Notes: I have never believed in Teflon™. This was written in 1986, but nobody wanted to read it, let alone buy it. Well, hell, I wrote a lot of good stuff in 1986, and sold almost none of it. But, as James Carville has noted, when you are told "This country owes President Reagan a debt that we can never repay," just say "Amen!" We probably never WILL repay the debt that Ronnie ran up. I remember; he probably doesn't. But I include this in the interests of hysterical/historical accuracy. Updated, and spiffed up, it would probably apply to Pat Buchanan as well. More Gingerbread Houses! To heck with them horseless carriages!
I include this in honor of the recent appointment of a new Drug "Czar" (does anyone out there other than myself have a problem with the term "Czar" as an official appellation in a democracy? and said "Czar"s being on the National Security Council, a former Gulf War General, and the idiotic literalism of a "War On Drugs" that appoints Pentagoners to run it? Ah. Didn't think so.) Good ol' General What's-His-Name (retired).
by Hart Williams (c) 1986
Ronald Reagan, who some of you may remember from "Death Valley Days," has decided to end Drug Abuse in this country. Well, that's certainly a realistic point of view, and, following hot on the heels of his attempts to end Terrorism, stop the Communist Threat once and for all, put Pornography out of business, stop the evil Sandinistas and put Somoza back in power, return to the Simple Virtues of the New Deal, stop the advance of Rock and Roll, and other Noble and Worthy causes, it's probably a practical idea, too.
But as long as you're tilting at windmills, Mr. President, I've got a suggestion. Only a fool would bother to point out that drugs have been with us from the beginning of recorded History (and fashionable discussion aside, ALL substances which affect your consciousness are Drugs), and fuel multi-billion dollar concerns, are probably so entrenched in the Economy that their loss would lead to another Depression, or that the first thing that is done when you are adjudged Insane by a Court of Law is taken and shot full of them. No, that would smack of Reality, and I don't think that Politics and Reality have anything to do with one another. No, what I'd rather do is make a small suggestion, so that we don't have to watch this interminable media Shell Game being played week in and week out.
It would have the benefit of being as practical as all the other proposals now on the blocks, and would allow every Hypocrite in the country the equal opportunity (unless that's to be scrapped, too) to stand up and boldly denounce things that no one in his right mind would try to defend, what for fear of Public Opinion, and all.
Let America take the lead in a daring and noble enterprise to end this Twentieth Century once and for all. Let us move fearlessly backwards and renew our ancient and venerable bond with the Nineteenth Century. I think that if you take a moment, Mr. President, you will see how reasonable this is.
First, nearly anyone with any experience of the Nineteenth Century is dead now, or was too young to remember, and we won't have to be prejudiced by the facts. And that's important, I think. Being prejudiced by the facts only weakens a person's resolve, and makes it difficult for him to be Self-Righteous and Certain. These were virtues of the Nineteenth Century, when we thought that the Millennium was at hand, if only Mr. Edison would come up with another invention. If they weren't -- as I said -- then we can issue a blizzard of Press Releases, and hold Media Events to convince everyone that they were.
Secondly, we're much more at ease with the Nineteenth Century, having done it once before, and considering what a botched job we've collectively made of the Twentieth, this wouldn't be such a poor idea. We're already headed in that direction, anyway, and it strikes me that it wouldn't take much more to push us over the edge. This would have the additional advantage of letting us try the Twentieth Century again when the Twenty-First arrives in fourteen years. Of course, if we really liked the Nineteenth Century, and its homespun values, we could -- as the Chinese Emperors used to do -- kill off the dissenters, and rewrite the calendars to keep us in line with our new direction. Chopping a mere hundred years off the calendar wouldn't be hardly any trouble at all.
Of course, we'd have some problems getting rid of televisions, and radios, and automobiles. And then there would be the trouble of tearing down all the modern innovations and burning the books, but I don't see that this would be an insurmountable problem, Mr. President. After all, when you are faced with the Dread Spectre of International Communism, Godless, Heathen Socialism, Satanic Music, Drugs, and Promiscuous Sexuality, well, there's always the children to think about.
I think you have done an admirable job of raising your own, Mr. President, and now it pleases me to see that you are thinking about mine. Or, at least, that Nancy is. This trick you have, this pulling out the Flag and waving it and evoking homespun philosophies and simple solutions to complex problems is much better suited to that Century, anyway, and I think you could be another Lincoln, with the proper biographers. Let it be said, Mr. President, that Ronald Reagan thought of the children when he decided that it was much better for them to forget the realities of Twentieth Century life, and boldly returned them to fishin' on the Mississippi with Nigger Jim, and only having to worry about getting caught smoking their corncob pipes.
There is the Slavery Issue to deal with here, but again, I don't see much problem. Most of us are owned as it is, by bankers and credit companies, so perhaps we're closer to the Nineteenth Century than we realize. And I can't think of anything better in the World, Mr. President, than sending our fleet into Japan to renegotiate our trade agreements with them. There's a whole world of good you could do, and I urge you to come out with your policy as a comprehensive package, rather than presenting it piecemeal, like this. We already stand in favor of South African Plantation Owner's Rights, and ignoring the World Court was a good idea, since any good Nineteenth Century American knows that you're as big as the stick you carry, and don't need to feel constrained by these ridiculous Twentieth Century concepts of the Brotherhood of Man. It's gotten us into enough trouble in 86 years without prolonging it another 14.
So, please think about it, Mr. President. Because I can see you already are working along these lines, and see the advantages I've described as clearly as I do. You've got two more years in office, but we could repeal that Amendment to the Constitution by going back, and elect you for another four years. I am saying this to appeal to your sense of self-interest, because the way things are, I can't see how you could let someone get into power who would not agree with this.