- 07 Jun 16
He's criticised the "hate, vindictiveness, personal insults and racism" that have blighted the 2016 campaign
David Byrne has issued a, ‘We’re Better Than This! Vote!’ plea to his fans.
“I am saddened by the low level to which U.S. politics has sunk,” writes the former Talking Heads man. “The hate, vindictiveness, personal insults, racism, and pandering - it seems that the worst aspects of the internet have come to life and turned into flesh and blood. The causes are many, but now I’m more concerned about what can be done to turn this around and am hopeful that all Americans exercise their right to vote.
“We’re better than this. We are a country that, to the surprise of many, elected a black president. James Brown sang about such a thing decades ago and we all thought, ‘Maybe our children will live to see that happen.’ But it did happen - a black man, a reasonable man willing to negotiate and compromise, has been our president. In fact, folks turned out in droves to vote for Obama. Citizens in many areas - especially places with young, low-income, and minority populations - got out to the polls and made themselves heard. We need to do this again.
“Sadly, that has not been happening this year, and we need that to change. The Demos.org article Why Voting Matters provides some insight as to why this might be the case: ‘Large numbers of lesser-advantaged Americans have been left out of the democratic process: in 2012, 26 million eligible voters of color did not vote, and, among eligible voters earning less than $50,000, 47 million did not vote. In 2014, 44 million eligible voters of color did not vote, and 66 million eligible voters earning less than $50,000 did not vote.’
“This is not a good time for these votes to go uncast. What limited voice we have we need to exercise - we need to be heard. Yes, the Republicans got voter ID and other laws passed in many states - legislation that was specifically designed to make it harder for the folks listed above to vote - but there are organizations that are working hard to counter those efforts and help people of whatever persuasion get to their polling places and vote.
“A two-pronged approach is required in order for that to happen. The Community Voters Project functions on a more personal level - their staffers and volunteers are in the streets, continuing the fight against disenfranchisement by registering voters one by one and providing clarification into the (sometimes intentionally confusing) registration and voting processes.
“The second prong is legal - advocacy and lobbying in order to change laws and policies. Project Vote focuses more on that area by providing litigation, research, and technical assistance in order to promote effective voter registration laws, ensure that list maintenance procedures do not remove eligible voters, and provide solutions that remove barriers to voting.
“Both the Community Voters Project and Project Vote are nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that can use your help, and mine, as well. Below you can find some more information about each group and learn how you can contribute to their cause.
Despite all the heinous things the U.S. has done, we are still looked up to around the world. We are what many other people aspire to—or our good aspects at least.”
Find out more at [link]davidbyrne.com[/link]