Rocktober: Get Out And Vote!

Al Schnier - moe., Al & The Transamericans

Is this election different than past elections, why or why not?

Al Schnier by Dino Perrucci
Every election is different. This one seems critical. We are in a very precarious position now, where the most subtle ripple could set off a huge wave of change in the near future. So much of what has occurred over the last 30 years (not just the last eight) has led us here - a system in which power and money is chasing its own tail - that it will be challenging for either candidate.

Our country was based on the principles of freedom and democracy, but the driving force has been free enterprise. Our founding fathers established an economy that was free from taxation from the British Empire. Certainly, freedom of speech and freedom of religion - these "inalienable rights" are not to be denied, but the single principle that ultimately may be our most challenging is that of free enterprise. So often in our history (and currently) the money trumps those "inalienable rights." Almost every single problem we have in this county can be traced back to whether or not someone made a profit - lobbyists, the pharmaceutical industry, tobacco, oil, religion, campaign financing, the environment, AIDS, homeless, the drug war, any war... Follow the money.

So, is this election different? I have a feeling that over the next ten years we are going to see some very significant changes in the global dynamic. This may be one of the most important elections of our lifetime.

What is the relationship between music and politics - and how, if at all, has this relationship affected your music?

Music has always been a great outlet for me, both as a listener and as an artist. So often, I turn to music as a means of expression or communication, especially for the issues most important to me. I'm a big fan of guys like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Ray Davies, Elvis Costello - guys who often wrote great songs about the issues on their minds.

If you could speak directly to all American voters, what would you say?

You're right to vote is more than a privilege. It is an opportunity to be a part of the equation. Your daily lives may very well seem untouched by the impact of your single vote - especially in the short term; however, in the long run, you will be bringing about a change that will echo for many years to come. The key is to set that wave in motion now.

If you're not registered to vote or have any questions, check out

moe. is currently on a break, but you can catch Al & The Transamericans on tour starting on Halloween in Utica, New York. Tour dates available here.

If you've got your own answers to these questions, or want to respond in any way, check out our new Politics Forum...

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