You know what I’m talking about. Those self-congratulatory, I’m-working-so-hard-for-you emails (or, now that it’s fund-raising season, those pleas for those last-minute donations to avert armageddon, although it seems to be always that season), coming from the many interns that staff our congressional offices.
The first one of the day was from my senator, warning me about our state’s opioid addiction problem and how he was begging for more government monies to properly staff the rehab centers and make treatment more affordable. Here is one key quote:
Escaping the grip of the opioid epidemic will demand a multi-pronged approach, with a focus on prevention, a strong investment in treatment and support for enforcement and other measures to help communities.
All well and good you might say. Who’s against prevention (as in safety requirements, for example), or treatment (setting a broken bone, say)? But “enforcement and other measures” stopped me right there. I had to reread that short paragraph in order to grasp what I found as kind of sinister.
Didn’t I just recently read something about Obama’s new “multi-pronged” approach to his self-inflicted wounds in the Middle East? Aren’t there rumors about “investing” more boots on the ground to “support our” terrorists/rebels/militants? And the “enforcement and other measures” while purposefully vague, sounds a lot like coercion, confinement, and all that brings. Sounds pretty martial to me.
And even though he may not have been channeling the DoD, the military mindset has so thoroughly permeated DC, the entire country, really, that it’s not surprising that this kind of language finds its way into a constituent newsletter.
Or even worse, it’s a conscious effort to embed military jargon and the accompanying policies into what could normally be considered a reasonable request for an honorable undertaking.
But all that came after the second reading. My initial reaction was something along the lines of, “Yeah, yeah. Treat the symptoms of a sick society rather than the causes”, like our broken educational system, infrastructure, our casino economy, and all the rest. You know the list. It’s a long one.
Thank you for all of your fascinating insights.