Origins of “A Country Without A Country”

Crumpled USA flag
Photo by Todd Trapani on

The content of this blog was original shared on my Chuk Peña Music Facebook page on May 28, 2019, and now that I have access to my blog again, I share it here, as well. All figure and information was current in May.

The idea for my song, “A Country Without A Country,” came to me while watching a segment of CNN back in March of this year. These are some of the thoughts that helped me create the song.

There was a time in this f**d up country, when we had true leaders and true politicians, who, despite their party or differences, KNEW HOW TO GET THINGS DONE!!! Worked for the common good of all Americans. Party was party, but when it came down to “doing the right thing” (thank you Spike Lee), it was done! These politicians of yore had respect for one another, despite their differences, yet fell in line to pass various pieces of legislation thru the years because, in part, they saw something bigger than themselves.

Then, several years ago, something unimaginable happened. An unknown “plague” came one night, invaded every square inch of our political environment, and to put it bluntly, infused Congress with a “political paralysis” the world has never seen. Neither political party knew how to communicate with each other. We were forced to enter wars that made no sense. The country fell into one of its deepest recessions. The banking industry came within inches of collapsing. The country’s first Black President was “nailed to the cross” in so many ways. The diversity, racism, and bigotry that always existed simply spread like a metastatic cancer to the point where today in America, we may be more divided than ever, in so many ways — politically, morally, and more. To add to all that misery, the “electoral college,” not the populous, put a pathological lying tyrant divisive racist businessman, with zilch political experience nor true business savvy into the White House due to his appeal to the same masses who think like he does. A man who has already told over 10,000 lies and his party and illiterate followers hang on every word that comes out of his mouth and still can’t get enough! A man who emphasizes his brilliance, yet has threatened every academic institution with a lawsuit if they release his grades or SAT/PCT scores. A man who has isolated the greatest country on earth from all of its global allies while extending olive branches to the world’s worst enemies.

AND, now what? The 2020 elections are virtually upon us and both the Democratic and Republican parties are totally broken to the point that there isn’t one Democratic Presidential candidate worth voting for as a result of age, political views, inexperience — you name it! As apposed to earlier years, the Democratic party is totally splintered into socialists, centrists, and conservatives with not one Presidential candidate having any “political currency.” Even the great Joe Biden may not be the candidate to unite the Democratic party and garnish enough votes to win in 2020.

On the Republican side, there is only one challenger to Trump, and all the good Republicans have left and are leaving the party, while what remains are Republicans who don’t dare challenge Trump on anything, with the exception of one who has called for impeachment!

A country without a country, seemingly in an ever downward spiral from what it once was. So divided, tattered, and torn that yesterday, I saw tears streaming down the faces of the stalwart leaders carved for eternity into the ever so firm stone of Mt. Rushmore, and the face of Abraham Lincoln sitting so very solemnly at the Lincoln Memorial.

A country built on the backs of migrants from every country on this planet, which now wants to build walls to keep human beings wanting a better life from the tyranny and despair they face daily from heeding the call from our Lady Statute of Liberty… “bring me your tired, your poor…”


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