October 4, 2004
"Under god, under god, under god," the masses chant while marching to a military air. They hang on every word he says, as if he were some charismatic cult leader in whom they had found divine abilities. Like some Latter-day Caesar who declared that though he was not a god himself, god had chosen him to become leader: serpent oil to anoint his mountebank head. Born humbly, not in a stable, but into a family whose fortune was made financing fascist, he could sell you anything with his simplistic ways of speaking, shirt sleeves rolled up as if he were a working stiff, as if he had done a day's hard labor in all his life. Believing him, they claim all science philosophy, all religious doctrines facts on the ground.
"Under god, under god, under god," his partisans chant while sorting out the sheep from the goats: to gain admittance members must sign his loyalty oath. They sign with blood; he with his crude oil thumbprint seals the bargain. His Justice no longer wears a gang-colored bandana around her eyes, like Oedipus she has had them gouged out by unconscionable acts. Writing their ideology into law, his judges will uphold the act to ban litigation against the cult. Then reciting the pledge of loyalty sit in judgment on those who refuse.
"Under god, under god, under god," the banners of books march round the fire, the burners of heretics march round the fire; the unilateralists march round and round. Upon their faces emblazoned the sacrifice of their martyred warrior: with sword in hand he shall return to smite the unbeliever and the infidel. Holy crusader whose secret office holds the severed head of a native John the Baptist: the spirit held forced to do his bidding, forced to commit unspeakable acts: collateral damage, torture, and disenfranchisement.
"Under god, under god, under god," one family member turns against the other, one neighbor turns against another, friends betray friends who have resisted assimilation, shunning those who will not take the pledge. Proclaiming their compassion for others, they hide the victims of persecution behind temple doors, hide them in far away places, using guilt and fear to assure the conspiracy. Each morning upon waking, they place their hands on their hearts and speak the words that will guide their daily actions.
"Under god, under god, under god," they spout the catchwords of their conspiracy; you are either for us or against us; dissenters and detractors become anti-American; shouts of USA, USA become a litany of the self-righteous, of the select, of the chosen party; liberty becomes synonymous with invasion, freedom with occupation, and truth collapses beneath a burden of lies: "in our world, and here at home, we will extend the frontiers of freedom...Now we go forward -- grateful for our freedom, faithful to our cause, and confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth."
God bless you, and may god continue to bless America.
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Poetry on Swans
US Elections & Democracy on Swans
America the 'beautiful' on Swans
Gerard Donnelly Smith on Swans (with bio).
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