The essence of democracy
is that a person never be
afraid to freely speak what’s in their heart.
A blessing of democracy
is that an artist can be free
to fearlessly create a work of art.
There was a time not long ago
when any citizen did know
how precious was the right to free expression.
But that is not the case today
civility has waned away
society has undergone regression.
The rules have changed in recent years.
it’s animus, hatred and fears
that dominate. We have all become callous.
And anyone who dares to say
just one thing in a taboo way
is ostracized and targeted with malice.
The utterance of one wrong word
means henceforth you should not be heard!
You must be stupid, dense, at least uncouth.
You should be shouted down, ignored
and vilified, perhaps abhorred
if dare you challenge the decreed correct truth
You may be punished, perhaps fired
(never should you be rehired).
and banished from the realm of public thought!
Your life achievements matter not
decades of decency worth squat.
the products that you make should not be bought!
The joy of free and civil speech
is something we cannot impeach
a fact that everyone must come to see.
The right to express sincere thought
is something that must be re-taught.
It is the linchpin of democracy
I beg of those who scream and shout
to drown a disagreement out
for one brief second please lend me an ear?
To see what is the greatest threat
to our democracy as yet
just stand and look into the nearest mirror.