Thursday, October 30, 2008

Born to Run


Music has crept into the 2008 election in interesting ways, with some curious song choices at John McCain rallies (I heard one report of Danger Zone being played; I think maybe it was chosen because it's from Top Gun, which features a character called Maverick, but if you're suggesting to your supporters that you'll take them "right into the danger zone" I don't think that's a message you want to convey). I don't know about Kenny Loggins, but many artists have taken exception to their songs at being used at McCain/Palin rallies, feeling that it indicates some level of endorsement.

Barack Obama has unabashed love from many artists, including the Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, and Bruce Springsteen, all of whom are doing concerts in his honor. On one hand the notion is laughable, as evidenced by this Onion article. But I can't blame the artists for doing these benefits. Everyone wants to feel like they're contributing.

That's why I feel I need to say something in this forum. I recognize that we all have a tendency to get caught up in the drama of the moment, which right now happens to be the presidential election. So I won't say that it's the most important election of our generation or any other sort of hyperbole, but it does matter to me. A lot.

In 2004 when George W. Bush was reelected, I limited my agony to a post titled Wrong Choice, America, wherein I simply printed the lyrics to XTC's 1989 song Here Comes President Kill Again. One thing about bad presidents; they're good for music. But I will gladly sacrifice that for a president like Barack Obama. I've read his biography and followed him closely throughout this never-ending campaign, and I'm convinced that he's the most fundamentally decent presidential candidate we've seen in a long time. He is sharp and open and he truly believes his message of hope. It's not calculated, it's who he is.

For 8 years the Bush/Cheney/Rove combo has played and preyed on Americans' fears, and now there's daily evidence that McCain and Palin will do the same. If you are voting for McCain, I hope it's because you agree with him on abortion or the war in Iraq. I don't share your views, but I understand that. But if you are considering him for any other reason, please evaluate your own reasons. If one of them is fear, take pause.

Fear is very necessary (I wrote all about it here), but it's not a way to pick a president. If Obama loses this election, look for me to post another set of lyrics on November 5.

Now that I've made that promise, I'm off to find the saddest song ever written.


Postscript: I know you don't need me to tell you this, but I'd be remiss if I didn't: PLEASE VOTE!

1 comment:

Any major dude with half a heart said...

Well put.

From my view in South Africa, I'm excited by Obama. I disagree with him on many policy details (he is far more conservative in many ways than his image suggests), but I admire his integrity and what I perceive to be his motivation to run for president: he wants to lead, not benefit for sake of ego, Dad's pals, or lobbies.