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Special Project: 45 Poems

The Myth of Democracy

by Gary Beck
(New York, New York, USA)
Published April 20, 2019
"The Myth of Democracy" by Gary Beck - 45 Poems - Eleventh Transmission
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The Myth of Democracy

The turmoil of our times
is not from one election,
however offensive
to the public well-being
a disruptive candidate,
the least qualified ever
to lead our troubled land,
where many still believe
the myth of democracy.

Despite evidence to the contrary
from the Founding Fathers on,
when once upon a time
the country was unsettled,
still being stolen from
French, Spanish, English,
Native Americans,
there was room for people
to avoid oppression,
except when they were targeted
for taxes, military service, eviction,
loss of property to eminent domain.

And we voted,
convinced it mattered,
though most of us never knew
how our candidates were selected.
But we voted,
exercising freedom of choice
and generally didn’t get too upset
when man (or woman) lost,
except when Old Abe got in,
threatening the livelihood
of Southern agricultural barons
accustomed to dominate the land,
suddenly challenged for supremacy
in deciding the future of the country
by Northern industrialists and merchants
who needed cheap labor,
not slave labor.

Then many were killed
for the benefit of the few
and Northern resources prevailed
and a new order ruled the land.
And we believed we were free
and controlled our destiny.

But it was always the rich
who determined the fate of the nation
and as long as they were needed
the little people were allowed
a modicum of freedom,
for the oligarchs who owned the land
always knew they could dispense
with anyone who interfered
with the increment of profit
that rewarded devotees
with mansions, yachts, collectibles,
treasures that wealth provides
to be enjoyed by the few.

Our population multiplied
as we domesticated the land
and after World War II
the middle class flourished
and the nouveau prosperous
believed they had rights,
until they were no longer needed,
at least so many of them
by the lords of profit
who required doctors, lawyers,
scientists, professionals,
not unproductive liberal arts types
who were expended
in contrived stock market crashes,
when the hopes of their children
were ruthlessly discarded.

Now angry citizens protest
the callous machinations
of a cunning manipulator
who convinced frightened voters
that he would restore jobs
for a better future.
The righteous do not realize
that our President
was elected without them
and owes them nothing,
for it is beyond his conception
that the is the President
of all the people.
His ignorance of governance,
foreign relations, national interests
is only surpassed
by his complete inexperience,
except in nefarious deals.

Suddenly we have seen
the frailty of our rights
as the needs of the people
are thoughtlessly discarded.
Concerned citizens march,
demonstrate for vital causes
and cannot conceive
that the lords of profit
only care for their own needs.

The rest of us refuse to see
that only lunatics
would destroy the safety net
that protects Americans,
diminishing insurance coverage,
instead of increasing, improving
the health needs of the people,
whose ranting spokespersons
do not understand
no matter how loud they yell
objections fall on deaf ears,
since our President does not know
he is the caretaker of the nation.


Biography
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an
art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published
chapbooks and 2 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections
include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars
Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways,
Displays, Perceptions,  Fault Lines & Tremors (Winter Goose Publishing).
Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be
published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look).
Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living (Thurston Howl
Publications). Blossoms of Decay, Blunt Force and Expectations will be
published by Wordcatcher Publishing. Some of his novels are: Extreme
Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call
to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions) and Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat
Publishers). His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and
Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and
essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives
in New York City.
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