Saturday, February 20, 2016

An ominous foreboding

I have tried mightily to ignore the political nonsense barraging us on a daily basis;
an unceasing stream of news bites and barbs.

It's been going on for months
and will only escalate as we get closer to Election Day.

The level of dishonesty, incivility,  bullying and baiting 
which seem to be hallmarks of every candidate 
is not only morally reprehensible
but terrifying in what it reveals about our 'national character'.

Am I the only one who remembers when our 'leaders' inspired us 
to be our better selves,
whose words gave us hope?
when their speeches addressed our commonalities 
instead of preyed on our differences?
when you were proud to have them represent us - 
knowing they had a vision for the future
and an actual plan for how to get us there?

Now, I cringe every time one of the candidates open their mouths.
I'm ashamed to think that people in other countries, 
with no experience of our society, 
will believe these misguided souls represent 
what all Americans think. 

And I wonder how in the world we got here.
What happened to reporters who actually did background and fact checking missions 
before interviews? 
Where are the reporters who held people accountable, 
who called people out on their lies? 
What happened to exposes and investigative reporting? 

For that matter, what happened to critical thinking?

Given that backdrop,
it's no wonder this poem spoke to my heart when I saw it recently.

Pity the nation whose people are sheep
and whose shepherds mislead them
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
whose sages are silenced
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except to  praise conquerors
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture
Pity the nation that knows
No other language but its own
And no other culture but its own
Pity the nation whose breath is money
And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
Pity the nation oh pity the people
Who allow their rights to erode
Who allow their freedoms to be washed away
My country, tears for thee
Sweet land of liberty!

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Pity the nation indeed.

1 comment:

Gerry Puglisi said...

My thoughts exactly, in your wonderful words. I so enjoy your postings here, Donna.