Sunday, April 2, 2017

Prophets in the Age of Trump

by Jim Rapp

Thank God for the prophets; the bearers of bad news.
No, not the preachers; you can forget them,
most have gone silent; some speak with hesitation,
others have made league with the darkness.

The true prophets were slow to emerge -
they always do, eventually, emerge.
Only when Trump penned the prophets up,
and goaded the crowd to jeer at them, did they stir.

And even then they felt it their journalistic duty
to portray the liar's rivals, some honest men/women,
as little less culpable than he - as liars-lite;
"Her sins are nearly as bad as his sins."

But when the liar won (sort of won) they had no choice,
could no longer take refuge in silence or comfort
in equivalence; either call him out as the liar that he is
or let him define them as liars, bearing fake news.

So now at last, too late perhaps,
but better late, we hope, than never,
the prophets have found their voices -
at last we have some prophets.

Find them in the opinion pages of the New York Times,
The New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Atlantic.
With satire and cynicism, with anger, fear and truth -
mostly fear and truth - they redeem their former silence.

They are Liberals - Collins, Bruni, Blow, Krugman;
They are Conservatives - Wehner, Brooks, Douthat, Cohen;
They are Moderates - Kristoff, and the Inscrutables - Doud;
They are all shouting with one voice - "We are in peril!"

Don't be fooled by faux prophets, by wanabe prophets -
the cable prophets, talk show prophets, Sunday bloviators.
Their achievements are measured in ratings and
their compensation is doled out in millions. Beware.

Any truth they speak is incidental, convenient, accidental,
filtered through sensationalism, half-truths and insinuation;
their news is always "Breaking", breathtakingly breaking;
their tone is urgent, always urgent, breathtakingly urgent.

Fox, MSNBC and CNN - spawns of Beelzebub - are the
worst offenders; but NBC, CBS, and ABC have likewise
sold their souls to Mammon, dollars driving programming,
arrogance disabling their souls, masking their insincerities.

They tease each illicit morsel for every dollar it will yield,
talk it to death, verifying their superheated propaganda
by the opinions of high-paid commentators (experts) who
validate the "awesome magnitude" of their breaking stories.

True prophets need not be flawless men and women;
some are as despicable as those whose sins they reveal.
Prophets, not always possessed of personal purity, are always
characterized by an intolerance for hypocrisy and subterfuge.

Prophets need income, have families to support,
like the comforts of life, but if a choice must be made
between pursuing the dollar or truth, they instinctively
go after the truth. John the Baptist, an anchor at Fox?

Thank God for the Prophets. Not the cable prima donnas;
their overt commercialism robs their words of authority;
Thank God for the editorial and Op-Ed prophets
writing for the Times, the Post, the Atlantic, the New Yorker.

Thank God for the Prophets. Not Democrats and Republicans;
our politics, corrupt to its core, has lost all credibility.
If there is any hope of salvation for our nation it will come
from prophets at the Times, Post, Atlantic and New Yorker.

But heed Venezuela, Turkey, Russia, recent democracies all.
Heed their slide into autocracy, intolerance and repression.
Only a cadre of Trump-defying prophets can save the U.S.
from such a slide. Hear them, heed them, help them - be one!

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