Monday, August 09, 2004

Who Are You?

Peliroja had an interesting post that fitted in with my recent reading in today's news. I have no problem with someone voicing their political opinion - after all, what do I do each day on here? At the same time, it fascinates and astounds me at how much Hollywood, and lately, musicians, are pushing their views on everyone else. On one hand, more power to them for using their power and influence for something in which they believe. On the other hand, I find myself wondering why they are so vitriolic about it. Celebrities seem determined to be of only one mindset - beating Bush - rather than encouraging the open exchange of ideas. The reason this is foolish: even if they succeed in this election and John Kerry is elected President (work with me on this hypothetical, no matter how unappealing), the same situation they are complaining about is going to be arising in the next election. Of course, that is assuming I am understanding their goal to be as noble as they claim.
"If there was a Democrat in the White House, and this was going on, we'd still be doing this," [John] Mellencamp told The Herald-Times of Bloomington in an interview published Sunday. "This is a protest. It's a protest about the abuse of what we feel are American values. And in this case it just so happens that, yes, this is a Republican president, and yes, the proceeds will go to efforts to defeat that Republican president." Mellencamp is joining Bruce Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks and other musicians in an series of October concerts aimed at defeating President Bush's re-election. A July fund-raiser that raised $7.5 million for John Kerry's presidential campaign included Mellencamp performing Texas Bandito, which refers to Bush as "a cheap thug." "I wasn't very politically active before this administration," Mellencamp said. "I had political views, but I always used to say, 'I don't want to hang on anybody's cross or stand on anybody's soapbox. Whatever I need to say, I'll say in my songs.' But things are different now." Mellencamp said a growing intolerance for opposing viewpoints in this nation inspired his participation in the Vote for Change series of 34 shows in 28 cities. Source
If they are truly worried about the silencing of opposing viewpoints, then the concern should be for all opinions to have room to be aired, not just those that do not support President Bush. While I have no doubt if questioned, they would probably say that is their goal, but their means for attaining it currently seems to have only one objective in mind: defeat Bush. They would do better, and probably be taking on less needless risk of alienating fans, if they would worry more about the public forum's tolerance of differing opinions, and less about whether John Kerry has enough money for his campaign. At least then they would be enacting a nationwide change that can continue long after this election has passed. And John Kerry appears to have his monetary needs covered anyway.