Defending Against Kings and Tyrants

By Jesse Civello
America’s Right

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed –
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

Langston Hughes,
“Let America be America Again”

Though known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance and rightfully lauded for his voice during the Civil Rights movement, and though he denied it personally, Langston Hughes was a Communist. Hughes traveled on a few occasions to the USSR, supported Joseph Stalin’s murderous purge of Communist Party detractors, and lent his celebrity and personality to groups like the Scotssboro Boys, the John Reed Clubs, and the League of Struggle for Negro Rights here at home. Hughes was like a great number of politically-active African Americans back then, looking to the socioeconomic politics of the Soviet Union at that time as an alternative to a segregated America.

[It kind of makes you wonder about the underpinnings of the current administration and those who shaped it, but that's an argument for another time and place. --Jeff]

Hughes’ poem, Let America Be America Again, in which he wrote about the dreams, struggles and realities of black America, was embraced by socialist and communist groups like the International Workers Order, and even by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s doomed presidential campaign in 2004. Undoubtedly, such an adoption and embrace stemmed from passages like this one, which appear a little later than the selection which began this post:

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek — And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

Understanding the connotations of the rest of Hughes’ poems–and poetry–I prefer to look at the first of the two selections, the one with which I began. I prefer to reinvent Hughes’ reality, if I may dare to do so.

Hughes says “[l]et America be the dream the dreamers dreamed.” For so long, it is the American political left which contends that we have only allowed America to be the dream of the few and of the powerful, that it is the very ideology embraced by people like Langston Hughes which would provide respite for the downtrodden and average American alike. Now, however, with the manifestation of that ideology on the horizon, we have cast aside the dreams of the average American to pave way for a “bigger” picture. A picture that is only “big” when it comes to government, and quite narrow when it comes to the American people.

We see the American people rising up and telling their government “NO!” again and again only to be served with the burden of more government in their lives. Today, a revolution is brewing in America, where the voice of the people will surely conquer the conquest of the few and a new vision is bound to unfold.

Tomorrow, we will not see world peace. Tomorrow, we will neither see the end of natural disasters nor those unnatural disasters brought on by the bloody implementation of fanaticism. Tomorrow, however, we do have opportunity. We have the opportunity to have government work responsibly for the people and not against us. We have the opportunity to give the American people a voice, but the path to this is surely less traveled.

In order to have a voice in the government, we must do what our forefathers did and raise our own. We must tell our elected officials that we do not want a government intervention in our lives. Not when it comes to health care, not when it comes to personal spending, and certainly not when it comes to family.

And we’re doing it. President Barack Obama’s health care fiasco has begun to hit a number of potholes en route to an unprecedented government expansion, potholes caused by the American people rising up and explaining to their elected officials that the American people will remain silent no more. At the health care town hall meetings, the American people caused both members of Congress and Senate to reconsider President Obama’s health care agenda and, with the same veracity and an even brighter fate, we must find the resolve to not only cause our elected officials to rethink their relationship with the people in this democratic republic, but surely to reinvent it altogether. The concept of representation, it seems, does not come easily to these people. And that’s not all they need to reinvent.

We must push our elected officials to reinvent more than a national deficit, and indeed reinvent their national vision. Langston Hughes and so many like him sought the respite of communism because he felt that true representation could not be had in his America. And while the stain of communism has certainly left its mark upon the world, Hughes’ feeling that “[w]here never kings connive nor tyrants scheme/that any man be crushed by one above” could be seen not only in the light of class warfare, but in the light of the struggle in which ordinary America–not black America, not white America–is currently entrenched against the ruling class in Washington, D.C.

That American vision, inspired by a people aware of its history and inclemently fighting for its future, is what Ronald Reagan rose to champion, and what Barack Obama has continued to fight against.

Once we have seized the opportunity and have made our voice, vision and values clear, the path does not end there. We must pursue our politicians keeping them accountable to the new American Vision, and furthermore the American people. Recreating the successes of 1994 and 2000 is one thing, but maintaining the message by which we achieved such victory is another. We must remove the façade our politicians have facilitated to keep us out, and make it perfectly, unabiguously clear that We The People are here to stay. It’s time to take back American politics by getting rid of career politicians and electing the common American to serve their country.

For that, I propose a three-step process. It’s as simple as one-two-three or, better yet, U-S-A:

  • Us: We need to raise our voices and make our new American Vision clear. In reality, it’s not so much a new American Vision, either, but rather an old one, the same one on which this nation was founded. Representation. Freedom. Liberty. E Pluribus Unum.
  • Standard: We need to pursue our politicians, deny them the status quo, and perpetuate the new standard of People Above Politics.
  • Act: It’s also time that we elect the average American to office, put the “service” part back into “public service,” and allow true public service to re-enter politics.

