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Just say no

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on July 10, 2005

In Reply to: Just say no posted by ESC on July 10, 2005

: : : What is say no to drugs?

: : It's a slogan. "Say no to drugs" continues to be the battle cry of a generation of people who believe in slogans, and that repeating magic words over and over will cure society's ills. These are people who sincerely believe in their heart of hearts that drug use, teenage pregnancy, poverty and probably tooth decay are the result of failures of the Will, moral failings of weaklings who can't resist temptation. (The major impact of this campaign has been profits for bumper-sticker printers.)

: : One of my all-time favorite cartoons from the New Yorker was a hitchhiker on the side of the road holding up a sign that read "a good talking-to might straighten me out."

: Nancy Reagan: "I was beginning to hear from friends of mine about their problems with drugs and their children. And so, I became very aware of it. And in the White House, I could do something, hopefully, about it."

: The campaign was well advertised and highly publicized, but got its name in a very simple way.

: "I was in California and I was talking to, I think, fifth graders, and one little girl raised her hand and said, 'Mrs. Reagan, what do you do if somebody offers you drugs?' And I said, 'well, you just say no.' And there it was born. I think people thought that we had an advertising agency over who dreamed that up -- not true."

: Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Today show interview with Katie Couric, posted online Feb. 18, 2004. id/4297405/ Accessed July 10, 2005.

"Just say no" is seen by many as a backlash against a generation of wishy-washy appeasers. During the Studio 54 era, Time magazine actually ran an article suggesting that whenever you're offered drugs just say "that's not my drug of choice". Wouldn't want to appear square, after all.

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