The Reagan

with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a long and weary voting day with chances dreary
for a quaint and curious choice, a nominee we all adore;
while I gauged the sense of voting, suddenly I heard some gloating
as of someone sugarcoating memories of years before.
“‘Tis some candidate,” I muttered, “ill-informed with good rapport—
only this, and nothing more.”

Ah distinctly I remember, ’twas a leap year in November,
every Senate member had a hundred lobbyists or more.
Earnestly I wished for fairness, recognizing all the rareness
of the public welcoming purveyors of enlightened lore—
condescending to the noble precepts of enlightened lore:
here, then gone forevermore.

Now I heard this faint intoning, not unlike a distant moaning,
near the bust of Adam Smith above the Senate’s chamber door.
Grave concern about tomorrow seemed to frame these sounds of sorrow,
sorrow that we haven’t known since choosing sides with Bush and Gore—
sorrow like a candidate who’d never lost the vote before—
sorrow like a lost l’amour.

Heart of mine now all aflutter, hurried I to raise the shutter—
there appeared an old acquaintance in his saintly guise of yore.
Ghostly, gaunt, and ancient fellow, wrinkled, cheeky, pink and mellow,
Mister Reagan, ever tasteful, decked out with a pompadour—
speaking with the flourish of the surf on California’s shore:
Quoth the Reagan, “Tax no more…

“…Minimize the legislation, put an end to regulation,
give big business all it wants, then turn around and give it more.”
Nothing further did he utter in his Presidential stutter,
not the least obeisance would betray his movie star decor,
glowing like a quote from Milton Friedman on the Senate door,
“Laissez-faire and nothing more.”

Then the Gipper, ever smiling, ever skillfully beguiling
all my fluster into words to counteract his charm galore:
“Mister Reagan, let me state this: didn’t you anticipate this?
Now the wealth is concentrated, nothing’s left to bargain for.
Is there any balm on Main Street—tell me, tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Reagan, “Nevermore.”

There he dallied, never leaving, still deceiving, always peeving
those who’d rather choose the bust of FDR to stand before.
“Wretch!” said I, “Your regal leaning surely was devoid of meaning—
still, it seems the Seraphim is on your side forevermore.”
All my hopes for equal incomes, lying on the Senate floor,
shall be lifted nevermore!



Paul Buchheit is an author of books, poems, progressive essays, and scientific journal articles. He recently completed his first historical novel, 1871: Rivers on Fire.  His poetry has appeared in The Lyric, Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets & Patrons of Chicagoland, Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, Society of Classical Poets, and other publications.

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60 Responses

  1. Mike Bryant

    Paul, this is a beautiful poem. It’s like a carefully shaded history lesson in perfect POE etry. I wouldn’t be too worried about equal incomes, though. It seems we are headed in that direction at breakneck speed. We will all be able to share the scraps after the WEF takes theirs off the top. Get ready for the not so brave new world… we’ll own nothing and be happy. Of course our betters will own everything and be euphoric. There is a warm fuzzy feeling in being cared for by our rulers… warm, fuzzy serfdom or freedom, that’s our choice. I fear it has already been made for us.

    “I think that nothing is so important for freedom as recognizing in the law each individual’s natural right to property, and giving individuals a sense that they own something that they’re responsible for, that they have control over, and that they can dispose of.”
    – Milton Friedman

    • Paul Buchheit

      Thank you, Mike. (POE etry — I like that.) What Friedman failed to realize is that unregulated individual power allows the greediest among us to alter the rules and take a morbidly disproportionate share.

      • Mike Bryant

        I agree, that is where we are today. We used to call it fascism when the government and big business worked together. Now, instead of small government freedom we have fascism, communism and so many other isms in power all over the world. Unfortunately, as governments have been working closer and closer together, we are learning what a real monopoly looks like. Now they’re planning foodlessnes, freedomlessness and homelessness for everyone… except themselves. The really funny thing is… as always, those that are helping the tyrants will be the first to be disposed of. You got it right, Friedman could not have seen this coming.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    The phrase “All my hopes for equal incomes…” betrays the writer’s left-liberal ideology. There will be no hope at all for small government if people like this poet have their way.

