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An Ode to Liberty and Justice for All

Earth Manifesto Insights

Dr. Tiffany B. Twain

October 2004

Imagine a country whose children make a pledge of allegiance every day
Addressing a flag, and the Republic for which it stands:
" one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
And let us examine this country, and ponder its impacts upon all lands.

The past 20 years have seen monumental changes occur on Planet Earth
As the Cold War's equilibrium of world power came to an abrupt end
And the economic and military power of the United States has come to dominate
Creating new challenges so complex that they are quite difficult to comprehend.

An old political Party in America has attained ascendance, a clever one,
Shored up by social conservatives and dogmatic Faith and hopeful rhetoric
Cobbled together by a powerful coalition of Big Money and Big Business
And Religious Fundamentalists --- a Party that is rapidly becoming folkloric.

The Party speaks of principle, morality, family values, military might, and God
And loves Power, laissez-faire capitalism, consumerism, and tax breaks for the rich
It indulges in expedient deficit spending, rolls back environmental protections
And is aggressive in warfare, though these policies come with a serious hitch.

Opposition to unfair advantages and great injustices is innate, and grows
And too much hypocrisy, hubris, and righteousness in our leaders shows,
So that resistance strengthens and unrest increases, as the cock crows
Requiring limits to liberty and dissent, and this is a slippery slope, God only knows!

The United States was founded upon basic Constitutional principles
Of fairness and equality and democracy and the separation of Church and State
With checks and balances to protect people against abuses of Federal power,
Yet today's Vested Interests subvert these ideas, adversely influencing our fate.

There is a great strife today of many interests competing for control
Dominated by an inflexible status quo of Privilege and Wealth and Power
That resists change, progressive reform, and fairness of representation
And clings remarkably tenaciously to its position, until its final hour.

It is ironic to see this Establishment very effectively represented
By a comic-book character President, a "good old boy" to be sure
A mouthpiece for policies that seriously harm the general welfare
Dividing citizens instead of uniting us, with actions that cannot endure.

Our legacy on Earth is something we must consider more closely
Because our current course is so destructive and unsustainable
And it is wrong to damn the future with debt and depleted resources
And to follow partisan policies that are neither wise nor maintainable.

Economists may say that it makes sense to convert forests to cash
Discounting future value by what is an injudicious and shortsighted deed
But forests help protect our water, rivers, atmosphere and climate ---
And ethical, long-term concern cautions us against such myopic and careless greed.

We are effectively embarked on a vast and uncontrolled experiment
In immoderation, wasteful consumption and habitat modification
Gambling wildly that we can continue acting extremely irresponsibly
As if there are no limits, no consequences, no need for better education.

We justify our behaviors, our worldviews, and our very existence
With all manner of beliefs, ranging from the primitive to the oh! so sophisticated
Sometimes having great faith in ideas that are suspiciously absurd or dangerous
And at other times denying the obvious, and being quite disingenuous and jaded.

Yes, life is unfair, with widely varying advantages, propensities and capabilities
And freedoms and favoritism lead naturally to greater disparities of power and wealth
Yet our founding principles were written to ensure fairness under the law
And we can't allow these principles to be undone and to damage our collective health.

Decisiveness and conviction in our leaders makes us think we are secure
Providing us with direction and a certainty that we may not otherwise feel
But misguided purpose in the service of wrongful and unfair and unjust ends
Must be democratically rejected, since it is contrary to the common weal.

We humans have hubris, believing that "It Is All About Us"
And, naturally, perhaps it could hardly otherwise be
Yet exactly where our real and true interests actually do lie
Appears to be something that we rarely are able to clearly see.

We have lost track of ancient wisdoms from our evolutionary past
Becoming too little aware of what wholesomeness there is vital connectedness
Failing to respect and appreciate Nature, upon which we completely depend
Remaining unalert to better courses of action and greater goodness.

Optimism in the face of great challenges has definite value to us
But blind faith in positive outcomes, without effort, is far too foolish
Because individually and collectively, we each can, and do, make a difference
And wed be wise to act in accordance with bigger perspective and to be less mulish.

For those undecided as to which political candidates are best for America
Remember that many interests are under-represented in our elections
The young, the poor, the homeless, the infirm, and all future generations
With their interests are seemingly given poor priority by Republican selections.

The impact of the November 2, 2004 presidential election on the Supreme Court
Is reason enough to avoid reelecting the socially conservative right wing
So, let us choose new leadership and throw the current incumbent rascals out
And help protect women and children and our environs, and do the right thing!

Oh, say, can you see, by the clarity of the dawn's early light
How so critical it is to improve our destinies, and to escape our plight
By voting for intelligent candidates who have progressive insight
Who support fair policies that common sense tells us are truly right.

         --- Dr. Tiffany Twain