ROCKTOBER 2004 : : VOTING ON THE MIND

DAN BERN
Dan Bern

Why is it important to vote?


By Patricia Masisak
If you look at the struggles of the past to simply be allowed to vote--for blacks, for women, in other countries--you begin to see that it's not something to just take for granted. It is not the only thing to do as far as participating in what we still hope is a democracy, but it is an undeniably important one. And it's the only way to get Bush and his cronies out NOW.

Is this election any different than elections past?

The right has gained control and fallen off the edge. They make centrists look like Abbie Hoffman. With such clearly dangerous people in power, I think this election takes on greater significance than anything in recent memory.

Do politics have a place in music?

Ask Woody Guthrie. Billy Bragg, Michael Franti, Ani DiFranco, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger. To even ask such a question (granted you may be being rhetorical) shows how fragmented we've become. Music and politics have been interwoven since the first caveman plinked two rocks together. If you change the music, you change the soul of a society.

Why or why not?

I think I answered above, but... I welcome all the musicians coming forward and speaking up. Musicians have a long-term trust relationship with their fans. And they have a platform, a stage, every night. It's only right that they speak out, if that's how they feel.

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