Time to Elect a President. Which line are you in?

This was published a while back Seems appropriate to publish it again now.


The future waits in one of two great lines, two endless human queues
And each of us is in one line—there is no other line to choose.
Our journey as human creatures has fashioned these two lines
With very different features following very different signs.
Through kingdoms and through ages these lines unbroken run
One line snaking into darkness; one line straining for the sun.
One line holds shining visions of what humankind can be
When at last we make decisions free of myth and tyranny.
Our race, our creeds, our sex, and the religions we proclaim
In this line yield to human needs we cannot always name.
Some careless few within this line may hurt you and make you cry
But villains in the other line will kill you to watch you die.
Those marching in that other line seek to control not to achieve
By trying to deceive our minds with lies that they believe.
Prizing money over friendship, and power over human need
They do not work for kinship but only for their greed.
Anyone can leave their line, whenever they see fit
If perhaps they change their mind, from facts, or acts or wit.
No one must stay within a line where rules are learned by rote
That dictate how we all must live, and breed, and love, and vote.
In the coming great election, one line will finally decide
If our future takes direction from the bright or evil side.
Set aside all pious passion of who you are and where you have been
What now must be in fashion is “Which line are you in?”
How will you answer to the future when a new world starts to dawn
How will you tell your children which side of history you were on?
There are but two great questions to be raised when life must end,
“How did you use your roads and days?” And “Which line were you in?”

By Edwin Kagin

(c) by Edwin Kagin
Permission is granted for non-profit reproduction.
If you make money on it, I want some of it. ek


  1. C says

    While at first glance Obama seems to be the better line, I Think we need to really start questioning this stupid Hegelian Dialectic in our political system.

    I am TIRED of being forced to choose between the “lesser of two “evils”.

    I have been lambasted for voting my conscience when I voted for Nader and worked on his campaign!.

    There will always be 2 lines. These are false choices and I think we would do well to say I am not going to stand in ANY Line!

    Obama and Cain were GOOFS! are GOofs.

    They always seem to put the goof up against the one who looks reasonable.

    Obama isn’t the greatest and yes,perhaps if he gets re-elected he will do all those things he promised to do in his first term but didn’t because the Right were being stupid and ornery. Now we CERTAINLY don’t want a president who wears “magic religious underwear” and straps his dog to the roof of his car and is a detached Billionaire whose wife has a horse hobby.

    Just when can we quit standing in any line and actually turn this world around and get rid of this stupid 2 party BS?????

    • C says

      While perhaps choosing our president isn’t a “trivial” matter, it has ended up being

      There is a book by Derrick Jensen about Civilization. He refers to how the Nazi’s gave the Jews a bunch of meaningless choices


      “One method Nazis used to control Jews was to present them a series of meaningless choices. Red identity papers were issued to one group, while another received blue. In making these choices victims felt the illusion of control over their destinies, and often failed to reject the entire system. Resistance to exploitation was diminished. -p106 LANGUAGE OLDER THAN WORDS

      I feel that our vote for president using the current 2 party system and the hype that is created around our elections that go on and on and never really have the intellect or substance required to make meaningful change is similar.

      We erroneously believe that every 4 years we have a CHOICE to elect the person that will fix all our problems and lead us down a better path. Increasingly this is not the case. We are given only 2 choices. The Republican or the Democrat. You MUST choose between these two candidates. One may look better than the other. Obama was our first “black”(rather biracial) president and was pitted against an old white man who generally appeared to be bordering on senility and his bimbo sidekick. Wow, tough choice eh?. Hey, I was moved too. I voted and believed that he would bring us Single Payer healthcare (didn’t) that he would end the wars (which he said he would but hasn’t) that he would end the war on drugs (he has persisted in it). And we can say well it is all the Republicans/Tea Party fault (which is true to a large extent). But I find it ironic that the Right is becoming loonier and we are ignoring that while there may be more “sane” people in the Democratic party, many Democrats are part of the system… they are not always “one of us”.

      When I voted for Nader (I did so twice and do not regret it) and when I worked actively on Dennis Kucinich’s campaigns I was under a lot of criticism for “throwing away my vote”. I was blamed for “losing the election” for Al Gore because I voted for Nader.

      so we have a lot of pressure to vote WITHIN the parameters set by 2 Parties and are wrangled into the hype and propaganda EVERY 4 years and where has it gotten us? SUre, we may have some improvements to our healthcare system but essentially the entire thing was a sellout to the big Insurance companies and pharmacuetical companies. WE had a president that before the ink was dry on the voting ballots he was handed the Nobel Peace Prize?…. yet he continues war… wtf?

      Hey, I am not saying I want Romney as president.. but more folks need to wake up and say NONE OF THE ABOVE. Maybe we are locked forever into this system and only something more drastic will set us free.

      I am tired of the the “choices” we are given. I think increasingly the “choice” for President is a distraction and I feel that increasingly they are puppets and someone (s) are holding those puppet strings …

      Just some things to think about.

  2. jon says

    2 weird things for me, as an european:
    1. Americans can can only choose between 2 parties, and those parties are almost the same in political stance.
    2. you can choose between a right-wing warmongering capitalist who’s pandering to the rich, and on ‘the other side’a guy who’s even more extreme in those viewpoints. And somehow you have difficulty choosing.

  3. Aratina Cage says

    1. Americans can can only choose between 2 parties, and those parties are almost the same in political stance.

    How can people even say this anymore? It isn’t at all true these days, and I’m not sure it was ever true. Take a look at the Democratic and Republican party platforms.

    • C says

      There may be differences regarding Religion and social values but the Democratic party still is influenced by big Corporations.

      We have a Hegelian Dialectic occuring and it is designed to keep us bickering and separated.

  4. jon says

    as far as I can see, the major difference between democrats and republicans is the way in which they want to achieve virtually the same goals.

  5. canadiansteve says

    To Americans it looks like there is a lot of difference between the parties because you are in the midst of it. The differences are there, and they seem large, much like red and blue seem very different to our eyes. But if American political range is the visible spectrum, then world politics includes the whole of the EM spectrum. From this perspective all American polictics fits in just a tiny little range of coporate kleptocracy.
    Not that politics in Canada is all that much better….

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