The Second Vulture

The Second Vulture
Squirming and squirming in the brightening glare,
The voters hear an executioner;
They’re not sure who; the center is long gone;
Extremism rides in like Genghis Khan;
The best are unconvinced, and now the worst
Say that they are on balance unconvicted.

I think there’s something scary going on.
I think there’s an election going on!
Election! I have hardly said the word
When an old cartoon composed by Thomas Nast
Comes to my mind: A fat malignant vulture,
Born wealthy and still thinking of itself,
Is brooding its cash eggs, while all around it
Details are indistinct. I must suppose
That eight fair years of cautious governance
Have cleared the corridors for capital,
And what rich tough, his power come home to roost,
Crouches over Washington like a storm?
7 November 2016
Parody of “The Second Coming” by W.B. Yeats. As I wrote for the Daily Whale, everybody else is quoting the poem, but I can misquote it. I revised it since the Whale version, which was first written immediately before the 2016 U.S. presidential election and needed a touch of adjustment to fit the result. The cartoon is from 1886: “Our system of feathering nests breeds Tweeds all over the land,” referring to Boss Tweed of the Tammany Hall political machine.
Thomas Nast vulture cartoon