"In America, where the electoral process is drowning in commercial techniques of fund-raising and image-making, we may have completed a circle back to a selection process as unconcerned with qualifications as that which made Darius King of Persia . . . he whose horse was the first to neigh at sunrise is the King." —Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly.
Faces sly more than virtuous.
Words slippery more than true.
Hucksters and hustlers, narcissistic
Peddlers of the self selected from
Political machines modeled after
Families of the Cosa Nostra.
Champions of the elite's freedom
To follow every desire, but ready
To foreclose the advance of the human
Spirit to the rest of us.
Their debates shoot-outs,
Where zingers and gaffes determine
Who sprinted ahead and who fell behind
In this sleazy horse race.
We the people of The Greatest Nation on Earth
Do not say, as ee cummings once did:
"there is some shit I will not eat."
We stuff our faces,
Sated and sluggishly sensing that
Our hearts and minds will follow.
George Salamon taught German literature and culture at several East Coast colleges, served as staff reporter for the St. Louis Business Journal and senior editor on Defense Systems Review. He published a study of Arnold Zweig's novels of Word War One and a reader in German history. He contributes to the Gateway Journalism Review, Jewish Currents and The New Verse News from St. Louis, MO.