Like Patrick,, I have criticized MADD before. Frankly, I think they're veering drunkenly from a history as a positive social movement into a future as a pack of crazed fanatics on a long skid. They seem to have ambitions to replace PETA as the movement known for pushing their message by pissing people off. PETA propaganda makes he want to go out and club baby harp seals; MADD tactics increasingly make me want to go on a Hunter-Thompsonesque booze-fueled road trip.
Case in point: MADD recently resorted to sordid little attempts at emotional abuse to service its agenda:
Many juniors and seniors were driven to tears – a few to near hysterics – May 26 when a uniformed police officer arrived in several classrooms to notify them that a fellow student had been killed in a drunken-driving accident.
The officer read a brief eulogy, placed a rose on the deceased student's seat, then left the class members to process their thoughts and emotions for the next hour.
The program, titled “Every 15 Minutes,” was designed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Its title refers to the frequency in which a person somewhere in the country dies in an alcohol-related traffic accident.
About 10 a.m., students were called to the athletic stadium, where they learned that their classmates had not died. There, a group of seniors, police officers and firefighters staged a startlingly realistic alcohol-induced fatal car crash. The students who had purportedly died portrayed ghostly apparitions encircling the scene.
The response to criticism is typical ends-justify-the-means I'm-the-government-and-I-know-what's-good-for-you crap:
Though the deception left some teens temporarily confused and angry, if it makes even one student think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, it is worth the price, said California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Newbury, who orchestrates the program at local high schools.
“When someone says to me, 'Oh, my God, you're traumatizing my children,' I'm telling them, 'No, what I'm doing is waking them up,' ” said Newbury, whose father was killed by a drunken driver.
Eric Newbury represents the face of government — or of MADD-style activism — that thinks that traumatizing your kids is cool if it is in service of an issue that he believes strongly in. Sorry, but no one but me gets to drive my kids to hysterics to teach them lessons. MADD's and Newbury's sociopathic little lesson plan better not show up at my kids' school, or I'm going to end up owning his house. And I can't say that I blame the commenter at Reason who had this to say:
This sort of crap makes me want to call that police officer's family and tell them he was killed in the line of duty, just for kicks.
That would, of course, horribly traumatize the Eric Newbury's family. But if it would deter just one officer or MADD activist from terrorizing kids in service of his agenda, wouldn't that make it OK?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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