderman war on drugs - Just Say No to the War on Drugs...

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