In this 1975 photo originally released by NBC, comedian George Carlin is shown in a promotional photo for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
It’s been eight years since George died (June 22, 2008). I wrote this post on my old blog back in November 2011. I’m repeating it here, nearly verbatim, because George was such a genius in his observations and what he commented on in this particular monologue in 1988 still rings true today. It’s as if the Republicans are frozen in time. Maybe the Democrats as well. I really miss George. He had such fun with Ronald Reagan, I wonder what he might have done with Donald Trump…
(From November 2011) In a country heaping praise on The Steve for little more than building lots of expensive widgets and with all the political shenanigans the current crop of Republicans are trying to pull on this nation, I thought it worth while to transcribe this routine George Carlin recorded in 1988, some 28 years ago, and in the process heap some well deserved praise on another important contemporary American. What he had to say in this comedy monologue is truly worth remembering. And note that while he’s ranting about the Reagan administration and the Moral Majority, little has changed in the last 28 years. Especially his observations about Wall Street.
I really haven’t seen this many people in one place since they took the group photographs of all the criminals and law breakers in the Ronald Reagan administration. Yeah! Yeah! Oh! Two hundred and twenty five of ’em so far. Two hundred and twenty five different people in the Ronald Reagan administration have either quit, been fired, been arrested, indicted or convicted of either breaking the law or violating the ethics code.
Two hundred and twenty five of ’em.
And Edwin Meese alone… Edwin Meese alone has been investigated by three separate special prosecutors and there’s a forth one waitin’ for him in Washington right now. Three separate special prosecutors have had to look into the activities of the Attorney General. And the Attorney General is the nation’s leading law enforcement officer!
See, that’s what you got to remember. This is the Ronald Reagan administration we’re talking about. These are the law and order people! These are the people who are against street crime. They want to put street criminals in jail to make life safer for the business criminals. They’re against street crime… Yeah! They’re against street crime providing that street isn’t Wall Street.
And the Supreme Court decided about a year ago that it’s all right to put people in jail now if we just think they’re gonna commit a crime. It’s called preventive detention. All you got to do now is just think they’re gonna commit a crime! If we’d of known this shit seven or eight years ago we could of put a bunch of these Republican mother-fuckers directly into prison!
Put ’em in the joint where they belong and we could have saved the money of puttin’ these pin-headed country club assholes on trial!
Another thing you gotta remember, this is the group of people who were elected with the help of the Moral Majority. Elected with the help of the Moral Majority and the Teamsters Union! That’s a good combination! Organized religion and organized crime, working together to help build a better America!
Another thing… Keep in mind these Regan people are the ones that were going to get government off our backs. Remember that, that was the rhetoric of the 1980 campaign. “We’ll get government off your backs and out of your lives.” Yeah, but they still want to tell you what magazines you can read and they still want to tell you what rock lyrics you can listen to and they still want to force your kids to pray in school and they still want to tell you can say on the radio! The FCC, the Federal Communications Commission decided all by itself that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the free speech provisions of the first amendment to the Constitution. I’d like to repeat that because it sounds vaguely important!
The FCC, an appointed body not elected, answerable only to the President, decided on its own that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the first amendment to the Constitution. Why did they decide that? Because they got a letter from a minister in Mississippi! A Reverend Donald Wildmon in Mississippi heard something on the radio that he didn’t like! Well Reverend! Did anyone ever tell you there are two knobs on the radio?
Of course I’m sure the Reverend isn’t that comfortable with anything that has two knobs on it… But hey, Reverend, there are two knobs on the radio. One of them turns the radio off and the other one… CHANGES THE STATION!!! Imagine that Reverend you can actually CHANGE THE STATION!!! It’s called freedom of choice and it’s one of the principals this country was founded upon! Look it up in the library Reverend if you have any of ’em left when you finish burning all the books!
Now I don’t know how you feel but I have personally just about had it with these fucking church people! JUST… ABOUT… HAD… IT! YES!!!
