This song was written by Bruce Hornsby and released on the album by Bruce Hornsby and the Range in 1986 on the album, “The Way It Is.” If you listen closely, there are two distinct stories being told. One simply accepts that things are the way they are and “some things will never change.” Another says, “Don’t you believe them!” I choose not to believe them.
The narrative of the song ends after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when discrimination was theoretically outlawed. We now know that was in theory alone. Since then we’ve encountered new challenges. In the history of our country we’ve always had voter suppression, inequitable laws and enforcement and several Presidents and a Supreme Court that didn’t represent the whole country’s interests. That’s the way it’s been but it doesn’t always have to be that way.
A Trump Presidency is not “just the way it is.” The President is not a Monarch and we can resist following his crude base instincts. We can resist building the wall and a nuclear arms race and the elimination of health care for millions. We have the power… we must also have the will.
The title is misleading because things don’t have to be the way they’ve been. “Don’t you believe it!” Positive change will not come without struggle. At least during the battles I can enjoy my theme song. I give you Margot Bingham!
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