Political Caveat

Be careful with the social seeds you plant.
For liberal, pontificating rants
may make the world safe for democracy,
but otherwise it breeds autocracy.
Then hearsay functions for the rule of law,
where growing pains become a fatal flaw,
and visceral respect for basic rights
is compromised by making free speech slights
against unwritten rules. A flip remark
that resonates like Pekinese dogs bark –
without a bite – are bellowed in the court
of Cable News where one’s defense falls short
of an acquittal by the talk police,
whose smug reverberations never cease.
For they project in other people’s hearts
the remnants of their own internal warts.
It’s somewhat like the Salem trials of yore
where witches drowned on charges they foreswore.
For no defense can satisfy demands
of smug, self-righteous demagogues who stand
in tandem with the people who they judge,
because the mote that’s in their eyes won’t budge.

Nor do I miss the bitter irony
that one can’t hurl an ethnic slur at me,
but someone threatening to kick one’s butt
gets points for this dehumanizing juggernaut.
I don’t mind liberals with bleeding hearts
if we all donate when the bleeding starts.
Nor do I mind alleviating grief,
as long as mine is not brought in relief.
Beware politicos cum autocrats
who purge our interests in the laundromat
of CNN and some such cable news
outlets. They brainwash us with slanted views –
according the foundation that they built
on backs of slaves, a plush veneer of gilt.
And though I certainly do not endorse
self-centered people who are acting coarse,
I really see no reason to complain
when decent people go against the grain,
expressing valid views. For if no one
defends those dudes who liberally run
their mouths affirming rights and liberty,
I’ll be defenseless when they come for me.

Frank De Canio was born and bred in New Jersey and worked for many years in New York City. He loves music from Bach to Shakira to Amy Winehouse. Frank also attends a Café Philo in Lower Manhattan every other week, and a poetry workshop which are now, since Corona, ZOOM events. Read other articles by Frank.