Some things never change, no matter how much you hope (or hype).
You can always count on an inauguration, especially of a Democrat, to provide us with a goofy cliché poem, and the 2009 Obamafest was no exception. A Yale professor named Elizabeth Alexander was honored with the literary benediction, so to speak, and she did not disappoint. If I was to comment in poetry, I would be aided by the fact that inaugural rhymes with doggerel, and snivel rhymes with drivel.
In case you did not catch it, its substance was that: (a) we all communicate through words; (b) those words are also a song in that they convey a part of the speaker’s soul; and (c) if we fill our soul with the light of love, then our song will captivate the rest of humanity, creating ultimate communication and peace. A lovely sentiment, don’t get me wrong, but one sufficiently saccharine to be recited in front of both a pacifist conscientious objector and a Hamas suicide bomber.
The offensive part of this, like Maya Angelou’s epic from the Clinton bash in 1993, is the notion that only Democrats care about love, about humanity, about each individual, about the hopes and fears of the little guy, about other countries, other peoples, other cultures. The Republicans, you see, are brutes who bulldoze their way over the rights of the underprivileged to line their pockets.
Quoth Angelou (my comments in parentheses):
Do not be wedded forever
To fear (Republicans), yoked eternally
To brutishness (Republicans).
The horizon (Democrats) leans forward,
offering you space to place new steps of change (Democrats).
Alexander is a touch tamer:
Some (Democrats) live by “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Others (Democrats) by “First do no harm (unlike Republicans).”
Or “Take no more than you need (unlike greedy Republicans).”
What if the mightiest word is love (unlike rigid Republicans)?
Love beyond marital (unlike religious Republicans),
filial, national (unlike patriotic Republicans)?
Now, for the sake of the inauguration, I was prepared to observe a brief truce. But if these guys take advantage of their moment to pelt me with their little snide missiles, that free me up to tell the truth. Here it is: not only are Democrats no better in those areas, they are actually far worse. They are guilty of every one of their own accusations. Every blessed one.
Who cares more for humanity? The Democrat who votes higher and higher taxes, ostensibly to benefit poor people, but gives pennies to charity from his personal income? Or the Republican who believes in the justice of the earner keeping his wage but is much more generous to the needy? Remember, we just replaced a President who consistently gives 15 percent to charity with a millionaire who lets his brother live in a shack on one dollar a month.
Who cares more about communication between peoples? The Democrat who traffics in platitudes like hope and change but has no spine to stand up to the Ahmadinejads and Kim Jong Ils of this world? Or the Republican who proclaims the clarion call of freedom to the world and promises the support of American arms? Remember, we just replaced a Vice President who stood up to Russia invading Georgia with one who rolled over to facilitate Khomeini and Mugabe taking power in the late 1970s.
Who cares more about love? The Democrat who undermines marriage and the family so that people who want to do their own thing, however disruptive, can feel more comfortable? Or the Republican who respects the individual’s right to his behavior but fights to defend the dignifying structures which promote a healthy communal life?
Who cares more about the defenseless? The Democrat who allows individual women to abort living, breathing beings for the sake of convenience? Or the Republican who will speak for that child no matter the price, no matter the unpopularity?
Who cares more about the little guy? The Democrat who defends teachers’ unions to the detriment of children in desperate need of education, stealing their only chance at climbing out of the ghetto? Or the Republican who is prepared to offer a voucher for any child to attend private school?
Yeah, it is impolitic to talk like this in this very special time. Still, I am tired of hearing these frauds twist the truth, hold down opportunity, trap the poor in the strait jacket of government assistance, all the while declaring me the enemy of the downtrodden.
Well, the Democrats have the Presidency and Congress now. Let us see how well the little guy fares in this arrangement. Which rhymes, incidentally, with derangement.