Pete's Blog

This Election

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Dear Friends, Those of you who know me personally know that my politics can best be described as grumpy and contrarian. I have no truck with the liberal pieties. Furthermore, I resent artists who feel their ability to play an instrument or write a quatrain is qualification to make any sort of public political statement. They are, in the truest sense of the word, impertinent: meaning both "presumptuous" and "not relevant to the matter at hand." But this election is too important for me to be fastidious. This time, more than any other, I need to say where I stand. It may not change anyone's mind, but I want to say I hope that all of you will vote, with me, to elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States. I have always seen my life's work in music as a small part of our society's slow but steady reconciliation of the races, but this by itself is not enough to influence my vote. I have never encouraged anyone to vote for Al Sharpton, after all. I mentioned the liberal pieties. The past few years have seen a new kind of political piety, fertilized by amoral, cynical people borrowing the most destructive traits of the '60s Left - its divisiveness, its destructive anti-intellectualism - who falsely labeled the result "conservatism" and poisoned our civic discourse with it. Mr. Obama's thoughtfulness and intelligence, his evident willingness to think outside pre-existing paradigms of Left, Right, and Center, are what we need now. And we need to deliver not just defeat but decisive repudiation to the forces that have brought us to this pass. I am not a Democrat. I do not trust those interests that have kept the Democrats from being the progressive party they claim to be not to impede the work that needs to be done in the years ahead. But no candidacy is perfect, no election clear cut. I intend to vote for Barack Obama and I urge everyone to do the same. Thank you very much and God bless us all. Pete

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