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The Best Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You Poems

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America 101

America 101
By Curtis Johnson

When I was born in 1949, Harry Truman was the President of The United States.  Of course I do not personally remember him.  Mr. Truman was followed by Mr. Dwight Eisenhower, but I don’t remember him either.  However, the first President that I recall was Mr. John Kennedy who was elected in 1960.  Therefore, in my lifetime I have experienced 12  U. S. Presidents, 10 of which I remember from my childhood of about 10 years of age until the present.  I am now 65 years of age.   

I am by no means a historian, but I have been consciously engaged as an American for more that 50 years.    If  I were asked to summarize America in relation to the life, times, and events of the last 10 Presidents, I would entitle my summary  America 101.  This narrative would cover the period from 1960 to the present 2015.     

If  I were an artist, the portrait would be filled with blood, weapons of war, some symbol of measured peace, government spent dollar bills, aborted babies, new cars, fine homes, and other symbols of prosperity, the homeless and unemployed people, stock markets of bulls and bears, airplanes flying into twin towers.  The list could be endless.   But I am neither historian nor artist, but please allow me to demonstrate in ‘a first person format’ as best I can.  The portrait in words would be as follows:

My name is John F. Kennedy, and as president of the United States, I challenged my fellow Americans with just a  few and simple words.   I said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.   I faced a huge crises with the Soviet Union over missiles being shipped and set up in Cuba.   I stood up to the threat and potential war was averted.   

As President, I was commander-in-chief and fought two wars.  I fought the war in Vietnam and the war on poverty.  I’m sorry to say that I lost them both.   I pushed for and signed into law civil rights bills, and I implemented several antipoverty programs.  I declined to run a second term.  My name is Lyndon B. Johnson

As President I took foreign policy seriously and opened up China.  On the home front I sought to establish law and order.  I know that I caused a lot of problems, but I told the American people, “I’m no crook”.  I was elected two terms, but I resigned midway through my second term.  My name is Richard Nixon.

I became your President, but I was never elected by you.  I served for a short period, and I did my best by seeking to united the American people.  I pardoned  President Nixon to bring stability to my country.
For many years I served as Senator from the State of Michigan.  My name is Gerald Ford.

I was born again, and I promised America that I would not lie.  I worked hard for peace in the Middle East.  However, I failed in my attempt to free the hostages in Iran.   I was also a peanut farmer and a Governor of the State of Georgia.  My name is Jimmy Carter.

By the time I became your president I was close to 70 years of age, but I did free the hostages.  I taught that in foreign policy, we needed to ‘trust but verify’.  I said to the President of Russia, “Tear down these walls”.
By the time I left office, those walls came tumbling down.   My name is Ronald Reagan.

When Iraq attacked Kuwait, I united a lot of countries to stop his advance.  I insisted on establishing world order and forced Sadam Housan to leave Kuwait.  The American people loved me for that.  Nevertheless, when the American economy started to deteriorate, my popularity began to unravel.  I said for the people to “read my lips”.  They read my lips and denied me a second term as President.   My name is George Bush.

In my administration, the U.S. economic was turned around.  I did not tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God, but I was right about “The Economy Stupid”.   My name is Bill Clinton.

When asked what I wanted  to do in Iraq, I repeatedly said time and time again, “Regime change”.  I finally went to war against Iraq and Saddam Hussein.  I drove him out of office and forced him to be brought to justice.  On the home front the American economy grew sour.  The war was frustrating and longer that I had hoped, but I held to my convictions and was elected to a second term.   My name is George W. Bush.

By the time I was elected to office, the American economy was in shambles, and it would get far worse before it got better.  I came to the oval office with the idea of bringing hope to the American people.  We found and killed Osama Bin laden and brought most of our soldiers home from Iraq.  I have been spending more money that anyone in the history of the world.  We did bail outs, loans, takeovers, grants, and we even helped to stabilize the stock market.  My administration brought healthcare to the forefront, and a national program is underway.  It is very costly, and there is much controversy over my healthcare program.
My administration is still in progress, and I guess only history will reveal the success or failure of all we are doing.   We are still hoping.  My name is Barack Obama.  cj06152015

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015

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John F Kennedy

she was dressed in pink 

   excited people lined  streets 

      red roses she held

         a senseless act took a life  

his demise a nation mourned


A fragment of his life he did great things.

John F. Kennedy/Quotes
“If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.” 

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. 