    • Paul Buchheit

      Love your sense of humor, Joe.

      Actually, I had altered that phrase to a non-partisan “All my hopes for income fairness” but forgot to change it.

      • Mike Bryant

        The problem with “equal incomes” and especially “income fairness” is… WHO gets to decide what is “equal” and what is “fair.”
        For almost the entire history of the earth, the marketplace has determined that. It is only in the last couple of hundred years that people have been led to believe that there really are tyrants who are magnanimous and wise.
        The problem is not individuals who make a lot of money. The problem is monopolies weaponized by corrupt government. The USA government understood that when they busted up Ma Bell. Now the government creates money by creating burdensome regulations. That way only the wealthiest companies can play with and pay for their government cronies. That’s why the USA and the world has become a Uni-party. That’s what Ike warned us about in his “Military Industrial Complex” speech. The funny thing about that speech, no one remembers that Ike also warned us about the Medicine and Science Industrial Complex. Today he would also warn of many, many other ridiculous ties between our governments and money-making concerns… like the media and big tech for a couple of obvious choices.
        If only it were so simple. I’m afraid this evil tangle of corruption was not spun up by Reagan or by any other one person. Only new hearts not influenced by money, fame or power will inherit the earth. I think Jesus may have said something similar.

      • Paul Buchheit

        The takeover of the financial system and the tax laws and the regulatory system has led to America being the MOST UNEQUAL country, in terms of wealth, in the entire developed world (and except for Russia and a few tiny countries, in the ENTIRE world). The constant allusion to “the market” as a solution has greatly accentuated the problem. The capitalist market serves rich and well-positioned people, and the typical conservative response is to accept gross inequality because that’s just a result of people earning what they’re worth. But all the tech and financial billionaires have been standing on the shoulders of society since the 1950s. Reagan was just a dupe for the financial experts who rigged our economy and made us morbidly unequal.

      • Mike Bryant

        Reagan was only the dupe whose policies took down the USSR.
        His contemporaries are using Russia, Ukraine and WWIII to fill their pockets.
        The market’s not the problem. They have cornered the market. THAT is the problem.
        If you want to blame big business, fine, but big business is being wagged by the Big Dog of government.
        So yeah, we definitely need these two to decide what every last one of us needs in the way of income.
        Hint… you are not one of the protected classes…

      • Paul Buchheit

        The market IS the problem for the 60-70% of Americans who have virtually no savings. That’s the result of the rigged components of the market system (which I mentioned above). But conservatives tend to blame the downtrodden for their own misfortune.

      • Mike Bryant

        I agree with the second part of your comment. The market has been rigged by traitors within our government. I don’t see how you can trust those same traitors to fix the problem. The parties need the big bucks so they have rigged the system, cornered all markets.
        There are NO angels in our government or any other. Conservatives are the best hope for the poor and downtrodden. I wonder if there are any left in the government.
        Paul, I do see this as a fun poem.

      • Paul Buchheit

        “Conservatives are the best hope for the poor and downtrodden.” ???

        Now this conversation is getting humorous.

        ‘Conservative’ means “keep things the way they are.” Especially, for the wealthy, their hold on the wealth.

      • Mike Bryant

        Paul I prefer the Wordnik definition.
        1) Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
        2) Traditional or restrained in style.
        3) Moderate; cautious.

        Please don’t change definitions willy-nilly. Conservatives are definitely opposed to that sort of change.

      • Mike Bryant

        Also, if you think I am for keeping the status quo, you haven’t read my comments.

      • C.B. Anderson

        I believe, Mike, that it was Eisenhower who spoke that warning.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Joe, doesn’t modern infrastructure require a big government to maintain roads, electricity, etc.? Some say that all hope for small government went out the window with modern infrastructure.

      I’m as much in favor of small government as anyone else here, but I don’t know if it’s a realistic idea unless we live like the Amish (which looks good to me but I know won’t happen unless the grid stops working and a lot of people starve).

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Joshua, I only saw your post just now, which is why I am late in answering it.

        “Small government” is not necessarily about size, but about the level of its intrusion into private life. Yes, a modern industrialized nation certainly will have a “big” government, in the sense that there will be much to plan, oversee, and possibly regulate. But just because a government has to establish an electricity grid, or bring help to catastrophically stricken areas, or suppress crime, or raise taxes for defense, doesn’t mean that it should also have a “”big” influence in our private lives and how we raise our children. Private life, religion, education, and ALL cultural matters should be solely the concern of privately acting citizens.

        In fact, now that you bring the matter up, who built our first railroads in the early 19th century? Who developed our use of electricity, gas, coal and oil? Who established law and order in new communities? It wasn’t the government, but privately acting entrepreneurial citizens, and local authorities. This was in perfect accord with the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, which states that nothing should be decided or arranged at a higher level of authority that can be adequately handled on a lower level.

        Jefferson was a Deist and a child of the Enlightenment. But he said a very true thing: “That government is best that governs least.”

  3. Norma Pain

    Paul, subject matter aside, Mr. Poe is one of my favorite poets. Your perfect rhyme and meter leave me feeling delighted and re-reading your very clever poem. Thank you.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    To Paul —

    The desire to accumulate wealth and property and pass them on to one’s heirs is not limited to big-time capitalists. Every normal person, of whatever productive social class, wants to do this — and what’s more, that desire is what supports and nurtures culture and civilization. Private wealth may generate mere opulence and luxury at times, but it also makes possible the flowering of personal freedom, creativity, inventiveness and genuine learning. Do you think some goddamned government bureaucrat gives a swiving hump about those things? All he wants is confiscatory taxation to support ideological agendas, foreign wars, and the parasite welfare class.

    When you speak of “income fairness” (what a weasel phrase!) what you really mean is the leveling of wealth via confiscatory and punitive taxation — exactly why this corrupt and fraudulent “Resident” in the White House wants 87.000 new IRS agents.

    There has never been “equality of income” anywhere in the world, at any time — except when a nation is reduced to starvation and penury by agenda-driven Communists, left-liberals, and socialists (all birds of a feather). Have you ever asked yourself, Paul, why people are leaving New York and California in droves, for conservative states like Texas and Florida? Or why no one is going to failed cities run by Democrats, other than the illegal aliens who are being bused there from our broken borders?

    Be a left-liberal if you like, Paul, but at least be honest about your agenda.

    • Paul Buchheit

      Joe, funny how you manage to interject insults into your rather weak arguments. Defense mechanism, I guess.

      You gotta be kidding about equality of income (or, more appropriately, wealth) never existing. It existed in post-war America (for white people). It exists to some extent in social democracies — altho I know anything with the word ‘social’ in it is anathema to people who blame the underprivileged for their own misfortune.

      • Mike Bryant

        OK, Paul, now that you’ve insulted Joe and every conservative person in the world, I’d say you have evened everything up.
        I wonder where Habitat for Humanity fits in your little pigeon holes.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Paul, asking you to be honest, and asking you to answer questions, is not insulting. It’s part and parcel of argumentation, which you can’t handle.

        If you think my arguments are weak, it’s incumbent upon you to answer them. And if you think equality of wealth existed in the U.S. during the 1950s, I can only assume you weren’t living then, and that you don’t know many white people.

        And when you say that it only “exists to some extent” in social democracies, you imply that you’d like to see even more confiscatory taxation in those places. How typically liberal! There’s never enough bureaucratic tyranny and taxation for them.

    • Paul Buchheit

      The return to high inequality began in the 1980s.[23] The Gini first rose above 40 in 1983.[17] Inequality rose almost continuously, with inconsequential dips during the economic recessions in 1990–91 (Gini 42.0), 2001 (Gini 44.6) and 2007.[24][25] The lowest top 1% pre-tax income share measured between 1913 and 2016 was 10.9%, achieved in 1975, 1976 and 1980. By 1989, this figure was 14.4%, by 1999 it was 17.5% and by 2007 it was 19.6%.[8]


      • Mike Bryant


        The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that 57% of U.S. households paid no federal income taxes for 2021, up substantially from the 44% before the pandemic.
        Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, said Covid-related job losses, a decline in incomes, stimulus checks and tax credits were largely responsible for the increase.
        The expanded child tax credit was a large factor. It substantially reduced “the income tax liability of more than a hundred million households and temporarily turned many from payers of small amounts of federal income tax to non-payers,” Gleckman wrote.
        With many of the tax programs ending, Gleckman forecasts the number of nonpayers will decline to 42% in 2022 and 38% by 2029.

      • Paul Buchheit

        What’s your point? Half of American households live paycheck-to-paycheck. Would you raise their taxes? Billionaires and the richest corporations pay 3% or less in taxes.

        That’s another common conservative argument—-that the poor get government welfare. But it’s been well-demonstrated that the upper classes in America get a much greater share of government subsidies and benefits (should we say welfare?) than do the bottom 20% of Americans. (Documentation available upon request, if you wish to see the facts)

      • Mike Bryant

        The poorest 20% of America’s poor have a higher annual income than most European countries. Let that sink in. Maybe you should take your campaign to those selfish Europeans.

      • Paul Buchheit

        Mike, you have an answer for everything, altho I’ve failed to make sense out of many of them (my fault, maybe).

        Of course homeless people will gravitate to the big cities, where they have a chance for survival.

        As for “the upper crust need more money to pay off all their partners in Government..” Good one.

      • Mike Bryant

        Thanks, Paul. Our discussion has reminded me of a story I heard about billionaire J. Paul Getty.

        During an interview he was asked why he had so much money while so many were in poverty. Getty called in his accountant and asked him to work out how much money he could give to each of the World’s poor if he liquidated all his assets. The account said it might take a few minutes, so Getty paused the interview until his account returned ten minutes later. The accountant said, if we did that, not accounting for logistics costs, you could give each one twenty-three cents ($0.23).
        Getty gave the reporter a quarter and politely asked him to leave.
        Maybe it would make more sense to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity than to tilt at all the progressive windmills.

      • Paul Buchheit

        Mike, my point all along has been about extreme inequality, for which we lead the world, or close to it. If you wish to get into an argument of facts and stats, I’ve got years worth of data for you to deny.

      • Mike Bryant

        I won’t deny your facts and stats, I only wanted to point out that the average poor person in America is wealthier than the average person in Europe. I also want to say that it isn’t Big Business that is the problem, it is the partnership of Big Business, Big Government and Big NGOs that is the problem. We used to call that Fascism… now it’s the norm across the globe. This unholy group has set the good people of the earth against each other. We have been divided over thousands of normal human fault lines. This rich/poor thing is just the FIRST one that Marx came up with… but any division will do if you want to rule.
        We have seen the enemy and it is us… at least it’s our leaders… we are being turned into cattle. Prodded by insults to hate each other.
        Maybe it’s time we got back to the basics of love. (Old Waylon Jennings Song)

      • Paul Buchheit

        Mike, that comparison between US and Europe is in straight dollars, with no consideration of purchasing power or quality of life. Once again, my focus is on inequality within the US. I’ve spent years researching and writing about inequality, and I’ve rarely found a conservative claim that ended up being meaningful. Let me know if you’d like to challenge that assertion with your own conservative ‘facts.’

      • Joshua C. Frank

        What makes you think our facts are wrong and your “facts” are right? You can’t win with that. At best, you can force a draw by calling facts subjective (if that’s a fact, is it also subjective?), but you can’t win with that.

  5. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Paul! I am saddened and distressed that a person of your presumed intellect even considers equal income as a fair deal. I taught Comparative Communist Systems for the University of Maryland, served in Russia for seven years, first as a US Army Attaché, then a Commander of Portal Monitoring, and third as a US Foreign Commercial Officer for the US Department of Commerce. In those positions and with a postgraduate educational background in Political Science, Economics and History, I observed the harsh realities in the old Soviet Union and knew the rest of the communist clan. Here are some of my points:

    1.) Equal income never existed in those communist systems or any other. There was no middle class and the fervent communist political elites were decidedly far above the average citizen who basically was condemned to serfdom.
    2.) Those systems demanded everyone work for a living, just like the Nazis with the slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei.” The Soviets were intrigued that anyone could be on welfare without working for their daily bread. Those who were judged against the system were deported to Siberia. If they did not work, they could starve or go to the Gulags for enforced labor.
    3.) Equal income being enforced meant that workers produced at the lowest permissible level not caring about the results. They had no stake in any economic system that did not reward them for doing well on the job.
    4.) Equal income meant all inventions and creative efforts belonged to the State, which was controlled by the fat cats.
    5.) Equal income meant doctors and others had no incentive for helping anyone, although a few must have had intrinsic caring.
    6.) Equal income means no upward mobility. Managers were imposed on the market place by those who were good or great at expounding on the privileges of communism.
    7.) Our system has controlled capitalism that exists in a “Free Market” system that at least rewards those who work hard, permits copyrights for the protection of inventions so they can make money and come up with more inventions, and allows for upward mobility.

    I suggest you study and fear the communist/socialist state. This is only the beginning of my remonstrances of such a terrible ideal.

    • Paul Buchheit

      Roy, thank you. As I mentioned above, I had altered “equal incomes” to “income fairness” in my notes, but I neglected to change it in my submission. I was going for humor, didn’t realize it would inspire such a backlash.

      Of course I don’t support equal incomes. Incentives are vital.

      But even the phrase “income fairness” is being questioned. I don’t see how anyone can argue against instilling some degree of fairness into an income/wealth distribution that has been manufactured by well-connected financial experts in the past 40 years.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Paul, you can pull that rhetorical sleight-of-hand with other left-liberals, but you can’t pull it here. You sense that the phrase “equal incomes” is indefensible, so you come up with the squishy-soft weasel phrase “income fairness.” Can you tell us, specifically, what the difference is? This is similar to the substitution of “pro-choice” for pro-abortion, or “climate change” for global warming, or “peacekeeping” for foreign wars, or “diversity” for anti-white discrimination.

        If you understood for a nanosecond how these disgusting verbal wiggles sicken and enrage conservatives, you wouldn’t be surprised at the fierce backlash you receive here sometimes.

      • Paul Buchheit

        Joseph, you’re playing word games again, and trying to flip it around. (“Verbal wiggles”? Come on.) As I told Mike, I’ve spent years researching and writing about inequality, and I’ve rarely found a conservative claim that ended up being meaningful. Let me know if you’d like to challenge that assertion with your own conservative ‘facts.’

        Conservatives, in general, want to conserve the status quo, which includes extreme wealth inequality. Progressives focus on society, seeking a better life for everyone. That’s where income (and wealth) fairness comes in. All I’ve seen from conservatives are attempts to justify their disregard for social responsibility.

      • C.B. Anderson

        You can move the goalposts all you want, Paul, but you still can’t answer the questions posed. Maybe it’s time you created your own Nanny-state where everyone is free to live in poverty. “Inequality” is inevitable in any free society where individuals get to make real choices. You might have been doing research for many years, but you seem to keep looking down the same rabbit hole.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Paul, wealth inequality has always existed and will always exist, even in Communist countries. You can’t do anything about that, any more than you can do anything about the law of gravity.

        Here’s my limerick (published 6/13/2022) that says it all:

        I tried to cheat the system
        And fight all the rules and resist ’em
        But God has His way
        At the end of the day
        Now I’ve too many problems to list ’em!

        Oh, and one more thing: we aren’t against giving to the poor. Conservatives give more money to the poor per capita than liberals. (Look that up.) It’s just that we don’t believe in government forcing people to do so, because history shows that the more power government has, the worse it is for the people. If you really cared about the people, you’d want to keep the government as far away from the people as possible.

  6. Paul Buchheit

    Mike & Joe: Feel free to get in the last word after this, because I’m done. All those years of inequality research made me realize that conservatives (in general, not necessarily you) are just fine with ‘irresponsible’ poor people remaining poor.

