Dear “Journalists”: After that last debate
When you refused to let us bloviate
About our plans to build a wall in Texas
To keep out all those border-crossing Mexes—
Attacked, with hand grenades of verity,
Our made-up plans for real prosperity—
And asked us to renounce some old quotations
Or sketchy corporate affiliations—
After all that, we think it’s crystal clear:
You need to be reminded why you’re here.
It’s not to nitpick record or credential;
Your job’s to make us all look Presidential—
To feed raw meat to our best attributes
And not reveal we’re all just empty suits.
Glad-handing is the purpose of this show.
Ask what we stand for, not what we don’t know.
You hear “debate” and you think “controversial.”
This isn’t a debate—it’s our commercial.
We must be treated deferentially,
Not asked hard questions about policy.
The toughest question that we want to hear
Is “Sir—I have to ask—are you sincere?”
You say the people want honest debates?
That’s not the way this country operates.
The people want to know that what they fear
And rage at can be made to disappear.
They don’t want details—they just want it done.
That’s why we don’t need details—we’re their gun.
Just like those folks need us to point and shoot,
We need you not to question us, but root—
Root for the values that we represent:
For cheers, reward; for questions, punishment.
The people know when they’ve been served thin beer.
We’re here to tell them what they need to hear,
While you treat them like they’re dumb and uncouth
Because they’d rather dream than hear the truth.
The truth is that the truth’s not mandatory
When all you’re doing is telling a story.
Real voters don’t believe that it makes sense
To subject our beliefs to evidence.
The error that you’re making here is grievous—
We don’t want them to know us, just believe us.
That’s why we need these dumb debates so much—
They help us to display the common touch,
So even though we have a ton of cash
From rich white backers, we can speak white trash.
And though the masquerade sticks in our throats,
It’s what we need to do to get their votes:
We run the whole machine and act like cogs—
We’re overlords who act like underdogs—
So honest folks won’t give us the stink-eye
Or plain despise us ‘cuz we own the pie.
In fact, deep down, the poorest of them love it
When we pretend they’ll get a big piece of it.
And even when we have to go among ‘em
In those depressing hick towns where God flung ‘em,
And hold our noses like we smelled a fart,
They know we have their best interests at heart
Because we say so, and they cry “Amen!”
Write that down—it’s why God gave you a pen.
So here’s the deal, you crypto-left-wing moaners—
You treat us like we treat our well-off donors.
Show us respect, and we’ll keep you around:
When we say something dumb, don’t make a sound.
We’ll let you put us anywhere you’ve got
As long as you don’t put us on the spot.
Just be aware that you will face our wrath
When you subject our fiscal lies to math.
The people hate the scoffer who detracts.
It’s propaganda when you check our facts,
And facts are never trusted by the pious
Because they always have a left-wing bias.
Just nod your heads at all that we proclaim
To help our donors in the people’s name.
Nobody likes your smirking cynicism.
Echo the press release—that's journalism.
Copyright 2015 Matthew J Wells