A people in the throes of national prosperity, who breathe poisoned air,
drink poisoned water, eat poisoned food,
who take poisoned medicines to heal them of the poisons that they
breathe, drink, and eat,
such a people crave the further poison of official reassurance. It is not
but it is understandable, perhaps, that they adore their President who tells
them that all is well, all is better than ever.
The President reassures the farmer and his wife who have exhausted their
farm to pay for it, and have exhausted themselves to pay for it,
and not have not paid for it, and have gone bankrupt for the sake of the free
market, foreign trade, and the prosperity of corporations;
he consoles the Navajos, who have been exiled from their place of exile,
because the poor land contained something required for the national
prosperity, after all;
he consoles the young woman dying of cancer caused by a substance used
in the normal course of national prosperity to make red apples redder;
he consoles the couple in the Kentucky coalfields, who sit watching TV in
their mobile home on the mud of the floor of a mined-out stripmine;
from his smile they understand that the fortunate have a right to their
fortunes, that the unfortunate have a right to their misfortunes, and
that these are equal rights.
The President smiles with the disarming smile of a man who has seen God,
and found Him a true American, not overbearingly smart.
The President reassures the Chairman of the Board of the Humane Health
for Profit Corporation of America, who knows in his replaceable heart
that health, if it came, would bring financial ruin;
he reassures the Chairman of the Board of the Victory and Honor for Profit
Corporation of America, who has been wakened in the night by a
dream of the calamity of peace.