Statesmen or Politicians

I've been a votin' quite a spell,
Since back in Nineteen Seven;
I was led to b'lieve if you didn't vote right,
You'd a mighty slim chance o' Heaven.
The big, fine speeches that I heard,
Clear over a poor guy's head;
I can't just say what they talked about,
In fact, they never said.

But things is different now, I guess:
They broadcast in advance.
Just what they're goin' to tell the folks.
Of course, they take a chance
On someone tippin' people off,
Pegged as a "lyin' pup";
And when the speaker turns it on.
He's mad and all messed up.

Now we are in a big campaign.
It started right in high;
They "point with pride" or "view with alarm"-
You break right down and cry
If you believe the half of it
And think they're shootin' straight,
You'll try to go both ways at once.
I guess that's temptin' fate.

Now our U. S. aint settin' good.
Hate folks we've never seen,
And they are hatin' just as hard.
Our people seem to lean
On what we were away back when
All Nations liked our style.
We stood right up, said what we meant,
Or said "No" with a smile.

The "Dove of Peace" aint hoverin' low,
Nor even flyin' high.
Can't be in orbit 'round the earth:
No matter if we try
To look through clouds a gatherin' dark;
No day is really fair.
For that sweet dove just aint in sight.
She simply is not there.

The thing that sort a' burns me up
Is folks that know it all
About religion and politics,
And they're right on the ball;
The bus'ness trends and surpluses,
Farm problems, Income Tax;
'Bout this unholy mess we're in.
Inclined to sidestep facts.

Now we have statesmen, that is sure;
But they're derned hard to find.
But politicians by the score,
Our statesmen left behind
In the mad rush to smear and smear
Those who in honor hold
An office as a sacred trust.
They're down the river sold.

Old Nero, I've been informed,
Fiddled while Rome was burnin';
But these misfits in public life,
They keep right on a churnin'
Prejudices of you and me,
And always count as gain.
Befuddled folks who they stampede;
Nor feelin' guilty stain.

Our Country! Can't they see the light?
Is patriotism dead?
Do petty politics mean more
When all is done and said
Than standing firm for right and truth,
And striving for the goal
Of "Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Men"
For each immortal soul?

H. B. Austin