They Claimed to Care
A Poem in Blank Verse
By Arius A. Aardvark
They claimed to care deeply about the Constitution,
But what they really wanted
Was to wall themselves off against brown people.
If separation of powers wouldn’t let the wall be built,
Then just fold the Constitution five ways
And stick it down where the sun don’t shine.
The claimed deep concern about deficits,
But their real goal
Was low taxes for the wealthy.
They claimed grave suspicion about Obama’s birth certificate,
But what really worried them was protecting their mental picture—
Imbibed with their mother’s milk—
Of black inferiority.
They said that government inefficiency was a pressing issue
When their real goal was to unleash the fossil fuel industry
To poison us,
And then to sauté the remains in the heat of global warming.
They said they were pious Christians,
But they were actually Christianists.
As Andrew Sullivan said,
“I have a new term for those on the fringes of the religious right
Who have used the Gospels
To perpetuate their own aspirations for power, control and oppression:
If Jesus Christ ever returns, then,
Like the Grand Inquisitor,
They will crucify Him all over again.
They looked at Bill Clinton and bloviated
On the necessity of personal morality in our political leaders.
But they looked at Donald Trump
And saw King Cyrus—
Who let the temple be restored—
And they said to themselves,
“Well, you know that old King Cyrus,
Haw, haw, haw,
He probably grabbed him a whole bunch of pussy, too.”
One is tempted to sum up this picture
In the word “hypocrisy.”
But “hypocrisy” isn’t quite le mot juste.
I, for example, care deeply about global warming,
And I care about personal morality in political leaders,
But if I were forced to choose,
I confess that I would pick a president of low moral character
Who could solve the global warming crisis.
Does that mean I am a hypocrite?
No, it means that some things that I want
Are more important to me than other things that I want.
But it’s good that the last two years or so
Have thoroughly demonstrated what the other side really wants
And what they will manfully sacrifice to achieve their most cherished goals:
A racist society,
Low taxes for the rich,
Deregulation of the fossil fuel industry,
And stuffing Christianism down our throats.
You probably remember an old smutty joke
That begins when a woman is offered an outrageous sum of money
To commit a carnal act,
And ends with the lines,
“Well, now we have established what you are,
And we’re just dickering about the price.”
Now we know what they are,
And we are learning full well the price they are willing to pay to achieve their goals:
No more constitutional democracy,
Reason, science, and logic be damned,
And leave the moral decency to the losers.