20 Jul

I Want My Country Back

I want my country back,
The one that doesn’t spend its treasure on death, destruction, and endless war,
While ignoring the needs of its citizens, its poor, its children.

The one that doesn’t torture its captives,
That doesn’t imprison them for years without charging them with any crime.

I want my country back,
The one whose government does not reward the wealthy few
At the expense of the common good,

The one that doesn’t spy on its citizens without warrant,
The one whose leaders do not lie to cover up their illegal actions.

I want my country back,

The one whose president and vice-president do not promulgate fear to
Silence and dis-empower their fellow citizens,

The one whose president and vice-president do not put themselves above our laws,
Whose president and vice-president do not attack and degrade our Constitution.

I want my country back,
The one that has attempted to live up to its ideals:

The country of the abolitionist movement to free our slaves,
The country of the labor movement to ensure the rights of workers to organize,
The country of the feminist movement to address the inequalities suffered by women,
The country of the civil rights movement to secure the rights of black Americans,
The country of the anti-war movement to stop the madness of the Vietnam war,

The country that has existed in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans,
As they have struggled to make it a place of justice for all.

I want that country back.

These men, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales,
Surely, they are not the rightful leaders of such a country.
Surely, they are a mistake, an aberration.
These men and those who do their bidding
Are small people: small in vision, in compassion, in intellect.
They are arrogant, incompetent, and corrupt ideologues.
They do not understand the values of our democratic way of life,

They do not honor our Constitution.

We must take our country back from these who would subvert our democracy.
It is now our turn to take up the struggle for a just and honorable America..

It is now our task to take our country back.

Mary Oleary-McGlinn


All of us who would have supported the abolitionist movement,
who would have identified with the righteousness of the labor movement,
who would have seen the feminist movement as an essential struggle for our democracy,
who would have marched in Selma for civil rights and in Washington for peace–
our country needs us now, petitioning our representatives to change the policies of this rogue administration; pressuring the current candidates for national office to describe specifically how they will repair the state of our nation at home and our reputation and standing in the world; and demonstrating in the streets of our local communities and in Washington, demanding an end to the occupation of Iraq and the beginning of the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

March in Washington, September 15th, 2007

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