Where Have We Come From, Where Will We Go?

How do you explain what’s happening in politics to your kids? With apologies to Joyce Carol Oates and Dr. Seuss…

The discussions were heavy
The parties were divided
New ideas were accepted
Our country was excited

Sixties politics
Were pragmatic you see
Win elections
But vote for “we”

It’s not for me
Politicians would say
I have to consider
Others today

Yes, I need the votes
And money too
But I don’t want
To live in a zoo

We’ll debate in the day
At night we’ll drink
For it’s just a game
We play, I think

In the seventies
When Watergate came to light
Republicans and Democrats
Joined in the fight

Marchers protested
In every street
Against a war
That ended in defeat

But on the Hill
Party bosses ruled
Behind closed doors
Deals were sealed

The eighties were scary
With Reagan and O’Neill
An actor was president
Who cared not how people feel

In the nineties came Gingrich
Newt was his first name
The Contract with America
Was his claim to fame

Win at all cost
Was the mantra of the day
Republicans won the House
In that ignominious way

Along came the Tea Party
The two thousands were hard to take
Shutting down the federal government
Was a big mistake

Everyone for himself
Liberty to the extreme
The parties’ divisions became
A never-ending scheme

For getting along
Mattered not
Extremism was good
Give me all you’ve got

Today we have Trump
Who spins wild tales
Insults your mother
And never fails

To make politics
Into a wrestling match
As he cons the people
Money he will snatch

From the poor he will rob
The environment’s at stake
The safety of the planet
Is drowned in his wake

And leaders in the party
Opposed to him yesterday
Now curry his favor
By ignoring his bizarre ways

McConnell passed on the Court
Chaffetz won’t investigate
Ryan thinks health care
Should be left to fate

We’ve come to act
Like our leaders today
But hate and intolerance
Won’t save the day

The world’s in upheaval
No plan in sight
All we can do
Is join the fight.

How it will end
I’m afraid no-one can know
Peace, love and justice
Are where we must go

All politics is local
Is O’Neill’s famous saying
All localities are politicized
Is the hand we’re now playing

You’ve inherited a world
That’s better in many ways
But the progress we’ve made
Needs support in the coming days

Where have we come from?
Where will we go?
You are the future
Only you can know.

%d bloggers like this: