In Freedom We Trust!

Different views of America once agreed on a common core of truths–principles/facts, values/service, found in and outside of government, high and low. Now we speak of security–not justice. We blame the poor, who, too often, have been cast off by the rich. Our police sometimes (too often!) shot our children. We take comfort in anger. We employ a squared logic, build around stereotypes.

In excess and waste, the New Lies are without honor: they serve only self. In Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities,” the lie was a meaningful sacrifice; it contributed and preserved something greater than self or wealth. Advancing in tragic conditions the honor and courage of higher service, the lie exalted and accepted the risks freedom requires.

Now we are told the Big Lie: freedom can be risk-free. By its very practice and definition, freedom implies and fulfills risk, whether in celebration or tragedy. Freedom reminds us in its practice that what makes democracy different from dictatorships and authoritarian regimes is its person-centered risk, shouldered by each, for all. Because we are all bound together, we are free.

The “deconstruction of the administrative state” is a lie whose real intent is to take away freedom by taking away our protections against risks and abuse of authority–it uses “security” to undermine the freedoms security claims to protect! It is a complicated lie with many parts. But like all the New Lies, it is void of honor, self-serving, guilty of blame, and concentrates wealth and power.

Goodbye Spin, Hello Raw Dishonesty

"Nora," 8. S An American, she was killed in Yemen Jan. 29th for our "security" during a Trump-ordered raid.

“Nora,” 8. S An American, she was killed in Yemen Jan. 29th for our “security” during a Trump-ordered raid.


For Langston Hughes (In Free Verse)

(Langston Hughes taught me poetically how to write about racism. /wr)

In the breach of politics—as white supremacy expands
to a global brand of brute tribute that shakes
democracy and populations in fear;
in a economic hegemony proven
of matching China’s best efforts in the Pearl River zone–
freedom and power have cleaved:
freedom is a farce transfixed,
empty of substance;
power has turned against the people,
its vision is the eye on
the balance sheet and the spectre of division.
Power calls injustice fair,
turns grief into a political wedge and
expresses personal vanity—it seeks not the common good
but bragging rights.

Trump, blinded by his Obama hatred—the fixture
of his racism—is so inept in his governing,
his only satisfaction at the end of the days
are his lies and a self-stirred chaos blamed-on-others,
a void of moral bankruptcy, and his assignation
of pain to countries, companies, and people.
The only non-lie is his cruel truth.

Goodbye Spin, Hello Raw Dishonesty

Goodbye Spin, Hello Raw Dishonesty – The New York Times

But let’s not focus too much on Mr. Sessions. After all, he is joined in the cabinet by Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, who lied to Congress about his use of a private email account; Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services, who lied about a sweetheart deal to purchase stock in a biotechnology company at a discount; and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, who falsely told Congress that his financial firm didn’t engage in “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents, seizing homes without proper consideration.

And they would have served with Michael Flynn as national security adviser, but for the fact that Mr. Flynn was forced out after the press discovered that, like Mr. Sessions, he had lied about contacts with the Russian ambassador.