A.H.Scott: Twisted, But True

Independence Hall Philadelphia
Independence Hall Philadelphia

Twisted, But True


A.H. Scott, Copyright 2023


Why is it that America touts the line of ‘….all men are created equal with inalienable rights’…yadda, yadda, yadda…and yet, many of the citizens constantly feel as if we are that orphan in the film “Oliver!” constantly having our bottom lip quaking in asking something along the following line: “Please, Sir, may we have our rights back?”


Can anybody answer the question of when is a right, not a right? 

I’ll answer that – It’s not a right, when you constantly have to crawl up those courthouse steps and drag your ass into a courtroom to plead for the validity of your Constitutional rights. 

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – Frederick Douglass[1]

It is like we are all legal orphans, pondering this question to the six saints of callously twisted legal theories.

Yet, unlike Oliver Twist making a request for more gruel in the workhouse, we as many a member of the American citizenry are in the position of longing for reinforcement of our rights. 

In some ways, we are humbled and pitied at the bar of justice for a crumb of respect, equality and simple humanity from this dismissive half-dozen on the bench of the Supreme Court. 

Oh, please, sir (or madam of virtue Coney Barrett) may we have our rights back?

Or, shall you continue to splatter cynicism all over that glorious piece of parchment, once known as the bedrock of our democracy, which we all are told to live and ascribe to – the United States Constitution? 

I guess from the middle finger that is always given to the underdogs of life, such as we, who are the un-male, un-white, un-Christian, un-manor-born or any other outsider on the basis of sex or acceptability’s scale, shall know this as being a reality in this land of fallacy and the hovel of ambivalence.

What makes an American an American?

Is it ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’…..? 

Is it that ‘all men are created equal’……? 

Is it ‘domestic tranquility’…?

“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.” – Declaration of Independence[2]

Or, is it even that every one of us who are citizens of this country are actually seen as worthy of the promise of the founding documents of this nation called the United States of America?

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – U.S. Constitution[3]

Does the Constitution reflect all of us, or just those whose visibility has never been questioned in any quarter of American society?

Sadly, it seems to be the latter realm of reality which we exist upon.

Those six persons on the Supreme Court have chipped away at the progress of the full faith of showing all Americans that they have the rights to freedom and equality with their rulings from on high in this terms cases, from affirmative action[4] used in college admissions being disassembled to infringing on lgbtq+ rights[5] based on speculation over a Christian web designer’s standards of not wanting to serve[6] certain customers. 

We citizens who are disenfranchised, are seemingly forever having to beg for our rights to be respected and upheld whenever the Supreme Court waxes and wanes with the fickle finger of fate that becomes the steamroller for legal rights that had to be won within a court of law.

Time and time again, we must rely on, keep our fingers crossed, or pray, and pray again that legal rulings which were once considered sacrosanct due to their position of being a precedent is not built upon a solid foundation of fairness, but, temporary structure sinking in a quicksand of quirks.

For the present, it seems as if things that were once normal have been tossed into the dumpster fire which is being shoved down a highway of incivility by a vociferous portion of today’s conservatives. 

With a sense of the maniacal, many an elected Republican gets that accelerated boost by incinerating the cloak of comity between themselves and their Democratic colleagues. 

Alabama’s own, Tommy Tuberville has cut a poor profile for himself with his words and actions during his days in the United States Senate. Poor in being a person of spite over holding up over 270 members (and counting) of military personnel to be promoted, not to mention referring to white nationalists as being ‘an American’[7]. 

I guess saying the ‘quiet part out loud’ should be the new tagline for today’s Republican Party.

Oh, and of course ‘Bama Tommy has his own cheering squad from the lower chamber of Congress who is pushing a parallel amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. 

Lead sponsor[7] of the same amendment in the House came to Senator Tuberville’s defense: 

“He’s got backup here in the House,” – Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas

Former White House doctor, Good ‘ol Doctor Ronny Jackson once again knows how to pick ‘em and stretch reality, just as he did when touting the specimen of physical magnificence[8] that is known as Donald John Trump. 

“I told the President that if he had a healthier diet over the past 20 years he might get to live to be 200 years old” – Ronny Jackson, former White House physician and now current Congressman from Texas

Out of the Republican’s mouths things just keep a’ flying without a semblance of sobriety. 

Yep, that’s who they are – Twisted, But True!

But, that’s just scratchin’ the surface of the twists that keep a’ comin’. Speaking of twists, there’s that honest soul named George Santos. (NOT!!)

He’s on his high horse trying to reach for the crown of victimhood off from Donald Trump’s noggin. And, boy, oh boy he’s pulling out all the stops in going mighty low to drag an icon into his twisted tableau. 

“Guess what? Rosa Parks didn’t sit in the back, and neither am I going to sit in the back! That’s just the reality of how it works,” – Rep. George Santos, R-NY[9]

For that name to come from those lying lips takes being bereft of reality onto a new twisted level of audaciousness. Consumed and constructed with such manufactured self-righteousness, George Santos made an attempt at affixing civil rights icon Rosa Parks to the eagle’s nest of his own rickety vessel which is void of honesty, humility and humanity.  

Not here! Not now! Not ever!

That name from that mouth is just another ember doing the dance of the damned and dubious from the flickers of that rolling dumpster fire which seems to be speeding and descending down an unknown road. 

Yet, in the present day maelstrom which seems ordinary in the world Donald J. Trump has wrought upon the United States of America, anything goes and can just be said with barely a shrug or dot of shame. 

