Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The president pushing his controversial policies in a speech to America's schoolchildren

Here's some information about the president's 15-minute televised speech to America's schoolchildren, piped into classrooms and auditoriums from coast-to-coast. The speech notes...

The president pushing his controversial policies in a speech to America's schoolchildren

Here's some information about the president's 15-minute televised speech to America's schoolchildren, piped into classrooms and auditoriums from coast-to-coast. The speech notes...

that saying no to drugs ''won't make you a nerd.''

''Presidents don't often get the chance to talk directly to students,'' he said. ''So today, for each of you sitting in a classroom or assembly hall, this message goes straight to you.

''Most of you are doing the right thing. But for those of you who let drugs make their decisions for them, you can almost hear the doors slamming shut.''

Equating drugs with death and displaying the badge of a slain 22-year-old rookie policeman, the president said, ''I keep this badge in a drawer in my desk to remind me of that.''*

You guessed it: That's what President George H. W. Bush told America's school kids when he "indoctrinated" them back in 1989. I'm not sure who could object to something like that. I do think it's worth noting that "the war on drugs" was a major policy initiative of Bush 41 and something that he and his advisors clearly thought was good politics as well. While few rational people would object to urging kids not to do drugs, the broader policies of the drug war -- billions spent to unsuccessfully tamp down the supply and too little to reduce demand other than building new costly prison cells -- are controversial and arguably "failed policies," at least much more than a president like Obama merely asking kids to "work hard." 

* Note: Two references to "Mr. Bush" in the 1989 original article were changed by me to "he" and "the president" to maintain the element of surprise, if there was one.

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