“A Case of Cuban Boat Refugees”


Say a boatload
Of Cuban political refugees
Landed in Florida,
And the Left and the Right
Were there to greet them.

Upon landing,
My Leftwing half
Would line them up
On the beach
And individually query them
(Separately, so one loud smart-aleck
Couldn’t speak for all of them)
As to why they came
(To get away from Castro,
To get rich,
To become somebody,
To be with family),
What they envisioned
They would do here,
How they would survive
(“I see myself working
For America happily!”
In this case a minimum wage
Government paid
Public service job
Would be in order,
Something along the lines
Of community beautification,
Living in small groups,
Learning how to make ends meet,
With a government sponsor
Monitoring their progress,
“And the beauty of it is
You don’t have to work
Every day of the week,
And you only work eight hours a day,
The rest of the time
You are free to pursue your own dreams”)
I would give them a little occasional fame and recognition,
For we all need a little of it every now and then
To keep us going,
Maybe a news write-up.
So this is my Leftwing half, a
Big-hearted reception
Where I find myself
Handing out free money
That is not mine
And creating socialist government jobs
That are a burden to the real economy
In order to create a temporary productive bliss,
And providing social services
That substitute for initiative,
Like matching skills with available jobs.

Now my Rightwing half
Would line them up
On the beach
And say
“Welcome to the land
Of opportunity.
I know you have come here for enterprise
And not welfare.
There are rewards unlimited
For opportunities taken
And enterprises embarked on,
But there are also dire consequences
For taking errant opportunities
Or engaging in errant enterprises.
With freedom comes great responsibilities
And risks.
One final piece of advice:
Many workers in America
Are Liberals, and
Have lost the sense of the free enterprise
They are engaging in.
They live in worlds
Of dark cynicism.
They are those who have forgotten
That work is happiness
And welfare is misery,
They have lost touch
With what it means
To be in the land of opportunity,
And instead seek welfare.
My advice to you
Is to search for work
Where the senses of free enterprise
And golden opportunity
Are not lost on you.
When your children attend schools,
Ensure they are being taught
Not an obsessive, chronic national cynicism
This country so undeservingly receives,
But taught the spirit of opportunity
And free enterprise
That is so easily lost
In the day to day struggle
To survive.
Indeed, you may have to spread it yourself
To a forgetful native population.
You will be outwardly ridiculed
By inwardly admired.
Good luck.
And remember,
If you work for someone else,
They are always in a hurry
To get the work done
In order to get paid
So they can pay you,
So you can pay others
Who will pay them,
And round and round it goes
In the daily commerce of life."

Then, in either case,
Left or Right,
The gradual citizenship process
Would begin.


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