Friday, September 10, 2010

The People Yes

The leaders -- or, better, beneficiaries -- of the Tea Party-goers and other restive American conservatives are venal, authoritarian, simplistic, and resentful. Liberal leaders are all over the place: good or bad, strong or weak, smart or stupid, informed or superstitious. The Partiers themselves, 'though they be exactly, one hundred-eighty degrees, wrong in their analyses and prescriptions, have a leg up on politicians of all stripes, and on a lot of private liberals with heavily decorated rear bumpers: They know what the stakes are.

This is from Carl Sandburg's The People Yes:

The people yes
The people will live on
The learning and blundering people will live on.
       They will be tricked and sold and again sold
And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
       The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
       You can't laugh off their capacity to take it.
The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.

The people so often sleepy, weary, enigmatic,
is a vast huddle with many units saying:
      "I earn my living.
       I make enough to get by
       and it takes all my time.
       If I had more time
       I could do more for myself
       and maybe for others.
       I could read and study
       and talk things over
       and find out about things.
       It takes time.
       I wish I had the time."

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