That’s what the old folks say.

‘Cause they know.

‘Cause they know.”

Those words are the lyrics to a song I wrote many years ago. I was probably, subconsciously channeling the unknown writer of this old “Negro Spiritual”; undoubtedly borne out of the oppressive atmosphere of slavery:

“I hope it won’t be this way
I hope it won’t be this way
I hope it won’t be this way

I hope it won’t be this way
I’m praying for a brighter day
I hope it won’t be this way

If the oppression of slavery was the mother of that old Spiritual and the labor of that birth was the whip and the cotton field, then songs like that were the babies brought forth out of that misery.

If we accept that, then Sam Cook’s golden voice nurtured those babies into something more than forlorn hope when it caressed these words so lovingly;

“I was born by a river, oh man, in this little old tent, oh
Just like this river, I’ve been running ever since.
It’s been a long, long time coming
But I know, but I know, a change is gonna come.
Ooo yes it is
Oh my, oh my, oh my, oh my”

Under Cooke’s care, we can see the hopeful cries of the slave springing up out of sweltering cotton fields all across the South and blossoming into the confident knowledge of a new generation that change was—indeed—coming; no longer the infant borne of oppression but a fully mature resolve coming to rescue the oppressed people.

Now we come to the state of our country today. Eleven years ago, Americans were witness to a momentous event. The country elected its first Black president. That was the accelerant; the impetus; the catalyst for change—just not the kind of change that the new, young, hopeful black president and his euphoric followers had hoped for.

Many cheered for various reasons. Just as many jeered and seethed and wondered amongst themselves—while huddled in dark bars drinking beer, or sitting on pickup truck tailgates, drinking beer and spitting “chaw” juice—“What the hell has happened to our country?”

They vowed to take it back, “by any means necessary, plausible, possible, or probable.” That was when change happened; just not the change hoped for from slavery days.

Those “means” resulted in the election of the total antithesis of the young, hopeful black man; an old, greedy, white narcissistic megalomaniac who has done everything in his power to usurp the status quo; to destroy the government founded by Jefferson, Madison, Washington and the bunch. That’s what those good ole, beer swigging, tobacco chewing boys said they wanted. So, the demagogue set out to deliver,

The new president was well on his way to changing a Democratic Constitutional Republic into an autocracy, monarchy, oligarchy or some other form of authoritarian “government” until Ms. Rona came to play—shit hit the fan; game/government changer present and accounted for—introducing, Ms. Co Rona.

Let me share with you the verbiage strategically inserted into the Declaration by Tom Jefferson:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Abraham Lincoln said; “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. “

So like the great and beautiful Mariah Carey once said:

“I gotta shake you off
‘Cause the loving ain’t the same
And you keep on playing games
Like you know I’m here to stay
I gotta shake it off
Just like the Calgon commercial
I really gotta get up outta here
And go somewhere
I gotta shake it off
Gotta make that move
Find somebody who
Appreciates all the love I give
Boy I gotta shake it off
Gotta do what’s best for me
Baby and that means I gotta
Shake you off

I gotta, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
Off, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it
(Gotta shake it off) off, shake, shake, shake, shake,
Shake it off, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off”

I can’t tell you—at this moment—what the exact nature of the changes will be.

Some have happened already (i.e. Obama, Trump elections) Some are in their infancy now (i.e. COVID 19).

Some right around the corner:

• If Trump is re-elected government will devolve from a Democratic Republic to some form of authoritarianism.

• If Biden is elected, the division between right and left will widen, possibly resulting in revolt.

• Schools will transition to online learning as the norm.

Seven score and 16 years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Sound familiar—The Gettysburg Address updated.

Is it time for a new nation? Has the “Great Experiment” finally failed?