ERIC Number: ED341977
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
William Bennett and the "Good War" against Drugs: Doublespeak and the Bush Administration's Hidden Agenda.
This paper contends that former Secretary of Education William Bennett's "war on drugs" (he now directs the government's campaign against drugs) is not being waged against those who sell and use drugs, but against the civil liberties of everyone. The paper maintains that under the guise of ridding society of what President Bush called "the greatest threat facing the nation," increased police powers have consistently attacked constitutional guarantees against illegal search and seizure, self-incrimination, guilt by association, false arrest, cruel and unusual punishment, and due process. The paper examines Bennett's version of doublespeak to show that: (1) the call-to-arms is not really addressing the entire nation but is aimed at conservative law-and-order white voters; and (2) the "enemies" are not just the drug dealers but also users, parents and friends of users, landlords of users, and organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that defend users. The paper also maintains that the war fosters racism and diverts voters from the economic problems facing the nation. The paper concludes that the "Good War" goes on, disguised by Orwellian doublespeak that conceals the real targets--the underclass and the civil liberties of all Americans. Finally, the paper warns that keeping aware of the deceptions of language is not just the task of educators and students but the responsibility of everyone. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bennett (William J); Bush (George); Doublespeak; Rhetorical Strategies; War on Drugs
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).