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Truth to Power - Part I
How does it feel to still be able to breathe?
“The presidency is a sacred trust. Being president means standing with Americans when they need you most. It means sheltering them from the storm. And, above all, it means knowing that the American people are always more important than yourself.” - Pete Buttigieg, 2020
Ever since November 8, 2016, breathing has become much more than a physical process for me. I went to bed early that night and was looking forward to seeing headlines celebrating our first female president the next morning. Instead, I woke to a nightmare that left me breathless. The news that Trump had been elected - though Hilary won the popular vote by 2.87 million votes - triggered what felt like an asthma attack. My throat constricted, my chest got tight, and though I was working very hard to suck air into my lungs I felt lightheaded.
These sensations were nothing new. I knew them well from my college days when I lived in a farming community where dust, pollen, and chemicals filled the air. I had to take eight medications a day to keep my airways open, and I never knew what would trigger an attack. I carried both a bronchial dialator and an epi pen everywhere I went. I’m told that anxiety attacks can provoke similar symptoms. Perhaps that was what I was experiencing on November 9th. All I know is that ever since that day, oxygen has been in short supply whenever I see or hear Trump or one of his minions speak.
Now that Biden is in office I feel a bit better, but I agree with Mary Trump who says Americans have suffered great trauma. “Our failure to acknowledge this trauma, let alone root it out, has allowed it to metastasize.,” she says. “Whether it manifests itself in rising levels of rage and hatred, or hopelessness and apathy, the stress of living in a country we no longer recognize has affected all of us. America is suffering from PTSD—a new leader alone cannot fix us.”
I don’t know the solution to our collective breathlessness, but playing this song - and the others I will share later this week - has helped. I am reminded I’m not alone, that there are sane, empathetic, capable, and intelligent people working to make things better. Even more reassuring, however, was hearing Demi Lovato sing about her outrage. Sometimes, I like to remind myself, anger is jusitfied. Let’s have a listen:
So tell me…
How did you feel after listening to this song?
What songs help you get through frustration and anger?
I labeled this post, “Truth to Power,” which in my mind is what needs to happen when those in power start to abuse it. What other songs speak truth to power for you?
Let the discussion begin!
Copyright 2021 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.