You know what I say we should do with these churches? TAX THEM!!! Tax these mother-fuckers! If they’re so interested in politics and government and public policy LET ‘EM PAY THEIR FUCKIN’ ADMISSION PRICE like everybody else. You know what I mean? Tax ’em.
Hey! The Catholic church alone could wipe out the federal budget deficit. If all you did was tax ’em on their real estate holdings. And speaking of real estate holdings let’s get back to Ronald Reagan and his criminal gang.
When last we left them, they were going to get government off our backs. Yeah, but when it comes to abortion they don’t mind government being in a woman’s uterus do they? Yeah, backs are no good but uterus is OK by them. These people call themselves “Right-to-Lifers”. Don’t you love that phrase? Don’t you love the way these kind of people pervert the English language? “Right-to-Lifers”? You realize that most of the “Right-to-Lifers” are in favor of the death penalty? And they support the South American death squads? And they’re against gun control and they’re against nuclear weapons control? When they say right-to-life they’re talkin’ about their right to decide which people should live or die!
So these Reagan people, these right wingers in general, these, uh, crypto-fascists, they’re against homo-sexuality, they’re against pornography, they’re against sex education, they’re against abortion. Yeah, they’re gonna get government off your back but they’re going to tell you how to live your sex life. And let me ask you this, how would they know anything about it? Have you ever taken a LOOK at those people?!?!? No wonder their afraid of their bodies! TAKE A LOOK AT ‘EM!!!
Doesn’t it strike you as mildly ironic that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place?
Hey, I’m the first one to say it’s a great country, but it’s a straaaange culture. This is a place where alcohol ruins more lives than cancer and everybody gets upset when some athlete gets hooked on cocaine. You know, Time Magazine and Newsweek, they put cocaine on the cover but they put the liquor advertisements inside the magazine. It’s the old American double standard. You know, say one thing, do sumpin’ different. And of course the country is founded on the double standard. That’s our history. We were founded on a very basic double standard. This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.
Am I right? A group of slave owners who wanted to be free. So they killed a lot of white English people in order to continue owning their black African people so they could wipe out the rest of the red Indian people and move west and steal the rest of the land from the brown Mexican people, givin’ them a place to take off and drop their nuclear weapons on the yellow Japanese people. You know what the motto of this country aughta be? “You give us a color, we’ll wipe it out!” Got it!
So, anyway, about eighty years after the Constitution is ratified, eighty years later, the slaves are freed. Not so you’d really notice it of course. Just sorta on paper. And that was of course during the Civil War. Now there’s another phrase I dearly love. That is a true oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. Civil War. Do you think any country could really have a “civil” war? “Say, pardon me…” pft pft pft pft pft “I’m awfully sorry…”
Now, of course, the Civil War has been over for about a hundred and twenty years, but not so you’d really notice it. Cause we still have these people called “Civil War Buffs”. People who thought it was a really keen war! And they study the battles carefully and they try to improve the strategies and the tactics to increase the body count. In case we have to go through it again some time. In fact some of these people actually get dressed up in uniform once a year and re-fight these battles. You know what I say? “Use live ammunition ass-holes, will you please?” You might just raise the intelligence level of the American gene pool.
But whataya expect, hey, come on, this is a war-like country, we come from that northern European, basically the northern European genes, the blue eyes, those blue eyes… Boy everybody in the world learned real quick didn’t they when those blue eyes sail out of the north you better nail everything down mother-fucker. Nail it down, strap it down, or they’ll grab it. If the can’t take it home they’ll burn it. If they can’t burn it they FUCK it. That’s what happened to us.
And it’s a war-like country. I mean come on. Forget foreign policy, even the domestic rhetoric is war-like. Everything about out domestic policy invokes the thought of war. We don’t like somethin’ in this country? We declare war on it. The war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on crime, the war on AIDS, the war on cancer. We got the only national anthem that mentions fuckin’ rockets and bombs in the God-damned thing! You know what I mean? All right!
 Convinced Federal Communications Commission to issue warning to radio personality Howard Stern, 1987.