Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back to when...

Back to when the poor were poor and rich were rich
And you felt so damn secure just knowing which were which.

The American political right-wing seems to be getting everything on its entire wish lift fulfilled.

Since the 9-11 assaults, the police have more powers and civil rights of all people in the United States have been reduced: the Right has always wished for a police state.

Since the Iraqi War (and various natural and unnatural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and reported problems in our oil refining establishment), gas prices have sky rocketed: I’m sure the right-wing Republican oilmen who contributed so many dollars to George Bush’s election are dancing with glee.

Now with the destruction of the Gulf Coast, the Louisville Courier-Journal is forecasting that natural gas and heating oil cost will go up at least 30%. More profits for the energy cartels and less money in the pockets of average Americans. That should also please the right-wing and its desire for an economically stratified society.
Back in the 1960s, when I was a teen and young adult, the pre-Reagan hero of the right wing was Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. I think that today Senator Goldwater would seem more like a moderate than a right-wing reactionary. However, as a founder of the Conservative movement, Senator Goldwater was, for a time, the spokesperson (I realize that is a term not recognized by most conservatives) for the Republican right wing.

During the 1964 election, June Reizner wrote a song called Barry’s Boys that satirically expressed the “Boys” desires of returning to a pre-World War II (or was that WW I) American society. I learned it by heart from the version sung by the Chad Mitchell Trio:

We're the bright young men
Who want to go back to nineteen-ten
We're Barry's boys.
We're the kids with a cause
Yes a government like grandmama's
We're Barry's boys.
We're the new kind of youth at your Alma Mater
Back to silver standards and solid Goldwater
Back to when the poor were poor and rich were rich
And you felt so damn secure just knowing which were which.

We're the kids who agree
To be social without security
We're Barry's boys
'Cause his hat's in the ring
Where Westbrook Pegler once was king
Now he's too left wing
So if you don't
recognize any old Red China
Or Canada, or Britain, or South Carolina
You too can join the crew
Tippecanoe and Nixon too
Back to Barry
Back to cash and carry
Back to Barry's boys.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get from the left to the right.

Roses are red, violets are blue
Walter Lippmann's a pinko, too.

A-na-ka-nee, ka-nah, ka-nay
Let's investigate the PTA.

Barry, Barry, make your bid
I love John Birch, but oh you kid.

Mother, mother, wear a grin
And don't complain, or we'll turn you in.

Hold the presses, stop the mail
The Pentagon's having a one-cent sale.

What's the latest news statistic?
Hootenannies are socialistic.

Shut the door and lock and latch it
Here comes Lizzie with a brand new hatchet


We're the kids full of nerve
As long as it's conservative we're Barry's boys
And we can't comprehend
Why our parents aren't friendlier to Barry's boys
Why Dad once crusaded for Sacco/Vanzetti
Now all we're doing is doing the same for John Paul Getty
Our parents emulated Roosevelt and Farley
But we just want to grow up to be like Ev and Charley

No college days with
Socrates and Plato
When you're Barry's boys
You just organize parades for the abolishment of NATO
And the rest
The entire West
So let's go back to the days when men were men
And start the First World War all over again
That's right you tell 'em son
Isolationism can be fun
Back to Barry
Back to cash and carry
Back to Barry


And remember, "I'm an American first, and a politician second."
Spoken like a true American politician

Back with Barry
Not with Lyndon, Ike or Harry
Back with Barry's boys.

Well, from my view, today’s right-wingers are a lot different—and much more dangerous—from the “boys” who followed Barry. Even Barry became sick of them and frustrated with the influence the “Christian Right” gained in the Republican Party.

Today, as I see my limited income being drained away by increased taxes, energy costs, and the Administration’s worldwide military adventurism, I feel that the “boys” will soon have all that they want and more!

Back to when the poor were poor and rich were rich
And you felt so damn secure just knowing which were which.

Of course, I am fast becoming one of the poor!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The group that's in power now worships wealth, and truly believes that money is all that matters.

    I don't understand how any Christian can support that. Jesus said a lot of things about wealth, but I don't remember "Get as much as you can, any way you can" as being one of them.

    I couldn't sleep last night, and one of the things I was thinking of was the story of Jesus throwing the money lenders out of the temple. I think if he came back today, he would trash a political convention, or two.

  3. I agree, Thomas: they worship wealth. I think that they also worship power—the kind of power that wealth brings.

    Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple was a unique experience, perhaps something that the prophet Jeremiah would have done. In the Synoptic Gospels it was also the final straw that led to his condemnation and crucifixion. The High Priest and his family received a percentage of those profits from the commerce in the Temple courtyard. I think that they would have ignored the preaching of Jesus but did not ignore his jeopardizing their income.

    If Jesus returned today, I think the story of his first coming would be reenacted; just the names of the players would be different. As Kris Kristofferson wrote in his song, “Jesus Was a Capricorn”:

    “Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic foods.
    He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.
    Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
    Reckon they'd just nail him up if He come down again.”