Pacifica (autumnwinds) wrote,

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Why politics are stupid.

Elisha, one of the moms for whom my mom monster-sits (and also a Highland Dancer at my high school back in the day) told me this gem of a story a few days later.

In Elisha's senior year of high school, she was in a program that sent highschoolers around the country to Washington D.C. at the end of the year to meet politicians, tour the city, go to speeches, and do all that sort of thing. This was mid-May, 1980. Mt. St. Helens had been rumbling a little for some time at this point.

Towards the end of the trip, on Friday, May 16th, Elisha and all the other highschoolers were in a huge wrap-up seminar, listening to speeches by the Secretary of the Interior at the time. Mom says he was a huge asshole. I think it was Cecil D. Andrus. Elisha, being from Seattle, summons all her courage to stand up in front of everyone during the Q & A, and asks Mr. Andrus what safety or security plans they were making in the event of a volcanic eruption in Washington.

Mr. Andrus drew himself up to his full height, looked down at Elisha (who's about 5'0") and said in his most pompus, condescending voice, "My young woman, Mt. St. Helens is not going to erupt."

And Elisha sat down, totally red-faced and humiliated, and flew home with her group later that day.

Cue two days later...

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