Growing up near Yorktown,
I got a steady dose of education
On liberty and resistance to tyranny.
I flew kites on the battlefield
Where America finally was delivered
And the idea of united states,
Free from the whim of dictators and kings,
Would allow everyone
To get as far as they could get.

Maybe I took those lessons on as an idealist
Believing the pageantry promised by the American dream.
Maybe I basked in the propaganda of the Tidewater area suggesting
That speaking up, the law, and principles
Were something of honor, something expected from great leaders.
Maybe my schooling failed me
By not preparing me
For the realities of today
When I look to the government with jaded eyes.

Don’t get me wrong, the ideals of America are still passionately within,
But the mirror that our government is supposed to be
Is cracked and showing the distortions that exist
In “We the People.”
Apathy, greed, and all sorts of other self-serving shenanigans
Have allowed the powerful people
To do exactly what the framers battled against
Way down n Yorktown way.

So now I live in Philly,
Lately known more for it’s hosting of the NFL Draft
Instead of the determined persistence of revolutionaries
Who dared to say that they were not subjects and
Who would set forth the declaration that they were done with England.
I’ve learned in this great city why booing is important.
I’ve learned that the journey to realize the vision of 1776
Is still a long way off.

Because in Philly there are problems of inequality,
Violence puts safety in peril, and a racial divide makes me sick.
Hopefully, though, recent events have people thinking
About how each person is responsible for this mess
By not speaking out against those who are wrong,
Corrupt officials of either political side
Up to and including the President,
None are above the law.

Yet, all are a reflection of who we are.
Apathetic, greedy, consumed with self-serving shenanigans…
We have let our control of the government slip into a gang mentality
Where it’s us versus them, Republican versus Democrat,
Rich versus poor, culture versus culture.
In voting with such limited vision, we have created two countries
Where there is supposed to be one, just as was fought for
From the very beginning.

As the firings continue and the glasnost takes at dictatorial turn
Americans would do well to take a trip to a battlefield,
A museum, or maybe even a book.
Perhaps we should stop ranting about the stupidity in government
And realize we put the idiots there.
Then like parents, we should give the government a timeout
Since we are the ones holding the power
To stop the madness happening in the District.

Wake up, America.
Hold the extremists on the left and the right accountable.
Put people in charge who understand compromise.
Put people in office who understand the padding of their wallets
Is of no concern of people trying to survive.
Our concern is to live in a democracy, not a board room
With a paranoid-revolving door HR department
That terminates challenges to the totalitarian’s flimsy hair.


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