across the country, there’s lots of talk about the youth who have been energized to participate in politics for the first time and whether or not they’ll actually turn out to vote. Well, here’s something a little different -- a local band bent not on galvanizing the youth vote, but squelching it.
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Rockers Opium Symphony, regulars at places like Firewater, The Max and the Curtain Club, are launching a multi-state tour themed “You Don’t Deserve My Vote 2008.” The tour, complete with boycott T-shirts and yard signs, kicks off March 8 at The Max and then heads to Orange County.
“We’re gonna be going around addressing the problems with the Electoral College -- the middle man between our votes and the president just isn't right,” says frontman Kellen Ross, 23. “And the superdelegates are another middle man. We don’t need to be participating in a system where they abuse their power and the media is basically choosing who becomes president.”
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So, um, just how is boycotting the election going to cause change, particularly when the candidate most popular with young folks is a Washington outsider whose rallying cry is change? Ross doesn’t have a clear answer except to say, “the 13 colonies seceded to avoid a family-run country -- my entire life, it’s been Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now probably Clinton again, so how’s that not a family-run country?” OK, but what about the argument that the fewer young people vote, the more irrelevant they become and the more power the “system” has? Ross will have none of it. “This isn't an angry rage at the machine thing,” he says. “It’s just, ‘let’s think about what’s going on.’ It’s about getting things done. The more that spreads, the more we’ll have the pull to change the system.”
Alrighty, then. Rock on kids, and good luck with all that. -- Megan Feldman