person holding a register early to vote sign

Democracy at work

Choosing one candidate from two shitty choices
Is how power brokers let us think we have voices
We don’t actually have a vote or a say
Or even get to choose the game that we play
We don’t get to choose who is really elected
Those who really chose try to stay undetected
They just want us to blindly go through the motions
To get worked up over all the commotion
So we will feel like we were involved
And then accept the outcome when it’s finally resolved
In the manner in which the deciders intended
Now don’t you agree democracy is splendid

And that’s for the people whose vote does get cast
But if your skin ain’t white or you have to vote last
Or must vote in a precinct where the machines don’t work
Where the polls are staffed with a Caucasian smirk
That tells you you’re not welcome and your vote won’t be counted
That resistance is futile, the system can’t be surmounted
Democracy is little more than comedy of errors
That is neither humorous nor worth all the effort
That your constitutional rights that are “quote” guaranteed
Don’t really apply to you, no indeed
And this is the way it has always been done
If you ain’t one of the chosen ones
In the end you’ve just gone through the motions and pretended
Now don’t you agree that democracy is splendid

Photo by annie bolin via


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