Not a Priority by John Roche

Not a Priority by John Roche

[See “Voters See Democracy in Peril, but Saving It Isn’t a Priority” byNick Corasaniti, Michael C. Bender, Ruth Igielnik and NYTimes 10/18/22]

I recently received this poem from RIT Professor of English emeritus John Roche:

Here’s a poem I wrote this morning in response to a depressing NY Times headline. I’ve included, at bottom, a more hopeful Times op ed piece.

Not a Priority

“Voters See Democracy in Peril, but Saving It Isn’t a Priority”

NYTimes 10/18/22

The planet is burning
But that’s not a priority

Glaciers melting
Not a priority

Fascism on the rise
Not a priority

Putin threatens nuclear war
Not a priority

A MAGA Congress would end Ukraine support
Not a priority

Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block if Repubs win
Not a priority

Reproductive rights and LGBT rights in peril
Not a priority

Election deniers and Anti-Semites on the ballot
Not a priority

The price of gas and steak
That’s our priority

“The Uncomfortable Truths That Could Yet Defeat Fascism” by Anand Giridharadas (NYTimes 10/17/22)

Editor’s Note: Today, 10/24/2022, in “Suspicion and Blame as Their America Vanishes” by Michael Keller and David Kirkpatrick, the NYTimes continues its Democracy Challenged Where Election Doubt Thrives series.

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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