ROCKTOBER 2004 : : VOTING ON THE MIND

DAVE SCHOOLS
Widespread Panic :: Stockholm Syndrome

Why is it important to vote?


By Mary Ruf
The main reason to vote these days is simply to let the powers that be know that you are a responsible citizen and that you do have an interest in what they are doing. Voting is a right and a responsibility. A government that thinks no one is watching is one which is moving towards unchecked power.

Is this election any different than elections past?

This election is very different from previous elections in that I feel the viability of our very electoral process is at stake thanks to the snafus involved in the 2000 election, especially the situation and resulting court decisions involving Florida. Check the percentage of US citizens that have actually registered to vote and then look at the number of those people who actually bother to cast their votes (especially in local and off-year elections) and you will see a shockingly low percentage of Americans using their guaranteed right to take part in their government. This can only say to the politicians in Washington that we either don't care to take part in the process (dangerous) or that we are giving them a mandate by silence to continue with their policies. The only way to make our voices heard is by taking the first step and going to the polls.

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

Of course politics has a place in music! Artists can only reflect and reinvent what they see around them. Some artists choose to make social responsibility their sole focus while others may take a more subtle tack. This is true in all artistic media. In the end it is up to the artist to choose his or her stance and then to project that message outward. I think this may be the difference between art and entertainment. As far as politics and music go, I always thought Frank Zappa said it best by emblazoning the back of his records with the message: "Don't forget to register to vote!"

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