Copyright © Eve Roper | Year Posted 2016

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Good Knife Me

Ask not what your country can do for you,
don’t question whether your nation will bleed 
red, white and blue true
Tax bleed thru and thru for you
Ask instead what good sacrifice will you offer to do
Will you take a kitchen knife
and split your chubby checkbook in two?
Do you see stars as you bleed,
do the ruddy stripes 
make you wanna faint from the sight?
A deep tax cut is always good
for economic recovery cash flow
The richer be your investment capital,
the more dividend treasures 
come raining thru your bank teller window
The poorer be your homestead financial,
the money drought 
will withering cut your cash crop growth
Another deep tax cut
will surely good knife me
into permanent I.V. poverty
What’s good for the goose 
running the government,
is taking a grave gander out of me
What can I do in service for my country?
Labor for more slave pay that ain’t tax-free

Copyright © Freddie Robinson Jr. | Year Posted 2017

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the privellege

The Privilege

I hold this truth to be self-evident
that freedom is not a right
it is a privilege
given to us not only by the courageous people
who sacrifice there own freedom
to battle the forces that would strip us
of what we seemingly take for granted
but also to those who support our heroes
if you are proud to consider yourself free
ask not what your country can do for you
but do what you can for our soldiers and their
families because without them what country 
would you have

By: Jeremy Siedlecki

Copyright © jeremy siedlecki | Year Posted 2011

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Poesy in Service of Strength -- January 20, 1961

Eight inches of snow saw no hat on his head
an act of derring-do, my father said,
   He ascended the steps
   the eyes of the world upon him
   An orator attacking the lectern
   ~ Camelot, out to shatter Babylon

The glare of the sun no match
for the glint in his eye
   Brisk winds no challenge
   to the stylish coif he held high.  

He measured the moment
took a deep breath
   Out came an aria
   ~ nary a shibboleth

Tall and straight, he stood
erect as a soldier
   firing words like bullets
   targeting the mind's heart, to pull it
      jabbing the air with his fist or his finger
      pausing ever so briefly
      ~ he let the message linger

He moved us, he touched us,
lifted a nation's heart
   without sham or deceit
   ~ only truth from his lips
      did ever depart

He proposed the Peace Corps
to inspire the young--
   For those older and wiser
   he combined graciousness
   with toughness
   in a diplomatic
   sharp-edged tongue

To Nikita Krushchev, the Soviet,
baring his claws,
   Our leader's barbed-wire message
   surely gave pause:
      "Let us remember...
       ...sincerity is always subject to proof
       Let us never negotiate out of fear.
       But let us never fear to negotiate."

And to all 180 million Americans watching
in person or on the tube
~ He issued this challenge 
   destiny ringing, resonant rendezvous:
      "Ask not what your country can do for you
       ask what you can do for your country."

It's now 55 years later
and America's not seen
   a President like Kennedy
   ~ to inspire us to dream 

Copyright © Gershon Wolf | Year Posted 2018

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Stepping Through Time

A sojourner,  I cross the years to look
   sliding pass the history books
and read while listening.

Stepping through time, moments of tenacity finds
   while I follow the spoken words
and seek the speaker today still heard.

The parade flows endless through the streets
  with cheers and waving flag fleets
we stand teary eyed yet indiscreet.

A lone white image, saddled riderless horse
  marks the footsteps once taken
with hearts rendered lost and shaken.

A nation displayed by every man both strong and brave
  repeating the unforgotten words he gave

   “Ask not what your country can do for you; 
    ask what you can do for your country.”

Copyright © DM Babbit | Year Posted 2017

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Whats Great about Britain

Great Britain !

What is actually Great about Britain ?

Is it our overriding sense of Virtue ?

How we feel it is our God given right to criticize ?

Or present our way of life and values to aspire to ?

Who made us the Referee's of the World ?

Have any of them put a mirror up to us ?

Because I have and its far from pretty !

Let me write you an impartial little ditty

Based on the average day in the life of the ordinary citizen 
Hopefully based on actual factual events

If you live in any City much like Liverpool
Young and go to a comprehensive school
The students are no longer fooled into thinking
That good grades lead to a good job some day
That is why they are seduced into a life of crime
If they wish to socially climb

And the legal system only serves to propergates this notion
As it is biased towards the criminals not there victim's 
It is a hopelessly corrupt system
For when you are charged as a minor 
You get a slap on your wrist
And a stern telling off saying please dont do it again
Children doing the bidding for wretched Men

And our so called Politicians pretend to be stone deaf
So there constituents stop hounding them to death
Ask stop asking them 
What are they actually doing
That will in anyway make there circumstances any better 

What is the point writing a letter or signing a petition 
Or marching from daylight to dark
When apathy begins with every thought
From putting food on the table to being able
To expressing the fundamental right of free speech 
If anyone is in doubt the meek shall inherit the earth
Spend a life in the day not in the countryside 

But rather take a bus ride 
Out of the bright lights of the big city
And the view is not so rosy or pretty
If you wish to hold a placard or choose to march 
Would it not be better for you to place your wrath upon

Lest we never forget

On repaying the debt on the fallen soldiers of 2 World Wars
On making Britain a fitting resting place
A place worthy of them dying for
There sacrifice and there memory is the only thing worthy of fighting for

And if you remember or take nothing else from this

This Britian we slight is where and what they actually fought for 
And all they asked for in return 
Was for us to cherish and look after it 
As much as they did
Ask not what your country can do for you
But what you can do to be worthy of it

And its fallen hero's 

Copyright © Christopher Flaherty | Year Posted 2018