Langston Hughes was thought by many to be a racial chauvinist, and as America moved closer and closer to a truly integrated society, his writings were perceived by many to carry less and less weight. Yet those few lines of Let America Be America Again stick out in my mind, highlighted from the rest. As unconventional as his worldview may have been, and as different as his course may have been in getting there, it was nonetheless an American dream that Hughes sought for African Americans.

Like Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr.–a Republican, by the way–also had a dream. And it was his dream that changed the American attitude toward race, that let us pursue a future for America where the stroke of justice was written with the understanding of our past, where our foundation is our future and the American people are the dreamers who reinvent tomorrow. In order for ordinary, average Americans to prevail in this current quest for freedom, we must not only look to our past but we must understand it. We must understand the principles which made America what it is, and strive to continue rather than transform them.

—————
16-year-old Jesse Civello is currently entering his junior year at Cheltenham High School outside of Philadelphia. An avowed conservative and constitutionalist, Jesse has spoken at numerous Republican Party events and meetings. His dream is to one day become a United States Senator. Jesse began writing for America’s Right in June 2009.

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  1. LENGTHY BUT RELEVANT says:

    DEMOCRAT

    You have two cows.
    Your neighbor has none.
    You feel guilty for being successful.
    You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone.

    REPUBLICAN

    You have two cows.
    Your neighbor has none.
    So?

    SOCIALIST

    You have two cows.
    The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
    You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

    COMMUNIST

    You have two cows.
    The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
    You wait in line for hours to get it.
    It is expensive and sour.

    CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE

    You have two cows.
    You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

    BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE

    You have two cows.
    Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

    AMERICAN CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
    You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows.
    You are surprised when one cow drops dead.
    You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
    Your stock goes up.

    FRENCH CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You go on strike because you want three cows.
    You go to lunch and drink wine.
    Life is good.

    JAPANESE CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
    They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
    Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

    GERMAN CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
    Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

    ITALIAN CORPORATION

    You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
    You break for lunch.
    Life is good.

    RUSSIAN CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    You have some vodka.
    You count them and learn you have five cows.
    You have some more vodka.
    You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
    The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

    TALIBAN CORPORATION

    You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two.
    You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
    You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

    IRAQI CORPORATION

    You have two cows.
    They go into hiding.
    They send radio tapes of their mooing.

    POLISH CORPORATION

    You have two bulls.
    Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

    BELGIAN CORPORATION

    You have one cow.
    The cow is schizophrenic.
    Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish.
    The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
    The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
    The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
    The cow dies happy.

    FLORIDA CORPORATION

    You have a black cow and a brown cow.
    Everyone votes for the best looking one.
    Some of th e people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
    Some people vote for both.
    Some people vote for neither.
    Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
    Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best looking cow.

    CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

    You have millions of cows.
    They make real California cheese.
    Only five speak English.
    Most are illegal.
    Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.

  2. I WILL FIGHT, WILL YOU? says:
  3. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    That first comment was mooving.

  4. EAT MORE CHIKIN says:

    Jesse, BRILLIANT! My sentiments exactly…. put some NORMAL people in office, even some GED types (Ivy League has been shown to mean absolutely nothing). Oh Gosh, if only this could happen. GREAT writing! Let's take America back and inject some common sense.

  5. Gail B says:

    Jesse–Great stuff!

    And that statement is neither BS nor Pelosi!

    If you aren't making straight *A*s in civics, your mama's gonna ring your (cow) bell!

    verify: smawst (smawtest–Southern for smartest!)

  6. Rix says:

    I am most impressed. This young gentleman will sure go places – and it is our task to ensure that those places are not encircled by barbed wire and guard towers.

    The only problem, as I see it, is the naive belief in fixing the system by replacing the corrupt politicians. This approach, as I pointed out before, is about as practical as replacing cindered planks on a burning ship with new ones. Instead, efforts should be concentrated on changing the system that routinely generates kennedys, pelosis and obamas.

  7. WHY DO WE BOTHER MAKING LAWS? says:

    BOSTON (Reuters) – Massachusetts' Democratic governor on Monday backed a proposal to appoint an interim successor to the late Edward Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat, a move that could help Democrats retain a critical margin in the chamber.

    Governor Deval Patrick also set a January 19 special election to fill Kennedy's term that ends in 2012.
    Kennedy made a plea before he died last week that state law be changed so a replacement could be named to fill his seat for the five months before a special election could be held.

  8. cher-pa says:

    Jesse, it is so nice to see a young man engaged and informed about politics.You will go far GOD WILLING.
    As for our lengthy but relevent commenter.WHAT A HOOT I MEAN…MOO

  9. Anonymous says:

    That is a great post Jesse. I hope to see more of your stuff.

