Science is being halted in its tracks.
        — Dean Schillinger

“Science is being halted in its tracks.”
The right wing’s exasperated by the truth;
being free to lie means the feds must not insist upon the facts.

Conservatives make sure that law enforcement lacks
the power to stifle Russian or Chinese online stealth.
And watchdog teams are being halted in their tracks.

Studying the spread of falsehoods detracts
from free speech. An academic dare not become a sleuth.
She’s free to lie but not to find out facts.

Lawsuits and Congressional committee attacks
are making it hard to protect public health.
Medical practitioners are being halted in their tracks.

Many, thinking that a citizen should be free to act as he acts,
believe the government cannot warn him that his folly might lead to death.
People like to lie to themselves and it’s their right to ignore the facts.

Good sense is what the U.S. increasingly lacks.
Honesty is less effective than having a loud mouth.
Truthtellers are halted in their tracks.
Being free to lie trumps bringing up the facts.

About the Poem

Among other things, I worry about how conservatives have undercut public health in our country. Though I have been loose with the form, I believe a villanelle is a fitting response to the repeated attacks on scientists and other truthtellers. Dean Schillinger is quoted in an article in The Washington Post

About the Author

William Aarnes lives in New York.

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