The Way It Is

Deborah Venable



I love good music – always have.  When an artist gets it right, it stays right for all time, and any copying of it just doesn’t do it justice.  Back in the 80s, a young man did just that – he got it right the first time, and it has been a favorite of mine ever since.  It would be a beautiful piece of instrumental music without the lyrics, but I like the whole package.  Some may call it a protest song of sorts, and I supposed it would have been a big hit in the 60s during the height of the civil rights protests, but I don’t believe it would have held the same meaning then as it did in the late 80s and more especially now in 2012.  The song, written and performed by Bruce Hornsby, has the perfect title – “The Way It Is.”


Bruce gives a whole new meaning to “tickling the ivories” in this piece.  I recently found the live performance on YouTube and still just can’t get enough of it, although I’ve owned the album it is on for many years now.  Please take a short break and click this link to watch this amazing performance. 


As I listen to the political debate going on in America right now, I can sum it all up with one sentiment – well, that’s the way it is!  Granted, the lyrics of the song have more to do with race inequality before the ERA and even for awhile afterward, but the political mantra nowadays is hell bent on exploiting class inequality, and on that score – that’s just the way it is.  Or, as the song implores at one point, “don’t you believe them!”


Here is some irony for you – the biggest political problem in America right now is the ongoing struggle between individualism and collectivism.  (For some background on these two philosophies, please refer back to this article.)  Those shouting the encouraging, “don’t you believe them” phrase are individualists who believe that nobody should be “outclassed” racially or any other way.  It IS collectivism that insists on keeping people down according to whatever group they happen to fit, loosely or otherwise!  Don’t see the irony yet?  Then, you simply aren’t an individualist.


Now I have no idea about the personal politics of the musician, Bruce Hornsby, who wrote and performed “The Way It Is” but I really don’t care – because I am an individualist and certainly not a collectivist.  He could be the biggest flaming liberal or communist the world has ever known and it wouldn’t matter because he got the music right – and I judge the music.  He could be a staunch, religious conservative, and that wouldn’t matter either – if the music were flawed.  I’d be yelling, “don’t you believe them” to anybody who tried to put the guy in a category in which to judge the music by his personal beliefs. 


That’s the way it is with judgment of excellence in music and any other art form.  But that is not the way it is in politics with politicians because they are the ones that “make the rules” the rest of us are expected to live by.  “The law don’t change another’s mind” is another excellent phrase in the lyrics of the song, but that is exactly what politicians expect as they make all the rules.  Individualists will continue to shout out, “don’t you believe them!” 


Progressive politics is killing America because it is collectivism on steroids.  So many folks these days can’t even recognize such labels as “progressive” so the real fight against some of the rules being made are lost in faulty definitions.  I daresay many of our politicians do not readily admit to their own labels being faulty, and therefore make it hard for the electorate to define those candidates who will most truly represent them.  Simply put, a progressive is one who believes in radical, societal change brought about for the most part by government action.  Although the Democrat Party is overrun with former liberals (who no longer appreciate THAT label) turned progressives, the Republican Party has within its ranks too many that fit the progressive label also.  They may even refer to themselves as “progressive conservatives.”  Now there’s an oxymoron for you!


The question I want answered by every single politician seeking political office is this:  are you a collectivist or an individualist?  The simple answer to that question can be unequivocally checked against a person’s actions, and thus prove character and truthfulness or the lack thereof. 


I expect the same argument to come up in this presidential election especially that has come up in many previous ones where the primary process failed to produce for conservatives a truly conservative candidate.  There will be those of us who defend the position of voting for the “lesser of the evils” and will receive all kinds of name calling hate mail about how stupid we are to accept ANY evil.  First off, the lesser of the evils will not be Lucifer, so, no, I won’t be voting for evil to that extent.  But I absolutely refuse to support (either directly or through a wasted vote or sitting out the election altogether) the pure evil and destructiveness personified in the Democrat Party’s candidate.  How hard is that to understand?


That’s just the way it is – some things will never change – that’s just the way it is… ah, but don’t you believe them!


So, here’s the point of this whole excursion into musical excellence and political depravity – simply, some things will never change unless we change them – just as Americans have been doing since the beginning of our country and our culture.  It is up to us to know what things need changing and what things should never change.  We must preserve the unique individual spirit of America that our ancestors fought and died for.  It must not be lost in an upheaval of collective ideas that have always failed and will continue to do so. 


That’s the way it is. 



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