Knowledge of the Electorate

We have these hands; they give us power

To pledge allegiance, to swing a sword

To hold hands, to strike hands, to chain hands, to mend hands

This is the power to manipulate our physical exterior with accuracy

Our calibration is remarkable

Typing, writing, eating, shaving, driving

And most people do these things

But they also take these hands

Given by God, or evolution, or nothing at all,

And they point with outstretched arm, clenched fist, and closed mind

At everything that has ever gone wrong

 

Each day there are remarkable people doing remarkable things

With these remarkable hands

And I feel an honest unity in the culture that others say we lack

In the stigma of a nation supposedly founded in greed

Potential energy crying out with all its might to be dispensed

And become something amazing

And then begins the finger-pointing

 

I have opinions and I disagree with some people adamantly

And I would absolutely love to be proven wrong

I would love to be fought with passionately, in a civilized way

With an opponent that knows the fight they picked

That knows the side they’re on

And can respect the fact that I’ve formulated an opinion

Not just adopted a general hatred or love

 

I have found such a small number of people capable of this

That I am in fear for the nation

I believe our political system is volatile in a good way

It can withstand shocks from any side

Nuclear fallout and grassroots deterioration seem the biggest threats

And only the latter slaps me in the face every day

Nations fall apart from within before from outside

Sounds extreme, but I’ve been disappointed

Repeatedly

For years now

 

When someone preaches of something I couldn’t dream of agreeing with

I listen with strained ear and a positively critical mind

And usually I really do learn something new

Some opinion or standpoint on an important issue that I never before considered

I won’t necessarily adopt it, but now I can respect its existence

But then I’m not allowed to get a word in

Respect is greeted with resentment for the enemy

But we’re not the enemy

And friendly fire with no base in reality is starting to eat us all

 

Everyone throws grenades and unnecessary cannon balls blindly

In today’s thriving commonwealth

This has always happened in human history I would expect,

Hence the reoccurrence of civil wars

But this is a new age with new resources

Mountains of gold in the way of words and ideas

And no one dives in to get rich

They just adopt the opinion of the other guy

Read one article that one guy linked them

And decide they’re on the winning side

 

People should stand tall, stand firm, and most importantly of all

Stand wherever they think the evidence points

People should know that all the evidence they hold dear

Has been argued in the opposite direction, and probably argued well

People should know that being wrong is not fatal

People should know that a representative democracy

Bestows and incredibly important requirement to the people

To vote, to know what they’re voting on, and to hold representatives to the promises they make

 

Bernie bumper stickers and Trump hats just aren’t cutting it

Hillary supporters can’t just cry over the election

If Trump isn’t your President, you’re wrong

Hate to break it to you

Go ahead and hate him – hate him for everything he’s got

Or love every word he’s ever said and worship it like an idol

But know what he said first

Know the reality of the situation

 

And thank whatever powers govern you

That you live in a nation that lets you hate who’s in power

Who lets you scream it at the top of your lungs from the roof tops

No one throws you in jail for nonviolent protesting

Now, isn’t that something?

 

So fight, and lobby, and wage a war

You’re allowed to – just listen to the other side

Always listen to the other side

For while most are concerned about oppression:

Women, LGBTQ, blacks, Mexicans, disabled, unskilled workers

I’m amazed at the progress we’ve made

I’m sure we’ll keep making progress

I know and am and love people of all of those classifications

 

People speak and cry of the nation we once were

Every time I am confused for we’ve only been relatively united at times of war

The KKK, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment Camps, the lack of the 19th Amendment, barring of labor unions,  tar and feathering of British tax collectors, the Indian Relocation Act

The damn Civil War

We started out with a nation that most people today would find repulsive

The progress is breathe-taking

Yet it’s diminished by everyone’s cry that it’s not good enough

It’s not perfect

 

It’ll never be perfect

I don’t know what we’re all crying about

Life is hard – period

For every single person

Everyone I know has a sob story and we’re never going to fix that

It’s not the government’s fault all the time

If your pursuit of happiness is legitimately being crushed by the government

Hold your unalienable right high in the air

And throw your cited evidence at everyone who will listen

Because I’m not telling you to shut up

I’m telling you to scream with a level voice of wisdom

Show me The Jungle of the modern day

Sinclair isn’t here to show us anymore

But simple opinions won’t move me

 

Organize under a veil of knowledge

Take Gandhi and King and morph their words to fit your cause

Your most likely righteous cause

But punches only multiply

And distort the entire intention of a movement in the first place

That’s not the best way to use your hands, I assure

 

If asked what’s wrong with America I will not beckon Congress

Or the Supreme Court or the President

To sit on the defendant’s side of the court

The little American flag on the table, sitting tauntingly,

For the ones that are wrong are the people

For expecting government to work for them

Without putting in any work themselves

 

Read. Your government gave you education.

Speak softly and carry a big stick.

Fight only with an arsenal bigger than Russia’s

And listen without a hatred for the words coming out of someone else’s mouth.

 

Everyone is not welcome and there is work to be done

Hard work, and sometimes I think everyone’s forgotten the history

Of blood, toil, tears, and sweat

Change isn’t easy. Hollering will get you nowhere.

And complaining will force progress backwards

I’m sick of the whiners and I’m not the only one

I want an accountable electorate

And I’m afraid that’s too much to ask

 

I love my nation – this beautiful thing I call my flag?

I will remove my hat and let down my opinions as its anthem washes over the crowd

All with level eyes to the stars and the stripes

We should be united by our nationalism above all

We should fight with respect for each other

And I’m waiting as patiently as I can

For someone to tell me off and leave me feeling inspired

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
My country

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