Feeling Political - Episode Eight, Voice Memos
This week’s episode of Feeling Political is a collection of voice memos sent in by Dan, Alison, and Johnny. The selection represents some of the thoughts and feelings of people who have sent in audio files telling me how they feel and their advice on what to do. Feeling Political is a product of The Alternative Historian. More information is at alternativehistorian.com/feelingpolitical.
FEELING POLITICAL - Episode Seven, Voice Memos
Released: January 19, 2017
Length: 6:25 minutes
It can be a really good thing, it can be a really bad thing. It just depends on how everybody deals with everything.
I don’t know about you…
I’m not surprised. I’m just tired and disappointed.
But I’m feeling political…
This is a podcast series about emotions and politics and the actions we take. Or the actions we think we should take. Or the actions we wish we could take. I'm talking to people about how they feel and what they want to do based on those feelings.
This episode is something different. I’ve compiled excerpts from some voice memos I have received. These selections represent a range of responses including those with a clear idea of what to do, those who have no idea, and those who are guessing.
I appreciate all of you who sent in files. If you sent in a memo but it hasn’t been played, know that I have listened to it. Don’t be surprised if they come up in future episodes.
Here are selections of voice memos from Dan, Alison, and Johnny.
My name is Daniel Enger. I live in Atlanta and I work with a nonprofit that uses the power of storytelling to understand and amplify the concerns of vulnerable people.
My name is Alison, and I’m a historian.
Johnny B. I’m a vagabond.
During the run-up to our recent presidential election when I would talk with friends in other countries, I felt really embarrassed. I was often made to feel more embarrassed that a major political party in my country could possibly have nominated somebody, a man with views and a manner like that.
I’m feeling a lot of things. The inside of my head is kind of a mess right now, and it has been for a while. I think in the days immediately following the election I was feeling a deep fear. I was afraid for the physical well-being of myself and my friends. And it’s not the kind of fear that comes around very often when you live in a relatively safe place, in a relatively stable political climate. It’s a rare feeling, that deep paralyzing fear.
It is excitement, it is fear. When I learned that Trump was President, there was fear. To me it’s very dangerous. It’s a big unknown what’s going to happen. I think that scares everybody. Especially with this wild card, this thing that is just so different.
I find it really troubling to witness the success of people who intentionally propagate a chest-thumping sense of the nation and at the same time a sense of othering that leads to stigma and even hatred. One thing that concerns me most is the way repugnant views and manners of expression are swiftly becoming commonplace. I worry about our kids.
I’m not surprised. I’m just tired and disappointed.
I was in middle school when Obama was first elected. I remember having this moment, sitting in the library watching him inaugurated. I had this moment of, “Wow, maybe people aren’t as awful as they seem to be. Things are not as dark and scary as I assumed that they were.” So I held on to that hope, and now I’m seeing backlash.
My advice to somebody who wants to know what to do in the face of all of this. I think we need to look upstream, maybe even way upstream. And with confidence, and in a steadfast way, help all of us develop certain tools, certain character virtues that it seems we have let slip, and allowed to become weak.
This polarity that’s happening between everybody is going to cause more potentially violence happening, bad things to happen. I feel like it can be a really good thing, it can be a really bad thing. It just depends on how everybody deals with everything.
The American populace has to care about politics. We have to pay attention to the details. We have to follow things for longer than 140 characters, and we have to get invested. We have to get up. Go out. We have to vote. We have to complain. We have to do all kinds of organizing things that we haven’t done in a long time. Or at least things that have changed formed.
And most importantly, I feel that we’ve got to cultivate empathy and compassion at all levels.
I’m still working it out, what to do about it. But I think the biggest thing is pay attention.
Inform yourself. Try to get as educated as possible. Try to find that, I wouldn’t say truth but just as much information about the situation.
This is a great opportunity for me to gather and to express my thoughts, and I’m grateful.
Yeah. That’s pretty much it.
That was selections of voice memos sent in by Dan, Alison, and Johnny.
This season is almost done. I created this podcast series to help make sense of what I was feeling and what I was seeing. I will be wrapping up the season with an epilogue talking about what I’ve learned from these conversations. There will also be some bonus content in the near future.
I was also hoping to motivate some people. Well, it got me moving.
The next season will come out in Summer. I’ll be asking more questions from people, soliciting more voice memos, and focusing on a different organization doing interesting work.
In the meantime, take care of yourself.
You can find more information about this podcast at alternativehistorian.com.
The music is by Rebel Diaz.
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Feeling Political is produced by Daniel Horowitz Garcia, the Alternative Historian. The series will be part of the history podcast Change Over Time, coming in Spring 2017. Sign up on the newsletter at alternativehistorian.com. We are part of Amplify, an oral history podcast network bringing podcasting to the field of oral history.
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