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2004: Exercising your patriotic duty

Country Standard Time Editorial, October 2004

It should come as no surprise that the country music crowd is lining up on both sides of the aisle in the election. Trick Pony, for example, has been active in campaigning for the president. Others have taken less overt roles, but shown up at events, like the Republican convention. Among them are Brooks & Dunn, Mark Chesnutt and Sara Evans, whose husband ran for Congress two years ago in Oregon, but lost.

On the Democratic side, the Dixie Chicks are out front and center behind the effort to unseat the president. Not exactly a surprise. The Chicks are the only country group participating in a week-long series of fundraising concerts in early October for groups working to defeat President Bush.

Others are involved, however, including Emmylou Harris, Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Allison Moorer and BR549.

Chances are pretty strong that most of these efforts are not going to result in John Q. Public voting for the candidate of the particular musician's dreams. The American people ought to be given more credit than that.

The fact that Brooks & Dunn, for example, were at the Republican convention probably mattered very little. Ditto for Willie Nelson's appearance at the Democratic convention.

In this day and age, what political activist is backing which candidate seems even less important at this stage of an election campaign. Early on, doing so may create a sense of momentum, but not at this point.

As a country music magazine, we are not going to weigh in for either candidate.

But we do urge those of voting age to do is exercise their right to cast a ballot on Nov. 2 for whichever candidate they support. Country music always has enjoyed a patriotic streak about it, and what could be more patriotic - whether supportive of Sen. Kerry or President Bush - than exercising the freedom, privilege and duty to vote?