In this political year, this relentlessly political year, I think back to a poem I wrote in another political year, in a fit of weary impatience. Liberal or conservative, I just don’t like sheep.


It must be nice (as people say)

To always and automatically know

What not to have to think about anything,

And everything – to get the party line

From National Review, or Exquisite Corpse,

Or the Liberty Lobby or NPR—

To listen, or read, or overhear, and know

Just what precisely you can say and think

And just instinctively feel

To preserve your credentials as a paid-up

Member of the club, the chosen,

Intelligent, incorruptible, interchangeable few.


Political America divides in two:

On one side, the real world of ambiguity;

On the other side, the zealots, ever monitoring opinion,

Always quick to excommunicate.

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