    BTW, Zogby has Obama's approval rating at 42%
    http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1737

  10. PSYDOG says:

    Jesse I have seen a video of you speaking, son you have what our great nation needs.
    I agree with RIX, the ship is on fire and we need a new system. TERM LIMITS – PERIOD!! They need to be very short, so that we get a fresh turn over. This is the only way I can see us getting out of the "Good Ole Boy" system. I see it this way, Federal politicians must not have previously been in any state or local government positions within say the last 5 years or something to this affect. THE CAREER POLITICIAN CYCLE MUST BE BROKEN!!!

  11. Mick says:

    Jesse,
    maybe you can journalistically and Patriotically outdo the "Lawyers" that write here, and talk about the REAL Constitutional issue.

    the-holy-grail-of-potus-eligibility-law-review-articles-mr-obama-and-mr-arthur-meet-attorney-george-collins

  12. Lisa G in NZ says:

    Great article Jesse, you're only 16?! Wow…..!!!! There is hope for America with young adults like you on watch. You're on the ball, kid. Excellent! God speed and good luck: I'd vote for you and definitely look forward to more articles.

  13. Gail B says:

    And in the quiet of night, I reread Jesse's State of the Union address.

    Jesse, I have just one thing to say:

    HIDE YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND RUN FOR OFFICE!

    Jeff, you are younger than I am. When these great young men–Jonathan Krohn and Jesse Civello–are old enough to run for public office, I'll probably be long gone. What a dream I have of them — as the head of this government. Wouldn't they be wonderful?! Were they old enough, they could already beat a few Congressmen hands down as it is.

  14. Still a Patriot says:

    Thanks Jesse! This article is very well thought out & articulate. It gives me hope to know there are some young people out there with values & common sense.

    I pray you will be able to persevere & one day help to lead this country according to our Constitition. Be strong & never compromise your principles.

    Susan

  15. Gail B says:

    Thomas Sowell is right on spot with his every word!

    Suicide of the West?
    9/1/2009 9:30:00

    Thomas Sowell writes:

    Britain's release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi — the Libyan terrorist whose bomb blew up a plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 270 people — is galling enough in itself. But it is even more profoundly troubling as a sign of a larger mood that has been growing in the Western democracies in our time.

    In ways large and small, domestically and internationally, the West is surrendering on the installment plan to Islamic extremists.

    The late Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put his finger on the problem when he said: "The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles."

    He wrote this long before Barack Obama became president of the United States. But this administration epitomizes the "concessions and smiles" approach to countries that are our implacable enemies.

    Western Europe has gone down that path before us but we now seem to be trying to catch up.

    Still, the release of a mass-murdering terrorist, who went home to a hero's welcome in Libya, shows that President Obama is not the only one who wants to move away from the idea of a "war on terror" — as if that will stop the terrorists' war on us.

    The ostensible reason for releasing al-Megrahi was compassion for a man terminally ill. It is ironic that this was said in Scotland, for exactly 250 years ago another Scotsman– Adam Smith — said, "Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent."

    That lesson seems to have been forgotten in America as well, where so many people seem to have been far more concerned about whether we have been nice enough to the mass-murdering terrorists in our custody than those critics have ever been about the innocent people beheaded or blown up by the terrorists themselves.

    (Continued in next post)

  16. Gail B says:

    (Thomas Sowell – Continued from previous)

    Tragically, those with this strange inversion of values include the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder. Although President Obama has said that he does not want to revisit the past, this is only the latest example of how his administration's actions are the direct opposite of his lofty words.

    It is not just a question of looking backward. The decision to second-guess CIA agents who extracted information to save American lives is even worse when you look forward.

    Years from now, long after Barack Obama is gone, CIA agents dealing with hardened terrorists will have to worry about whether what they do to get information out of them to save American lives will make these agents themselves liable to prosecution that can destroy their careers and ruin their lives.

    This is not simply an injustice to those who have tried to keep this country safe, it is a danger recklessly imposed on future Americans whose safety cannot always be guaranteed by sweet and gentle measures against hardened murderers.

    Those who are pushing for legal action against CIA agents may talk about "upholding the law," but they are doing no such thing. Neither the Constitution of the United States nor the Geneva Convention gives rights to terrorists who operate outside the law.

    There was a time when everybody understood this. German soldiers who put on American military uniforms, in order to infiltrate American lines during the Battle of the Bulge were simply lined up against a wall and shot — and nobody wrung their hands over it. Nor did the U.S. Army try to conceal what they had done. The executions were filmed and the film has been shown on the History Channel.

    So many "rights" have been conjured up out of thin air that many people seem unaware that rights and obligations derive from explicit laws, not from politically correct pieties. If you don't meet the terms of the Geneva Convention, then the Geneva Convention doesn't protect you. If you are not an American citizen, then the rights guaranteed to American citizens do not apply to you.

    That should be especially obvious if you are part of an international network bent on killing Americans. But bending over backward to be nice to our enemies is one of the many self-indulgences of those who engage in moral preening.

    But getting other people killed so that you can feel puffed up about yourself is profoundly immoral. So is betraying the country you took an oath to protect.

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