Half century ago Tom Lehrer sang the words,
“It’s fun to eulogize the people you despise
So long as you don’t let ’em in your school!”
In elapsed fifty years we’ve grown even more absurd
His sarcastic snideness today sounds so quaintly meek
For in these modern times sowing hatred has grown chic
Demonizing others with different points of view
Seems now our national past-time; so sad but so true!
How did world devolve to this niggardly estate?
Where we champion ignorance, intolerance and hate?
Talk of level playing fields where races are run
Declare that best man’s winning is our total sum
Ignoring that some racers exist on crusts of bread
Confident that natural order is what determines spread
And depicting those as evil with whom we disagree
As malign entities, like Stowe’s Simon Legree?
While seeing our standard bearer as champion of what’s right?
No room for breakthrough dialogue when our goal is just to smite
Each religion, every party, is composed of folks like you and me
Takes a special kind of stupid to follow them blindly
Alt-Rights just re-wrapped Nazis, comes call from the left
To even call them human leaves too many liberals bereft
While fear mongering conservatives warn of Muslim refugees
And it’s in fear filled churches where ultra-right hatred breeds
How can we ever see a way, a truth, a light
When we’ve tightly shut our minds to any new insight?
The labels we affix to people, places, things
That allow us to categorize, despise and march as mad lemmings?
Will forever be our masters and we ignorant slaves
Incapable of brotherhood or creating better ways
Divide and conquer, pit this group against that
Is page from oldest playbook, strategy that’s effective and old hat
So, if we want to be forever enslaved
Just cling to indoctrination from our youngest days
But if we dream of a world that’s more tolerant and just
First step is to examine why, who and what we trust
“Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It’s American as apple pie.”