This Message Brought To You By . . .

February 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

My lyrics typically tend to focus on relationships (real or imagined), though I occasionally attempt to venture into something a bit more topical. This is one of those times (an early warning for those of you disinclined to read such things).

As I try to filter the words and deeds of the past five weeks through my personal political mindset, I am reminded of a less than proud moment in American history from some sixty-five years ago.

I am referring to Joseph McCarthy, the then-junior Senator from Wisconsin and his one-man crusade against real and imagined enemies. McCarthy used half-truths, outright lies, fear, and distortion, succeeding in creating serious division in this country and, in the process, ruining dozens, if not hundreds of lives.

Personally, I see some real parallels between then and now, though I know some of you won’t agree with me. Just as the Red Scare of the 1950s led to the inclusion of God in the Pledge of Allegiance, so has the current Islamophobic climate led to a cry to return America to its status as a Christian, God-fearing nation. Never mind that America technically is not and cannot, Constitutionally speaking, ever be such.

I am certainly not saying that America does not have enemies. It does. Always has and always will. However, just as it was in McCarthy’s time, not everyone seen or perceived as an enemy is one.

The similarities between McCarthy’s time and now led me to realize that you could basically interchange parts and names between then and now almost seamlessly. (Today’s technological advances might be the one real difference between then and now.) That realization led to today’s offering. Joseph McCarthy is the central figure in my lyrics, but just about any of today’s central figures would work as well.

Business As Usual

There’s Joe again, he’s in the back room
Drawing up another list
Of the Commies in the government
Or maybe girls he wished he’d kissed

He has a knack for pointing fingers
And deflecting all the blame
I got to hand it to old Joe
He sure knows how to play the game

It’s just business as usual, nothing personal
But I’ve got a name to make
If I throw you under the bus or call your story fake
You can trust me, I will do anything it takes
But it’s just business as usual, nothing personal
And I’ve got a name to make

Good old McCarthy waves a paper
In his self-righteous hand
Says he’s got 200 names
Of people ruining this land

And just like Sherman through the South
With his scorched earth policy
Here comes old Joe, waving the flag
Laying waste to our liberty

The names and the faces
Well, they may change with time
But the voices, ever louder
Commit the same old crime
Trying to silence those who oppose
And resist the heavy hand
Look to divide and polarize
When it’s united we will stand

It’s just business as usual, nothing personal
But I’ve got a name to make
If I throw you under the bus or call your story fake
You can trust me, I will do anything it takes
But it’s just business as usual, nothing personal
And I’ve got a name to make

Yes, it’s just business as usual, nothing personal
And I’ve got a name to make

©2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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