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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--
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
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?
Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub Poetics