Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Imposing Democracy

When you have to
Terrify your own
People into giving
Their freedoms away,
We say it’s
Guaranteeing security.

When you invade
Another country
To steal their wealth
And establish your own regime,
We call it
Setting people free.

When you bomb
A tiny village
While all its people
Are fast asleep,
That is known as
Collateral damage.

And when you rob
From the poor
To subsidize
Your rich friends’ wallets,
Well, I’d say that’s graft,
But maybe you’d call it
Paying homage.

When there are
Police at every corner
No, that’s not repression,
It’s maintaining order.

When all the news
Tells you to follow
The government line,
They say that freedom
Of the press is doing
Just fine.

When you’re not
Capable of an
Independent thought,
Then you’ve received
A good education.

And when your health
Care runs out,
That’s just the benefits
Of privatization.

When we hide our
Sweat shops in China
We say that slavery
Is abolished.

And when your vote
Isn’t even being counted,
There are people who
Would call that
Universal suffrage

When a baby is shot
By a stray bullet
Maybe it’s officially
An accident,
But just try telling that
To the mother

And when the ice caps are melted
And the air is polluted,
No, that has not a thing
To do with your profits.

When you say
We’re at war,
I ask you
When haven’t we been?
That’s their version
Of peace without end.

Why is it that
The rules suddenly change
When you’re on
The wrong side
Of a color?

And while you’re at it,
Can you explain to me
How life in prison
Without a trial
Could ever be
“For their own protection?”

And when you get to choose,
Who has the right to live,
Is that what is meant by
“Having God on your side?”

When judges are allowed
To hand out the jobs
Is that thanks to having
Free and open elections?

I don’t know
What you think
About all this going on,
But if that’s democracy
Then something is
Very, very wrong.

1 comment:

  1. I love this poem. It about says it all. I can see you have done a lot of thinking our America and what is wrong. I am part of Jack Hirshman's group in S.F. I am a little uneasy with all of the revolutionary ideas as my first husband was a Marine, father of two children, who fought on the frontlines in Korea. You want to believe that America Government is not as corrupt as it is...sold out to corporations, lobbiest and filibusters. I also love your paintings. Linda King