Skip to content

A Verse on Our Elected Leaders, by Paul Gallagher: Smithsonian Democracy

The following is a new poem by Paul Gallagher, Co-Editor of EIR.

Smithsonian Democracy

Washington’s full of monuments,

But one appalls the residents;

A hall of horrors—yet it’s still

Located on that famous Hill

Where statesmanship once made a home—

Now, beneath that spacious dome

The Wax Museum of Congress stands,

A ghastly warning to other lands,

Where frightening figures by the score

Appear, pacing the marble floor,

Raising their bloodless hands once more,

Waving weapons and voting—war!

Where legislators once held events,

An artificial intelligence

Now guides the robots of wax and clay,

With the gravitas of papier mâché,

And war is all that they can say.

The bold exhibits bring to life

Wild statues twisted in furious strife,

Or scanning the world with great annoy,

Conjuring monsters to destroy,

Conquering nations in their minds,

Ruining enemies of all kinds,

Sending legions to many lands,

Raging and shouting and voting war

‘Til their republic is no more.

In this mausoleum of government,

With many trillions of dollars spent,

You see Representatives hawking debts

For billion-dollar fighter jets,

Pale figures threatening fell rebukes

To all the world, and shaking nukes;

They’re spending a trillion dollars planned

For weapons none of them understand.

And there are many enactors, too,

Who play the parts that Senators do;

They roar like lions on foreign affairs,

Their funding provided by billionaires.

While these are acting out their part,

Whatever wars they want, they start,

Sanctions and killings with a flair,

They spit their words at the empty air;

They declare the Constitution a bother,

And declare war only on each other;

They act the mental dissolution

Of lunatics running the institution.

Now, visitors from overseas

Have fled the spectators’ galleries,

Fearing a bellowing beast may sneeze

And war can be a catching disease—

They see it spread on America’s streets

Where piles of victims are covered in sheets.

But what has caused the most dismay

Among the people, was the day

The robots came to life, in wrath

Against the students and the youth,

Whose calls for a simple ceasefire

Aroused a black medieval ire,

Whose protest against a genocide,

The waxen furies would not abide.

These mannequins were so wound for war

They burst out of their House of horror;

One group of artificial Reps

Was found on a college campus steps,

Trying to commandeer higher ed,

Arrest the students for what they said

And lock them up ‘til they understood

That love is bad and war is good.

Those robots are marauding still —

But around the world the plazas fill

With crowds, with the students’ signs rehearsed

And the Wax Museum of Congress cursed.

Its curators are too smug to see

How empty is all the balcony;

How the fans of republican government

Have fled, and now a discontent

Has riven all of the nation’s youth,

Who see the lies, and want the truth.

But the Congress Wax Museum still stands

As a ghastly warning to other lands;

And though it may seem to be very plain

To the world, that these robots are insane,

They’re not the only puppet show

Exhibited in the capital now;

There’s another, very nearby, to see,

The Wax Museum of the Presidency.

Then human beings, with humanity’s cause,

Must rise and see to humanity’s laws

Themselves, and cure the mental sore

Psychiatry could call obsessive war.