    You know, I’ve greatly enjoyed the poetry on this site, but the constant political posturing and intolerance by a small but noisy faction makes for a toxic environment for anyone who dares challenge conservative viewpoints.

    • Mike Bryant

      Well, Paul, poor people in the USA are on a par with average people in Europe. The study is solid. Is there greater income inequality in the USA? Absolutely.
      It seems that logically this would mean everyone is better off here. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think so. I feel terrible if your feelings have been hurt but, in fairness you have never been a conservative on a progressive poetry site. If you had been, you would have been dumped.
      Thanks for your thoughts. Just to let you know, here at SCP, you have the power to have any or all comments removed from your thought provoking poem. I wish I could have the power to remove a few things from a few progressive poetry sites.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      And now you know how every conservative feels on nearly every Internet site out there. You liberals don’t have enough power? You have to demand that we bend to your will in our own space, too? If that’s not arrogance, I don’t know what is.

  7. Joshua C. Frank

    Paul, this poem is well executed. I would like it better if I could get behind the politics. I don’t agree with either party’s economic policy (I think the whole system is corrupt and has been from its inception), but I do like that the Republican Party has done a lot more to preserve everything we Christians hold dear and a lot less to destroy it.

    Equal income sounds a lot like Communism to me, and I see that I’m not the only one who’s getting that sense.

  8. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Paul, what a magnificent nod to the great Poe. The title is a stroke of creative wonder that has me smiling and every twist and turn is pure entertainment with a nod to a president who made an immense impression on me. I was still at school when Reagan burst onto the American political scene – to me it will always be the era of Reagan, Thatcher, Gorbachev, and Pope John Paul II that shaped my views… and what magic they wove with that “tear down this wall” moment.

    Your admirably crafted poem, the message it holds, and the comments section shout one thing to me. Freedom! In a cancel-culture world, where speaking out is as shocking as Lady Godiva’s ride through Coventry, I am so heartened to witness a discussion that is interesting, educative, and passionate… a rare treat these days. I know (from personal experience) that alluding to politics in poetry can be a tough move for a poet… a tough but necessary move if we want to live in a free and as-near-to-fair-as-we-can-get world. Only the exchange of ideas offers us that possibility. That is why the draconian powers that be want to shut people like us up. Paul, thank you for your talent and your willingness to partake in a dying privilege… robust conversation. It means a lot to me.

    • Paul Buchheit

      Susan, thank you so much for your kind words. They’re especially welcome after the heated online discussion. I had originally written the poem for a progressive site, but before submitting it to Evan I changed a few lines in an attempt to make it nonpartisan. But somehow I missed the little phrase that triggered all the fury.

      Anyway, it’s a true pleasure to get your feedback. We are definitely a “mutual admiration” team.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        That makes sense. When I tried joining liberal online groups (which is most of them), I said things that seemed perfectly innocuous to me, and many found them offensive and couldn’t believe that I couldn’t see why. Then I always finally left because I got sick of not being able to say anything without stepping on a lot of people’s toes.

        Perhaps it might be a good idea to save political content for liberal journals. This is what I would do if I were in your position (and given how pervasive liberalism is, I often am).

      • Paul Freeman

        Welcome to the right wing rodeo, Paul.

        I enjoyed your poem. It’s quite a feat.

      • Mike Bryant

        Ain’t no Eagle gonna fly with just one wing…

        Besides, Mr. Freeman, I think that someone who said, “For your interest I believe that anyone born biologically male should not be allowed to participate in women’s sport because it’s not an equal playing field.” and who also works for a carbon dioxide spewing oil company might need to polish up his left wing credentials.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        On the other hand, Mike, the field I work in is surprisingly full of liberals, and I think capitalism is bogus (I’m in favor of feudalism), but that doesn’t make me not right-wing.

        I‘m happy that Mr. Freeman is as conservative as he is. Let’s pray that he sees more of the light!

