Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Daydreams of Democracy


image from edwindearborn.com


Daydreams of Democracy

“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes,
exhausts, & murders itself. There never was a democracy
yet that did not commit suicide.”--John Adams.

Just forget all those smarmy “ISMS”--you know, the
Communist, Socialist, absolute, absentee, academic,
agnostic, altru, anachro, boss & brute.

Let us just concentrate on & try to understand
all the “CRACYS” we are confronted by--
aristocracy,
     adhocracy,
            autocracy,
                 bureaucracy,
                        gerontocracy,
                                  hypocrisy,
                                           plutocracy,
                                                   technocracy, &
                                                               theocracy;
                               For these all rhyme with Democracy
                      & Leonard Cohen said “It’s coming to America”.
               I guess the moldy, yet molten, inquiry, as centuries crust
         upon centuries is when in God’s name is it going to
actually happen?

Democracy is from the Latin,
which derived from the Greek term, demokratia,
from demos--the people,
plus kratia--power & rule.

I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln, standing up to his knees
in blood & death on the battlefield at Gettysburg, speaking
about       “a government of the people,
                                       by the people, &
                                      for the people.”       
A grand sentiment & statement that soon inspired Marx, Engels, 
& Lenin, a pretty progressive notion from a Republican who would
too soon be assassinated by a self-righteous Confederate zealot.

As school children we were all taught
that the supreme power in this country
was vested in the people--but we were
not taught that “the people” referred to
would be those who were wealthy enough
to employ lobbyists & purchase politicians,
no, hell no, we were taught through the ages
that our damn democracy supposedly guaranteed
“the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinction”.

Are we truly the leading proponents of this sacred democratic
credo in the world? Is this a land in which everyone is treated
equally & enjoys equal rights? Or is democracy a mirage, a
construct of smoke & mirrors, an illusory dream some of us
had that never has come to fruition? Come on, we are aware
that free elections cost us billions, that the electoral college,
hanging chads, police blockades at polling places, gerrymandering,
deceit, greed, graft & machinations can steal elections, & that
elected representatives can set up political posses that help
them stay in office for shameful multiple consecutive terms.

Sure, comedians & poets & malcontents can poke fun
at the privileged pinatas of political posturing,
but most of us have to wrestle with the
trickle-down edicts from on high
       that pugnaciously preserve the status quo
                    while gang banging the middle class
                         as it creates an almost invisible, never
                               spoken about poverty class that now enjoys
                                       a staggering membership of
                                             45 million people.

               Democracy sounds so 
               Sweet to the ear, but when will it
               Be more than a word? 

      

Glenn Buttkus




12 comments:

X said...

We are not a democracy. That is a huge misconception by most people in the public today. I dont know where our history teaching went wrong, but we are not a democracy. We are a representative democracy. The flaw in our system is that there is no choice on who we vote for, the representatives are determined by the parties - of course the primaries make it look like we have a choice, but it is between who the parties have chosen. Of course it takes money as well, so the reality is we have candidates that do not represent a large majority of the country.

I think it might be more a pipedream of democracy, than a day dream.

brudberg said...

Oh Glenn... this is a wonderful political rant.. a beautiful response to Cohen's words.. Indeed we might wonder what true democracy is.. at least it's better than Putin's or ISIS's version... :-)

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Democracy sounds so
Sweet to the ear, but when will it
Be more than a word?

Quite a thought provoking question you have posed here.. perhaps the time shall come soon... Excellent write :)

Grace said...

I find it ironic that the democratic system of the USA is in shambles when it is the embodiment of free democracy in the world ~ I like the summation of your thoughts in the last 3 lines Glenn - when will democracy be more than a word ~

Thanks for joining in & have a good week ~

ayala said...

I adore Leonard Cohen! Nice piece, sadly these days I feel disenchanted with the world and the politicians that lie day in, and day out.

Mary said...

Something has happened to our democracy in recent years. It is not the democracy I remember from a few decades ago. Some things have definitely been forgotten - or pushed aside - over the years. I am saddened really at the state of our country's politics today.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"But when will it be more than a word?" This is a stellar write and you tell it true. Your line "the privileged pinatas of political posturing" is especially brilliant. A fantastic write. I can see you doing it at Spoken Word to much the same effect as the young woman in the video.

De said...

"the privileged pinatas of political posturing" -- oh, my. So much THIS. Yep.

mishunderstood said...

I really liked how this poem progressed and you brought it home with "45 million".
After my husband moved to Canada from the U.S., he said it did not take him long to have a totally different view of American politics.

grapeling said...

without an informed populace who will consider with deliberation any matters set before it... the institution of self-government will devolve. and so now, power consolidates, and the old models will resume. ~

Buddah Moskowitz said...

America's existential angst. Very interesting.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

America's existential angst. Very interesting.