Brandon Bartlett is an English sophomore and Mustang News columnist. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints and editorial coverage of Mustang News.
Like Icarus, to political power we run;
reaching close, but falling before the sun.
For true control will unbalance the scale,
and perseverance may destroy those who prevail.
So let us be careful, such that we do not regret,
those to whom power we do beget.
Let us, first, examine the place in which we sit,
so that we may draw conclusions from that which is fit.
We see two parties warring on into the night,
both believing themselves just, moral and right;
but with no end in sight, they continue to fight,
and thus we make our laws.
Those laws are compromises, never holy nor pure,
and so lady Justice remains demure;
as no one desire is ever carried out,
no one man given too much clout.
Instead, we see, a debate as such,
each sophist attempting to speak too much;
then in resolution, though never fully complete,
the extremes of both sides eventually meet.
And thus, progress is made by the defaming of morals;
the pundits yell, scream, rage and quarrel;
but the promises put forward were only meant to be oral;
and no one is surprised.
But answer me this, why might such a system be designed?
Does it not, integrity, clearly undermine?
And, moreover, does it not tempt to corrupt?
For to rile the crowd is to already drink from the deceiver’s cup.
To answer this, let us first turn to our situation,
and recall that all systems are but manipulations;
for the task of the politician is to do what cannot be done,
to think of many things instead of just one.
Society is complex, and no one may grasp
all which has caused the economy to lapse.
A million factors, all coming to a head,
yet we want one answer, then off to bed.
So to sway the masses, an explanation much be chosen,
then a beautiful tapestry of fear must be woven.
Damn those immigrants, those businessmen, those Commies!
Send Wall Street elites crying to their mommies.
Then, and only then, can we finally be free;
all the blame on the other, and none for me.
So we blame and we blame, then finally do away
with something important that really should stay.
For rarely do monsters truly exist,
though many a citizen, evil they will assist.
Not entirely bad, not entirely good,
society staying together by necessity, not by brotherhood.
The folly of each is to be only partly correct,
to judge aptly once, but never to recheck
to see if another issue may have an effect,
on our pax romana, doomed to wreck.
The libertarian knows the fear of government power,
and how regulations may trample the industry’s flower,
and be she not correct?
Health codes, fire codes and handicap accessibility
will kill any business without proper legal agility.
And who could contradict that the minimum wage
will put at least some small businesses into a cage?
Her fear is well grounded, though incomplete,
and so a balancing force she must seek.
Enter the liberal, full of Portland pride,
calling for peace, and to a tree he is tied,
what does he fear?
He fears that business, with pockets full of cash,
will abuse the worker, and the earth will trash,
and is he not correct?
This be an equally valid fear, or so I do suspect.
For let us examine a place with looser regulations,
a place where dirty factories and bloody sweatshops pollute the nation;
a place where companies can have their will,
a place that we would all find quite ill.
And so, it seems, each pole has its truth;
neither North nor South can claim the Fountain of Youth.
And now to the Democrat, what does she disdain?
What social ill causes her the greatest pain?
Seemingly, it be the majority voice,
dominating all and restricting choice.
Her call be “Diversity!” and “equality” the refrain;
for social justice and minority rights she was ordained.
And where does her balancer lie?
Now to the Republican, often full of religious zeal,
to culture and heritage, he will most often appeal.
Knowing a truth that the Democrat may lack,
that without a structure, chaos will attack.
Thusly, attempting to return to the great days of past,
he must fight off the threatening iconoclast.
And so the majority refinds its voice,
and the 1 percenters find cause to rejoice.
Again, a balance, struck between the two,
and thus, to our original question, we have found the clue:
A system that demands compromise was so devised,
because each party refused to be advised.
Each sticks to its opinions, its timidity, its ignorance;
refusing to learn, and rejecting deliverance.
Never gaining too much power, without spoiling the show,
for blind faith always has disillusionment in tow.
For power does not corrupt, it merely reveals,
the foolishness that once had been concealed.
And while a house divided against itself cannot stand,
one that exists in unity equally condemns the land.
So thank your stubborn opponent, and cherish their reproach;
let your beautiful stalemate shine like a broach.
For it is by their wisdom that your folly may hide,
and only by their ignorance that you may save your pride.