Opinion and Truth

A statue of the blindfolded lady justice in front of the United States Supreme Court building as the sun rises in the distance symbolizing the dawning of a new era. – Getty Image

In today’s divided society, with cameras everywhere, no one wants to wait for the system to do its job. We all have our opinions about what we are fed on the News Media. Some believe everything and others believe none of it. Protests and riots occur immediately when incidents happen. When we are given only half of the truth, we tend to accept it as the whole truth. This divides us even more. When opinion becomes truth we are all in trouble.

Social media

Everyone judge and jury

Public Opinion

Tantrums thrown stores up in flames

Not everyone gets their way

Today at d’Verse, Grace asked us to write a protest poem. She emphasized that words and poetry are powerful tool that can help bring about change in our world. I struggle with all division and misinformation that comes across social media. The tragic deaths of black men and women, as well as police officers, and children killed in crossfire disturbs me greatly. Somehow we need to learn to listen to each other and co-operate together to make everyone’s life better. I have written my poem in the Tanka format!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Then What? (Political Satire)

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When distasteful statues of heritage are gone

and the founding fathers permanently buried

and our country’s history erased // then what?

When the constitution is rewritten

and modified and amendments deleted

in the name of progress // then what?

When the drive of capitalism is sedated

and wealth redistributed to those who have never worked

and banks replaced by government 666 chips // then what?

When everyone is forced into political correctness

and all the “I’m sorry people” are reconditioned

to all think alike // then what?

When “swords are beaten into plowshares”

and all the guns are recycled to a few

who keep the disgruntled in line // then what?

When religions are squelched for deviant thinking

and non compliance revives the “burning at the stake”

and “God is Dead” // then what?

When anarchy and revolution turns into an Orwellian nightmare

and Big Brother/Sister monitors and controls everything we do

and creativity and culture become acts of treason // then what?

2024 is not that far away!

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As I watch the conflict and clashes between protesters/rioter and Police and National Guardsmen in Portland and across the country, it makes me wonder whether they have thought beyond their present anger, the destruction of Government Buildings, De-funding the Police, Black Lives Matter, and anarchy. 

I have compiled some outrageous questions, all containing some truth, for them and us to think about!

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My Friend Ivor Stevens said it best in his Haiku:

Cold steel’s not power

Love can’t be an iron fist

Hand in hand we breathe

https://ivors20.wordpress.com/2020/07/27/a-collection-of-ponds-turns-into-a-lake/

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Rights and Freedoms

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I have always been told it is not wise to bring up Politics or Religion because they are so polarizing and controversial. Sadly, I enjoy discussing both!  Today marks the day, last year, when marchers clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia.  White Nationalists and Left Wing Protestors who opposed their racist agenda got out of hand when a car was driven through the crowd, killing a woman who could not get out of the way. It centered around the push to take down Confederate Statues that honored Civil war soldiers who were fighting to keep slavery.  Tensions ran high as this and other similar issues were debated all over the country. This poem has lots of questions and not too many answers.

Rights and Freedoms

What happens when a societal group
Gains freedoms they did not have before
Do the rights one gains
Mean the rest of society
Loses some of theirs?

Do the demands of one
Now impose changes
Affecting values and beliefs…
Punching holes in the culture
Filling them with new patches
On long held old garments?

Perhaps new rights are positive
Adding embellishments
To a two-hundred-year-old culture?

Seems to me // it is like a balloon
That when squeezed on one end
Causes it to pop up on the other…
Giving rise to protests and resistance.

Perhaps the US is not the melting pot
That everyone keeps imagining it to be.

Diversity does not always guarantee inclusion!

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

 

The Times They are a Changing

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Some people think the country today is divided like never before, but the reality is there has always been a divide in political thinking. When I went to college back in the 1960’s there was just as much conflict as there is today.  The Civil Rights movement was changing the social fabric of the country. The Viet Nam War was moving into full swing. Protesters marched on Washington, DC in record numbers protesting the war. Everything changes over time and will continue to do so. This poem is a tribute to the changing times I grew up in a couple of generations ago.

The Time They Are a Changing

I came of age in the 1960’s innocent and naïve

It was a time of turmoil, hate, and strife

Yet I never knew I couldn’t believe

When I was in eleventh grade

The news came over the PA

President Kennedy was shot today

They said it was Oswald from some distance away

Bobby, Martin, and John all fell by the gun

Hate reigned supreme under white hooded strangers

I never knew the divisions there were

In my isolated corner of the world

With signs of injustice, bigotry, and division

Blacks only whites only I could not imagine

I had friends of both shades

Separation never entered my mind.

They were in my class every grade down the line

People were marching crying for change

Facing dogs and fire hose every step of the way

Then one day I heard something new

With sweet harmonies and Folk Music the peace marches grew

A tidal wave of change throughout the land

Words that spoke volumes and rang true against the Klan

“How many roads must a man walk down

Before you can call him a man?”

“If I had a hammer

I’d the hammer out Justice, ring the bell of freedom

And sing a song about love between my brothers and sisters

All over this land

Seeger, Dillon, Paxton and Biaz

Peter Paul and Mary were the best in my eyes

Bringing hope and change to a weary land.

Prophets Simon and Garfunkle were really grand

With sounds of silence and Homeward Bound

Bridge over Troubled Waters making their stand

Dark clouds gathered as we entered Viet Nam

Protests and marches throughout the land

As the sixties closed the marches continued

It would be a long while till the country blended

But change can happen when we love each other

Working hand in hand to help our brother

This song sums it up in a few short lines

They’ll know we are Christians by our Love by our Love

They will know we are Christians by our Love

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Album cover: web image

 

Living in a Democracy

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Sometimes it may feel like there is no lifeguard on duty. But in a democracy that should not be the case. Our founding fathers set up a set of checks and balances that protect us from tyranny and anarchy. Watching the reaction to the election and the rioting in a few cities across the country I thought, “this looks just like it did in the 1960’s.” Protests against the war in Viet Nam hounded President Nixon as he took office.  Today we face different challenges but the protests always seem to be there. This led me to reflect on what democracy really means to me.

Thoughts on Living in a Democracy

*Democracy is a choice we make to accept the agreed upon majority rule. It is not ‘Let’s vote and then scream and shout when the vote does not go our way!’

*Change is scary and leaves us anxious and unsettled. Give and take is natural and expected in a Democracy. We are all responsible to make this work. We cannot refuse to cooperate because we did not get our way.

*Our forefathers believed the people would vote their choice and then live with the results.  After four years the people can come together to either vote them back in or vote them out! The majority makes the decision. If the people refuse to come out and vote, they have no grounds for criticizing the choices that are made.

*Democracy is responsible for the minorities who also have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The government must allow for differences, but minorities also are responsible to accept the will of the people.

*To impose the will of minorities on the majority is to deconstruct democracy and undermines the founding principles our forefathers laid out for us. To live in a democracy is to accept majority rule. To bring about change the majority must be convinced to make it happen.

*Change in a democracy comes through our elected representatives whom we elected to do our work. They are responsible to work for the will of the people and for the common good. They too cannot arbitrarily decide not to do their job because they did not get their way.  This is what caused so much stalemate in the past eight years. They should all be voted out and new representatives put in who will work for the people.

There are more, but this is all I will share for the time being!

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Lifeguard Photo: Dwight L. Roth