Many of us are not old enough to remember the Dr. Strangelove-era Cold War between the United States and the now defunct USSR, but we can relate to the tail end of the Cold War in the 1980s (at least if we’ve seen Rocky IV).
The Philadelphia native, with a heart bigger than his talent, triumphs over the evil Russian monster. After his amazing and nearly impossible triumph, Rocky gives a speech so heartwarming, he even receives applause from a Gorbachev look-alike. Hoorah! We can be friends with the Russians now! In reality, it took a lot more than a South Philly boxer and his “passionate” words to diffuse decades of hatred, bigotry and misunderstanding.
|Supposing we could build an invisible shield in space that hovers over the United States, what would be the cost to taxpayers? Trillions.|
Flash forward to today, the year 2001. The Cold War has been over for more than 10 years, and the thought of an impending nuclear assault is not one that currently dominates the psyche of mainstream America. Except for the White House they would very much like to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty so they can build the Star Wars Missile Defense System (something else that brings us back to the mid-1980s). Perhaps it is named for the science-fiction epic because it is just that science fiction. The name alone brings a (painful) smile to my face.
Supposing we could build an invisible shield in space that hovers over the United States, what would be the cost to taxpayers? Trillions. Mind you that Congress will more than likely have to tap into the Social Security surplus due to the economic drain of Bush’s tax cuts.
Wouldn’t these tax dollars be better spent repairing the crumbling public school systems of America? Wouldn’t these tax dollars be better spent educating the youth, teaching them tolerance and understanding? Imagine it: an entire generation of well-educated, well-informed adults (who could act as ambassadors to the countries the White House wishes to protect us from). Instead, the already super-rich get a break in their taxes.
What would be the cost to the American psyche? Hysteria – a welcome back to the days of fear and hatred, the days of fallout shelters, not to mention the return of Stallone-driven propaganda films.
George W. Bush ran on a platform of “education reform.” Yet the president (who managed an astonishing C average while a student at Yale) has done absolutely nothing to help “reform” education. He’d rather spend his time working on the pipe dream of a man who did his best work alongside a chimpanzee.
Jeremy Smith is the Opinion Editor of the Temple News. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.