ROCKTOBER 2004 : : VOTING ON THE MIND

REED MATHIS
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Why is it important to vote?


By Jaci Downs
We hear that word "freedom" thrown around a lot these days. We are told that we are "defending freedom," "promoting freedom," "giving the gift of freedom" to presumably less-civilized nations. We are told that terrorists "hate our freedoms" and that the "price of freedom" is going to war.

The freedom these people speak of is not, in my opinion, actual freedom. Actual freedom, in a national sense, can only come about through voting, and protecting our rights.

If Bush gets "re-elected," (assuming he actually was elected in Florida in 2000) we will be telling the world that we, as a nation of individuals, agree with his snubbing of the international community, his allegiances to the industries that are profiting from his foreign and environmental stupidity and shortsightedness, and his corrupt infestation of cronie appointments.

The problem is, most of the country doesn't agree with him.

In the 2000 election, 45% of eligible voters voted, and LESS THAN HALF of those voted for Bush. And yet, now we have a catastrophic world-protested war on our hands, and our environmental policies are set back decades.

Everywhere I go people my age talk about how much they disagree with this administration. But DO THEY VOTE? The sad truth is that in the past, a larger percentage of the conservative base goes to the voting booth than the liberal base. If all these twenty-something’s who can't stand the evils they hear about had voted in 2000, we'd be in an economic surplus right now, and we probably wouldn't have needlessly alienated the international community and invaded a country that was not a threat to us. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Is this election any different than elections past?

This election is more than a little different than elections past. Much more is at stake. All three branches of government are dominated by a right-wing conservative agenda (which is the political minority in this country). Through the FOX news network, this minority is able to capitalize on the populace's inability to do its own research, and convince staggering numbers of voters to believe absolute lies. If this continues for another four years, bush will not only convince more idiots of his smoke-screen malarkey, but he will appoint Supreme Court justices that will cause backward fundamentalist capitalist billionaire mischief for decades to come.

It's serious this time. 45% of the eligible voters showing up is not acceptable when the future of the entire earth is to be decided. THESE SATANISTS MUST BE STOPPED.

Do politics have a place in music?
Why or why not?

Well, these days there's not much of a public sphere anymore. It's not like we can go down to the market square and stand up on a box and speak out... there's no one there! So, as far as I'm concerned, anytime we are in a position to speak to the public, we should do so if we feel so inclined. Unfortunately for me, most of the folks going to see my group are already open-minded and educated enough to be outraged at this administration, so we're kind of preaching to the choir. But if it stirs up and emboldens even one person enough to go VOTE on November 2, than that is more important than all the passive pleasure anyone's ever gotten from hearing a note of our music.

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