Civics Class

“I don’t like your attitude, Mister McKenzie.”

I was heading over to that tropical bar to confer with William when that whiny voice cut across my path and train of thought. I stopped and looked around for the voice’s owner. Figures.


The Voice snorted. “And that label makes no sense.”

There were two park benches facing each other across a comfortable space, a handy rest spot for families. I strolled over and sat diagonally opposite. “Who are you?”

“My name doesn’t matter!”

I hesitate, oh, what the hell.”You got that right.” Another snort.

“You swan in here with all the hubris of the country you once had and now is no more and expect any consideration? Forget it.”

He stood up and was about to shove past me but one leg across the other bench blocked him. “Sit down and shut up,” I roared. His ilk really give me the gears.

‘The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.’

“Ring any bells? It should. Now, we’ve had our dick-measuring contest and can have an adult conversation. Your choice … or ‘Vaya con Dios’, bub.”

Voice slithered back into his opposite corner. “Call me Marvin.”

“Got a surname? Or is that impolite to ask?”

Marvin looked downcast. “It really doesn’t matter …  Once it did. twenty-five years ago  and now I’m afraid to use it. Clue for the historian: It starts with K. Shhh.”

It got quiet after that. Finally, I had to say it, “So your lot broke away from a tradition that died and now I’m a villain for calling it like it was?”

“We had good intentions!”

Facepalm. “I know far more, Marvin, of what the ideal was supposed to be, and was, for a century. Then the People’s Party came along with an agenda that gutted the core of the Jeffersonian Democrat Party. Most of a century of belief in individual freedom, of honest money, of being let alone by Big Government, of states that were a bulwark against that monolith. But no, that wasn’t good enough.

The peepul wanted democracy. And they got it, good and hard.

‘We demand popular election of senators from the states.’
‘We want an income tax to soak the rich.’
‘We want a central bank and an ~elastic currency~.’
‘We want free coinage of silver.’
‘We want a protectionist tariff and protection from foreign imports.’
‘We want women’s suffrage.’
‘We want Prohibition.’
‘We dun need no steenking gold standard (thanks Xae).’
‘We want restricted immigration.’
‘We want public ownership of railroads.’
‘We want public ownership of communications.’

And what you end up with, is:


That’s all you need to know about those ~toxic seeds~.

And, Marvin, that ~label~ that so upsets you? Think back to May 2, 2011. That night, the murder of some bozo they said was Osama bin Laden. Did it never occur to you that the simultaneous spontaneous gatherings of people at the White House, Ground Zero, the Pentagon, a Philadelphia baseball game, Dearborn, Michigan’s City Hall with a select crowd of Muslims and Arabs, and for every stringer with a videocam in flyover country, and even the WWE crowd at Tampa, Florida … and every venue, the whole of the TV networks, waiting and slavering  for those iconic video captures.

And everywhere, the barbarians were chanting


No one remembered America. I guess they never knew her.

That night, I cried – for the founding fathers, the lost dream of a Republic, a country that had lost its way, and a Fourth Turning that would overwhelm the people. And yes, for myself, for my lost dream.

Suddenly, I paused, as though I heard the words deja auris and it was painful …



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