While many in the music industry are still interested in rocking the vote or killing you if you don’t vote, NewTunes firmly advocates that you do what you want to do. Until there is a law mandating that you vote, you have just as much of a right not to vote as you do to vote.
The fact is that a lot of people don’t follow news or politics and they just aren’t interested. So, if they’re not paying attention or don’t really care, why force them to vote? The answer, to the campaigns, is that if they’re not committed, then they can use that person and vote for them. Here’s an analogy that I think might help my point…
Let’s say Death Cab for Cutie and Beck were each going to be playing a free show in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and tickets are free and general admission (and required). The shows are announced over a year in advance, and the diehard fans get tickets right away. The shows will be on the same day, at the same time, but on opposite ends of the park. People can only attend one.
Now, there’s a segment of each fan base that think everyone should go and hear the bands’ concert. They believe the band they like is the best, and they really want to prove it to the fans of the other band.
So they go around recruiting everyone – regardless of demographic, psychographic or any other graphic – to attend the show. They’re renting buses, showing up at college dorms and hospice facilities alike, picking up the residents – most of whom have not even heard of either of the bands and have not interest in them, bringing them to the grounds and handing them tickets to the show THEY want the residents to go see.
And some groups of fans are so committed to their band that they’re sneaking people without tickets into the grounds. Some are even paying people to attend these shows.
Some people really like the bands, but don’t want to deal with the crowds or they’ve seen the bands before, so they decide to show up early to look at the layout of the park. They figure now that they’ve seen the layout, they probably have a good idea of what will happen at the show, so they leave. What they don’t know is that both bands will be playing new songs that only those attending will get to hear.
Meanwhile, the real, die-hard Beck and Death Cab for Cutie fans are revving up and excited as hell to go. They’ve purchased all the CDs and have been supporting the bands for years. They’re ready to camp out and get the best seats. They’re home playing those CDs, counting down the hours until show time.
The day of the concerts comes, and all these people who’ve never heard either Death Cab or Beck, and some who don’t even like either one, show up. Both bands start their show at the same time. The diehard fans are stoked and trying to get into the show. But all of those who were encouraged to take part in this “historic concert event” are bored and starting to wonder why they’re there. So they start talking amongst themselves – many getting really drunk because if nothing else, it’s a party. Others just bored and milling about.
Soon no one at either show can hear the band play because of all the people there who don’t care are talking, spilling beer on them, moving about trying to get closer or farther away from the stage. It ruins the entire experience for everyone and everyone walks away angry and frustrated – especially the Beck and Death Cab fans who had been looking forward to this show for over a year. Bootleggers who were trying to tape the show had their recordings ruined by people around them who were yelling because the music was “too loud.” No one could hear the show with all the talking, and it was hard to enjoy yourself with people constantly walking around, bumping into people and generally being a nuisance.
People who are engaged in the political process know the candidates. They know when voting day is, and if they’re so inclined, they’re going to vote. Freedom is supposed to be the backbone of this country – including freedom not to vote. That’s why I am completely anti any pro-voting initiative. Anything that encourages people to vote should be outlawed (I’m kinda joking on that one, but I’d still be for it).
When election day comes, those who care will and should vote. If you’re not interested, stay home.
There should also be severe limits on early and absentee ballots, because the greatest opportunity for voting fraud exists around early balloting or mailed in ballots – when no one is there to check identification.
Let’s not ruin this fall’s election show for the true fans. This election is simply too important for everyone to go and vote. Either start listening to all everything that the candidates have recorded – old and new – or stay home. There’s no shame in either, only shame in being used by the candidates and their fans.