Moral Guidance Key to Eradicating Teen Drug Abuse. The “Just don’t do it” slogan from Bob Dole’s anti-drug campaign may, upon a cursory evaluation, appear to be an inefficient way of confronting the growing problem of national drug abuse. After all, it is hardly reasonable to believe that a potential drug user will specifically consider these words before deciding whether or not to get high. However, this slogan, and the man that stands behind it, represent a sorely needed, value-oriented stance on the issue that has been lacking in the Clinton administration. The president’s cavalier attitude has been responsible for a dramatic increase in drug abuse among teenagers. While Clinton’s baby boomer generation has dismissed aggressive anti-drug campaigns as ineffectual, the truth is that tough approaches to the problem have proven to be very successful. The Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations are direct examples of this. When Richard Nixon began his first term, use of marijuana and heroin had reached an all-time high. In response, he vowed to wage a national attack on narcotics abuse which involved reducing the flow of drugs into the country while stepping up drug treatment programs. Nixon began his work by arranging for the extradition of noted heroin chemists, and sent ambassadors to negotiate narcotics agreements with foreign countries. Turkey, which provided about 80 percent of the U.S. heroin supply promised a complete cessation of its production in exchange for $35.7 million in aid. On the national level, the Nixon administration further proved its dedication to the cause by legalizing the use of drugs to combat addiction and by encouraging anti-drug commercials and television programs. Although many were doubtful that these measures would have any impact, they did help to dramatically curtail drug abuse. In 1975, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that while the purity of heroin had declined, the street price was four times greater. The result was a marked decline in heroin abuse. Unfortunately, the Carter administration failed to continue the vigorous anti-drug campaign. In fact, President Carter at one time advocated that marijuana possession be legalized. It is little wonder that, in the absence of strong moral leadership, by 1979 half of all teenagers were experimenting with the drug. Fortunately, Reagan was elected at this crucial time, and was succeeded by George Bush, who both strongly supported drug interdiction. Between the years of 1979 and 1992, teenage drug abuse was reduced by one-half. The fluctuation of drug abuse statistics in accordance with changing political leadership is not coincidental. It is a direct reflection of the importance of presidential guidance on this issue. The Republican presidents that took an aggressive anti-drug stance helped to drastically ameliorate the problem of addiction. Under their leadership, societal attitudes towards drug use changed. The belief that taking drugs was morally incorrect became more widespread. Most importantly, they proved that the war on drugs is not a losing battle. Parents, educators and law enforcement officials do not have to accept drug abuse as a growing and irreversible trend. Sadly, the Clinton administration appears to be espousing Carter’s apathetic stance on the issue. For the first part of his term he appointed a surgeon general who voiced support of drug legalization, and reduced the amount of resources available to the White House drug office. Evidence has emerged indicated that members of his own staff have taken drugs, and it is no secret that they have been subject to regular drug testing. Most dismaying is that instead of denouncing his attempt to experiment with marijuana, President Clinton has made light of the subject, cavalierly joking about it on Music Television. If the President of the United States does not vehemently condemn the action of taking drugs, how can society expect today’s youth to attach any stigmatization or sense of shame to drug abuse? In the wake of this record, it is not surprising that the use of heroin among teens has more than doubled in the last year. Last month 32 out of 4,500 teenagers surveyed admitted to using the substance in the past year. In 1995, the number was just 14. In another survey it was shown that in the same one year period the number of teenagers who responded that they do not expect to take drugs in the future has dropped by 35 percent. Recent polls have further shown that the problem appears to be rooted in the fact that many baby boomer parents experimented with drugs in their youth, and subsequently expect that their children will do the same. Eighty-three percent of parents who had never smoked marijuana believed it would be a “crisis” if their children were to experiment with drugs, as opposed to just 58percent of parents that had smoked marijuana. These statistics show that, under Clinton’s liberal example, a large segment of our society has resigned itself to accepting drug use as a part of our culture. While it is true that catchy slogans will not win the war on drugs, they are a small step toward changing the attitude of indifference that has made this battle increasingly difficult to fight. Our permissive culture and inadequate presidential leadership have played a negative role in curtailing drug addiction among teens. It is time to elect a president whose party has proven itself to be effective with this important issue. If elected, Bob Dole has vowed to make monthly speeches against drugs. He has also promised to reduce drug abuse among teens by 50 percent by the end of his first term. While Clinton supporters doubt this claim, the same reduction has been accomplished under previous Republican administrations. In any case, Bob Dole would not continue to send Bill Clinton’s messages of ambivalence to today’s youth, and it is clear that firm moral guidance is the key to eradicating the problem of teen drug abuse.
Donne’s Poem Death Be Not Proud
Donne’s Poem Death Be Not Proud
In the poem “Death Be Not Proud,” written by John Donne death is personified. The personification of death creates a feeling that death is less powerful than we think. Donne creates and image of death that is not mysterious, not in control, and a slave of low status. He does this by undermining the idea of death as bound to the rules of “fate, chance, kings, and desperate men.” He insists that death is no more powerful than any mortal is. Suggesting that death is not mysterious is the word slave. Directed to death, “thou art slave” forms an unthreatening stance of death because slaves are not threatening. This is due to the connections that go with the word slave. A slave is bound in submission to a master therefore having no say in what he or she can do. Death, in being personified into a slave that has many masters, is more extremely bound. This lack of freedom that death has in choosing its victims takes away any reason to be fearful of it. Power comes from being able to control something. Here death is the one being controlled by other outside forces that have power over how and when death can do its work.
Death casts fear into mortals because it is unknown as to what happens in the afterworld. This poem creates a sense that we know who death is. For example we can see how death is a poor beggar on the street. This would make death a non-threatening person. He is a low class citizen that is just waiting for an opportunity to feast when his master allows. Donne produces this low-life death figure by associating him with “poison, war, and sickness.” These are all things that less fortunate mortals deal with on a daily basis. These are dreadful things that are not good. Death personified is subject to these horrible circumstances therefore is very low in stature. If death can only reap his vengeance with such low standards governing him, then death is as low as what he works for. Death becomes less mysterious and something which we are not afraid of.