Music ‘n musings

Anyone’s voice can be heard


A year from today, we as a nation will have already elected a new president into office. The 2016 presidential election was full of large amounts of animosity, mistrust and polarization, and it is naive to think that the 2020 election won’t be similar. In fact, it’s already gearing up to be. The various important political issues present in this upcoming election, including gun control, women’s and LGBTQ rights, healthcare and immigration, come with a lot of controversy, and they continue to be extremely hot topics.
I have always considered myself to be politically active. I don’t claim to be an expert on anything by any means, but I do my best to stay up to date on our current political state. Not everyone chooses to be active in politics, which is their right, but I am a believer that choosing to ignore political issues can lead to ignorance and a toxic state of government. Without the voice of an informed public to check politicians, the government can quickly move to take advantage of the masses.
A song that really resonates with my belief in activism is “Nina Cried Power” by Hozier, featuring civil rights activist Mavis Staples. In it Hozier and Staples praise various political activists both past and present, including Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, John Lennon and Billie Holliday. All of these famous figures “cried power” and called attention to the various issues they saw in the world around them, whether it was race, war, poverty or the environment. Using the power of their voices, they brought about change and helped bring about a better world.
But just because the figures listed in the song are famous figures doesn’t mean their voices carry any more weight than the average person. Anyone can “cry power,” bringing attention to the issue they care deeply about. It isn’t enough to simply know about an issue. To bring about true change, one has to raise their voice and make their opinion known. “It’s not the song, it is the singing,” that matters most.
As the election approaches, stay up to date with politics, the candidates and their respective platforms. Almost a third of the students at SHS will be able to vote in November 2020, so staying educated about the various issues present in the election will help create a pool of informed, effective voters. I am a firm believer that it is never too late to become more active in the pursuit of the change that our country needs. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, or what stance is taken. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But don’t let the easier route of apathy take control. “Cry power,” and know that even the smallest of voices can be heard when joined by people speaking in unison.