From Obama’s numerous campaign endorsements by pop icons to Romney’s laughably out-of-pitch rendition of “America the Beautiful,” music has played a star role in this presidential election. Unfortunately for politics, (but fortunately for everyone else), some efforts have failed quite humorously.

Obama’s administration seems to value music as a way to make money, while Romney’s campaign instead seems to use music for an emotional connection with the American people. However, luckily for Obama, he seems to have racked up the grand majority of artists’ votes anyway – specifically the ones with the most dispensable cash.

Jay Z and Beyoncé, who have a collective worth of 775 million, are not only avid supporters of the President, but also have campaigned quite rigorously to gain him donations through their $40,000 a plate New York fundraiser back in September. Obama has also managed to gain the support of other big names in music, including Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga.

Mitt Romney’s campaign has instead focused on proving that his platform will represent a change for the nation. A notorious example was when Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan tried to convince voters that he believed in smaller government because he had Rage Against the Machine on his iPod. It seemed this statement didn’t distract anyone from Ryan’s true political intentions, especially the band itself. In an angry reply to Ryan, lead guitarist Tom Morello expressed in Rolling Stone magazine how Ryan’s “guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one per cent is antithetical to the message of Rage.”

The contrast between each campaign’s success is perhaps most striking in the array of artists who’ve endorsed each candidate. Obama has gained the support of a wide range of artists, both young and old, from a variety of different genres. Mitt Romney has instead garnered the support of a collection of elderly white gentlemen with whom his unprogressive ideologies resonate. Any outliers in this formula unsurprisingly display a meager level of intelligence or lack an understanding of politics. For instance, Scott Strapp, the front man of the ‘90s rock band Creed, said he supports Romney because, “My heart and soul would really like someone like Reagan or FDR to come back and give us a New Deal.” Apparently Stapp is a little unfamiliar with history, being that it was only FDR who created a New Deal and not Reagan.

When it comes to getting votes, music plays less of a role than rational discussion about the economy, but its use is undeniably successful in evoking an emotional response in voters, which can prove integral to a campaign’s success.

At least the use of music during campaigning has offered a good deal of laughs, and in the election process we’ve seen in the past few months, who could want any more than that?

Spencer Semianiw


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