During the House debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, the same one which Ronny Jackson was lead sponsor of and Senator Tuberville in the upper chamber was diddling around with; there stood a member of the House Freedom Caucus who cast the bleaching freely.

“My amendment has nothing to do with whether or not colored people or Black people or anybody can serve, OK?” – Rep. Eli Crane, R-AZ, July 13, 2023[10]

In the modern-day GOP, there seems to be that certain something that always rears its’ head. Hmm, they shout from the rooftops how much they adore the members of the United States military. 

But, then again, the likes of Tuberville, Crane, Jackson and many, many others in the elected ranks of the Republican party seem to get their rocks off on making an attempt to hold hostage the organization, almost to the extent of having the military of 2023 be frozen in time before Executive Order 9981[11] was issued by President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1948. 

“What we want to preserve and maintain is the fact that our military does not become a social experiment. – Rep. Eli Crane, R-AZ, July 13, 2023[12]

Oh, my gosh! Maybe, Representative Eli Crane is onto something. Yes, it must be true. And, of course this sky is falling[13] twist isn’t anything new. History shows that pernicious trope is used in moments of backlash, backbiting and fear of a change in the way ideologues wish things to remain. 

Authored by associate professor of strategy at the US Army War College, Dr. Jacqueline E. Whitt and manpower officer in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth A. Perazzo, is an insightful essay titled, “The Military as a Social Experiment: Challenging a Trope”,  which takes head-on this myth of how this type of innuendo is used. 

“The claim the military should not be a social experiment, the locus for advancing a social agenda, or a product of social engineering – which we collectively term the social experiment critique – has been used primarily by political conservatives to criticize diversifying the American military.” – The Military as a Social Experiment: Challenging a Trope – U.S. Army War College Press (USAWC)[14]

Mr. Crane’s looseness of speech when he said ‘colored people’ had that air of residence of a certain kind of commonality, for which revealed those two words placed together is not something out of the ordinary to come out of his mouth. And, being blunt, maybe ‘colored people’ could be transposed from another word which probably flows freely from him in his social circle. It might be a crumbling or half-assed step-up from something more degrading.

“The social experiment critique is deployed selectively, namely against populations other than heterosexual, white, Christian, native-born cisgender men in the military. Thus, the social experiment critique operates as a political trope, gaining traction specifically in conservative political circles.” – The Military as a Social Experiment: Challenging a Trope – U.S. Army War College Press (USAWC)[14]

Oh, and there we go once more – to those who in America, can just ‘be’, seem to be the ones who are always chewing up the scenery in mocking the progress of society by tossing a false narrative of social experimentation into their true reasoning for not wanting diversity. 

To them, I just say – just be quiet, just be gone, just sit down, and stay in your own lane. 

For some of us in the United States of America, we cannot just ‘be’. We have to be on that constant loop of persist, persevere, and propriety. We always have to be ON. On the lookout for retaining rights that shouldn’t be constantly under attack of being ripped away, based on how a judge may feel on a certain day. 

Being ON, means having to be our own voice for validation as we are situated upon some mythical chessboard to prove that we belong in any sphere in this society. And, then when we lift our voices, it is us who are the voiceless that are given the side-eye and backlash across the entirety of society. 

Those who can just ‘be’ are the ones who reside in the realm of obliviousness. They just live in their own bubble of never having to care about their rights ever being stripped away by a lionization of legalisms, which shift by an ideological gust rightward. 

As for the rest of us, the ones who must stand with a slight quiver upon our lips, like an orphan of democracy in a continuous loop of grasping for relevancy of our citizenship to be ratified without a need of addendum or allowance being granted us, I offer this thought:

Be graceful. Be grateful. Be good. Be calm. Be still. Be satisfied. Be standard. Be beyond.

Be hope. 

But, then again, in America 2023 an antithesis of tactfulness has risen, which has proven to be twisted, but true. 

“Twisted, But True” 


A.H. Scott

“Twisted, But True” – FOOTNOTES:

1.-9 Greatest Frederick Douglass Quotes


2.-Declaration of Independence – National Archives


3.-U.S. Constitution – National Archives


4.-20-1199 Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (06_29_2023) – U.S. Supreme Court


5.-Supreme Court ruling allows businesses to refuse some services to LGBTQ+ customers – PBS NewsHour


6.-303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, 600 U.S. ___ (2023) – Justia


7.-Tuberville Is Showing How Much Power One Lawmaker Wields Under Senate Rules – NPR


8.-WH Physician Ronny Jackson: President Donald Trump Has A Lot Of Energy & Stamina – CNBC


9.-LOL! George Santos Compares Himself To Civil Rights Icon – The Young Turks


10.-Fallout From GOP Rep. Eli Crane’s Racially Offensive Comment – AZFamily


11.-Executive Order 9981 – National Archives


12.-GOP Rep. Eli Crane Sparks Fierce Criticism After Saying ‘Colored People’ On House Floor – HuffPost


13.-Like Truman’s Military Desegregation Order, Leadership Against Racism Starts At The Top – Brookings Institution


14.-The Military as a Social Experiment: Challenging a Trope – U.S. Army War College Press (USAWC)



Portrait of A.H. Scott poet and writer based in New York City
A.H. Scott


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A.H. Scott is a poet and essayist based in New York City and is a veteran contributor to this blog.  To access additional articles by A.H. Scott, click here: https://tonyward.com/a-h-scott-grab-em-by-the-p-word/

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