Looking at the back and forth shuffling of our politicians, trying to decide what is good for them and not necessarily for the majority of Americans, I came across these lines written by Walt Whitman in a book by the late poet Stanley Kunitz (Next to Last Things). I believe they accurately describe the state of the Republic today, as Gore Vidal would have probably said:
“Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness of heart than at present, and here in the United States. Genuine belief seems to have left us…We live in an atmosphere of hypocrisy throughout…The depravity of the business classes of our country is not less than has been supposed, but infinitely greater. The official services of America, national, state, and municipal, in all their branches and departments, except the judiciary, are saturated in corruption, bribery, falsehood, maladministration; and the judiciary is tainted. The great cities reek with respectable as much as non-respectable robbery and scoundrelism…The best class we show is but a mob of fashionable dress’d speculators and vulgarians…I say that our New World democracy…is, so far, an almost complete failure…”
“In vain have we annex'd Texas, California, Alaska, and reach north for Canada and south for Cuba. It is as if we were somehow being endow’d with a vast and more and more thoroughly-appointed body, and then left with little or no soul.”
Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.