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                                         Written By: F. John Surells


            I’ve learned that cheaters aren’t always those mortals who copy answers off the papers of other mortals. Nor are they always the humans who enter the test area with certain replies written on their hands. But sometimes they are such people as manipulate responses, yet even they probably aren’t as wicked as those who try to cheat the orderly process of time passing by; that is, they who try to alter what should be an orderly process.

            And the leader said “Give us order now. Only order can help those who exist today with one economic class above them, and another economic class below them.” But my friend Rashon, who’s of a different race than me, told me that sometimes he feels that a lot of this stuff is simply philosophical baloney. And then he added that while some of his friends seem to have minds that quickly bounce from one topic to another, the real heroes of society are those who simply “take care of business as best as they can.”

            So, anyway I guess that cheating is almost always wrong, yet, isn’t it true that one could only cheat about things one has known or experienced? Thus, maybe not all cheating is dishonorable, perhaps a small portion of it is hopeful.

            And I must confess to having cheated after the original completion of this piece.  Unsuspected musings led me to consult a close friend concerning these words, and his input then motivated me to add certain paragraphs herein which hadn’t been a part of the initial written effort. And, I’ve renamed this piece “Cheated In The Middle.” And the reason I’ve made these changes,  lies in my belief that the middle class always suffers when people of either great or no power defile  society through the use of their words and actions, just as outside lovers disregard marriage vows when they take to bed one of the promisers who spoke those vows to one another.

            I showed these words to my friend Rashon Leyf shortly after I’d written them. And of course he’s been a collaborator with me on previous literary projects. “Rashon,” I said, “I’d like you to read this short piece and give me your opinion of it.”

            “Okay” he said. And after reading it he said “This was instigated by the president’s recent words concerning national anthem protests, wasn’t it?”

            “Yes” I said.

            “You know,” said Rashon, “I think that in the end those remarks may have a galvanizing effect upon America and its diverse ethnicities. At least I hope so. But John, your handing of these words to me for my consideration now gives me a chance to tell you something I’ve hesitated to say to you for some time.”

            “What’s that?” I asked.

            “Sometimes the things you write actually scare me. I mean, I don’t often disagree with your words, but sometimes it seems to me as though you’ve become the modern day answer to Zelda and Scott, as well as to Ted and Sylvia.”

            Well, maybe Rashon was right when he said I have a mind that strays from the important to the non-consequential. But I’m very sympathetic to those who’ve recently suffered the wrath of storms. And my prayers are with them. Nevertheless, I always stand when their song is being performed. And I don’t believe in blanket condemnations. Thus, I won’t allow myself to be automatically grouped in with racists and political extremists. Oh, and every time something is perceived as having gone wrong in America, I won’t immediately contend that the large nation whose landmass encompasses both Europe and Asia was necessarily involved in the creation of the problem, regardless of whether that problem was actual or fabricated. And, if I were the spouse of an ex-president, I wouldn’t claim that all members of my sex voted incorrectly if they voted for the candidate of the political party which is in opposition to the one I and my spouse represent.   

            Nonetheless, in an era of fake news and phony controversies, as one sets aside one’s footballs and protest signs, one thing one can rely on is that America’s middle class will continue to be the real loser in all its nation’s domestic disputes and contentions, just as it’s always been ever since a basically kind, but sometimes flawed nation came into existence. And picture now the middle class American. He or she gets up in the morning, transports him or herself to a workplace, and then spends long hours toiling at a job which no doubt is either physically or mentally (or both) demanding, and then comes home to find that yet another so-called “minority group” is complaining because its life is getting too difficult. And when the difficulty being complained about is evaluated by that member of the middle class, here is what is always discovered:  Certain groups, usually consisting of either very poor or very wealthy individuals, are blaming the everyday common American citizen for not showing enough “care” for minorities, common criminals, drug and alcohol abusers, and people living illegally within the boundaries of the United States.

            And yet, of course, despite this, life goes on for working class Americans. And every day, that large portion of America’s citizens struggles with problems which seemingly can’t be solved, as well as with allotments of personal earthly time which grow shorter with every passing second. And there are no medals or Oscars handed out to the middle class. But there are instead “special television programs” during the broadcast of which the middle class is continually lambasted when such medals and Oscars are given to supposed great performers whose performances have supposedly done a lot to further better living in the states of America.

            But here’s probably the greatest slap in the face, or kick to the behind of all such Americans as would probably be classified as neither rich nor poor. Because someone or some group determined that certain people living inside the U.S. deserve, for one reason or another (and usually it’s because their ancestors couldn’t accumulate enough wealth to pass on to them), to be given a “free ride” throughout their earthly existences, America’s liberal news and entertainment media have now singled out working class Americans as the real culprits behind all that’s wrong in America today. And, of course while this blame is being affixed to those who do work in America, numerous others of working age simply refuse to get jobs. And, while those types continue to remain unemployed, other individuals continue to sneak into this nation, only to then face serious struggles here which ultimately are resolved by increased taxes on the middle class. 

            And, while what is spoken of in the preceding paragraph continues to unfold, lawbreakers continue to sidestep the rules of society, causing them to eventually become incarcerated, which then places them at the mercy of America’s workers, while all the while multi- millionaires, usually from the entertainment sectors of performance art or sports excoriate America’s working class for not sympathizing enough with the downtrodden.

            Well, here’s a few “answers” to America’s chronically rich and poor complainers. First, America’s working class wants to spend its leisure time in justified and earned rest and relaxation. It doesn’t want to come home from work each day only to hear, and then have to worry about the either real or supposed problems of either very rich or very poor crybabies.

            Second, the American working class doesn’t want to be blamed for the misfortunes of certain people who today find themselves in peril because yesterday they abused drugs or alcohol, broke the laws of America, or entered America illegally. Third, what can the American working class do to help the disadvantaged anyway? Does some “lip service” to, or acknowledgement of problems whether real or supposed really help? Fourth, if it’s really acknowledgement that’s being sought here, then let’s acknowledge this:  Both extremes of the political spectrum are equally as dangerous to all Americans, no matter their economic class, race, or sex. But let’s not leave this unsaid – America’s liberals have been far more tolerant of communists and far left-wing extremists than have its conservatives been of neo-Nazis and far right-wing extremists. And fifth, (and the one that’s no doubt the most controversial), since of late there seems to have been an interest in tearing down statues to leaders who’ve fallen out of grace in this era of “what can you do for me today,” let’s also remember the wealthy landowners of many years ago who, for one reason or another (but I’m guessing usually arrogance and laziness) couldn’t or wouldn’t harvest their own crops, and then felt compelled to import slave labor to do that work for them. And then let’s also remember the authorities of recent times who didn’t enforce America’s immigration laws, and by not doing so allowed this nation to now face the immigration crisis it currently struggles with.  

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