He could have been a half-way decent human being—
without the excess money, alcohol, sex addiction, partying,
gambling disguised as business deals.
We could have done better without judges on the take,
payoffs, greedy, crooked politicians brokering power
by encouraging misogyny, racism, bigotry, blaming,
What is it in our culture, religions, philosophies
that make these marketing ploys so enticing?
These sound bites that encourage victim-hood,
that enable this believe-what-I-say-not-what-I-do
We still believe logic, reason, engagement, compromise
will soften what our leaders have become.
We ignore the hard truth that we voted
for the very ones who demonstrate
nihilistic, narcissistic, naked contempt . . . .
He could have done better without his excessive need for
supplicating, boot-licking, brown-nosing, groveling
We could have been less complicit in joining ranks
with these shammers, power brokers, people
who glitter with no substance,
greedy voices who control us by encouraging
self-righteous, judgmental, self-serving fear.
We could have done better had we paid attention,
had we refused to accept bullying rhetoric,
erratic behavior, overtures to our basest natures.
We could have done better if we had not
bought into take-no-prisoners,
© 2017 T J Barnum
First published in “Better Than Starbucks.”