      • Mike Bryant

        Yeah, I guess feudalism is ok… especially in the movies. If we do go back to feudalism, I think it would be better to be the king, a lord or a vassal. That serf stuff doesn’t even look good in the movies. 🙂

      • Mike Bryant

        Paul, that is my point. In this crazy cancel culture world you have strikes against you already.
        You work in an unacceptable right-wing place.
        You write unacceptable right-wing poetry.
        You hold unacceptable right-wing positions.
        You have made unacceptable right-wing choices.
        You have recorded all these unacceptable choices, poems, positions and comments on the internet where they will be available for prosecutors of all things unacceptable.
        You have shown yourself to be a right-winger.
        THAT is what this world has become.
        Neither your protestations nor your apologies will cancel half a line of your new world sins.

        If you’re white, male, married and have kids you’re even worse.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Yes, the movies make feudalism look bad because they’re made by people who benefit most from capitalism and the modern world in general. I’m openly a medievalist, and that people are shocked when they learn this about me shows how ingrained anti-medievalism is in our culture,

        This isn’t an unthinking position, but one arrived at through study of history. Here are some books for anyone who’s interested:

        The Reactionary Mind by Michael Warren Davis
        The Case Against the Modern World by Daniel Schwindt
        Progress Debunked by Samuel Thomsen
        Surviving Off-Off Grid by Michael Bunker

        That’s just a starter set.

        Now, for the rest: Paul F., Mike is right. As Brian pointed out in his comment on Susan’s poem “Troll,” her position of defending children, women, and gays against the invasion of the pro-transgender agenda would have earned her a coveted position as toast of even the most liberal cities just 15 years ago. Now even the most liberal person who holds such a position might as well be a Nazi in the eyes of today’s left. As threatened as you may feel by our disagreement with your position, we still treat you much better than the left will.

        If it helps, I was once where you are now. I was a card-carrying liberal with some leanings toward what today’s left is. However, my love of family, country, tradition, and virtue (not that I’ve ever been very good at virtue) led me to hold some right-wing positions that were unacceptable in the liberal environment in which I loved. As I grew older (mid-20s), the tension got worse and worse, until the day I had to make a decision. I made my decision and never looked back. From there, I developed into the person I am now, and the process shows no signs of stopping.

        Someday you may be forced to decide which side you’ll take and which side you’ll forsake.

      • Joseph S.Salemi

        If the Left finally takes over totally, all of the sweet-talking, middle-of-the-road liberals will be rounded up and shot, before any of the rest of us are. Lenin called them “benign but useful idiots” and “the infantile Left,” and they have no place in the society that the really activist Left is planning.

        What a surprise it will be for them when they’re lined up against the wall.

  9. Mark F. Stone

    Paul, I admire the creativity and craft of your poem. I hope you continue to publish at SCP. Mark

  10. Brian A Yapko

    Paul, I would like to say that I too admire your fine poetic skill as demonstrated in this amusing take-off of “The Raven.” Like Mark and others have said, I also hope you continue to publish at the SCP. It takes a lot of guts as well as a thick skin for a poet to take a political stand and defend it. Your voice matters.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      On the one hand, I agree with you and Susan that good, solid debate is one important thing that’s missing from the world today.

      On the other hand, I saw some of those comments that went beyond debate and implied that conservatives are stupid… which is what all liberals believe, because they subscribe to an evolutionary model of politics and see themselves as Homo sapiens replacing Homo erectus like in their Darwinian mythology. (Actually, Darwinian selection favors conservatives because we have more children, but that’s another subject.)


      “‘Conservatives are the best hope for the poor and downtrodden.’ ??? [sic]
      “Now this conversation is getting humorous.”

      “I’ve rarely found a conservative claim that ended up being meaningful. Let me know if you’d like to challenge that assertion with your own conservative ‘facts.’”

      When any of us dare to speak up, he plays the victim and disparages those who dare to poke holes in his flimsy arguments:

      “I’ve greatly enjoyed the poetry on this site, but the constant political posturing and intolerance by a small but noisy faction makes for a toxic environment for anyone who dares challenge conservative viewpoints.”

      Free speech is one thing, but substituting viciousness for sound arguments is quite another.


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