On the Fourth of July, I raised the flag,
As I spoke with love and pride:
"Iím blessed to be an American," I said,
To two friends who stood by my side.

One was my neighbor, who lives next door,
He's a citizen, like me.
The other, a visitor from a hard, oppressed land,
Far across the sea.

"My flag stays in its box this year,"
Said my neighbor, boiling mad.
"The terrible shape this countryís in,
The future looks nothing but bad.

"Taxes, scandal, indifference and crime,
On our land like a giant stain."
My visitor said, "We have all that, and worse,
But itís against the law to complain."

My neighbor looked startled, but not subdued;
Then he started in on the Press:
"Thereís nothing but bad news; the headlines are bleak."
(It gets me down, too, I confess.)

"Our news is all good," said my visitor.
"Itís just how youíd like to be.
We know what our government wants us to know;
Our press is controlled, you see."

My neighbor spun Ďround and marched toward his house,
And here is the end to my story:
The next time we saw him, he was out in his yard,
Proudly raising Old Glory.

 

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