So here we are, on the Big, Big Day. Marcia and I cast our votes in Iowa, which technically remains our home state as we’re in a rental transition period in Arizona for the month, and could not have confidently registered to vote here. Both states are potential squeakers, so we figure we’re helping Team Tiny Blue Isle either way.
We know it’s going to be a stressful, painful day. Or more likely days. Or weeks. So much at stake, and so many incredible structural challenges to the spirit and the letter of the laws of the land. When a major party’s campaign tactics are based on disenfranchisement, intimidation and outright cheating, you know something’s bad wrong. And when there’s a high probability that such tactics may be successful in some states or precincts, it raises the wrongness levels to intolerable proportions.
So we’ll be working to distract ourselves for much of the day, rather than getting sucked into the soul-destroying morass of sensational media coverage of horse-race outliers and the flat-out stupidity of political social media. We’ll get a nice hike in, work a bit, maybe read some, have a nice dinner, and keep the music playing instead of the news while we’re around the house, at least until the meaningful reportage begins later tonight.
On that music front, if you need something to distract you from the details of the day, while hewing to what we’re up to as a nation thematically, I offer a special selection of election songs below to prime your jukebox. Some of the themes and lyrics of this baker’s dozen pile of tunes are explicit, some perhaps more subtle, but the rationale behind my choices should be evident, I think. Should be an hour or so of music. Load ’em up on your portable playlist machine and maybe they’ll keep you rocking and bopping while you stand in line (safely, distantly, masked, please) at your polling place. Hopefully you don’t have to repeat the list too many times while you wait . . .
#1. Alice Cooper, “Elected”
#2. The Specials, “Vote For Me”
#3. Clutch, “How To Shake Hands”
#4. Stevie Wonder, “Can’t Put It In The Hands of Fate”
#5. The Temptations, “Ball of Confusion”
#6. The The, “This Is The Day”
#7. Childish Gambino, “This Is America”
#8. Culture, “Election”
#9. Sha Na Na, “The Vote Song”
#10. Canned Heat, “Election Blues”
#11. The Move, “Vote For Me”
#12. Cream, “Politician”
#13. The Spooky Men’s Chorale, “Vote The Bastards Out”