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Touching music ain't all that..s.<<


Hey, thanks for writing. It's funny, 'cause I just got done writing a VietNam vet who wrote me about how much he appreciated the song. You might remember from the song there's a popup that says "thanks to the veterans for making this possible". That was a really important thing for me to say because I really do have an incredible amount of gratitude for the sacrifice men and women are willing to make to protect us. In important ways, their willingness allowed our country to be what it is - the most powerful, wealthy and free country on the planet (although I've wondered about whether or not we're really "free" when a corporation or an industry's weight in government has so much more influence than voters).

Anyway, I'm suggesting that our freedom fighters are men and women who are passionate about defending freedom. What's *wrong* here, is NOT that there are heroes who will put themselves in harms way to protect us, it's that they've been sold a bill of goods that this is about protecting freedom.

Thanks for the comments about my voice and for the song. Maybe if you knew that I have a sister who's a warrant officer in the Marine Corps, served in the Navy myself, and come from a long lineage of military leaders, and if you knew how much I love and admire their commitment to our country and deeply and profoundly appreciate their willingness to sacrifice, and how much I love being an American, you might listen to the song differently. Perhaps if you knew that I'm an Eagle scout who is living every day of his life being "loyal to country," and perhaps if you knew that I have such great hope for America and what could be possible if we started leading the world instead of dominating it, you might hear a slightly different version of the song.

I really do appreciate your feedback. It keeps me honest, and reminds me that not everyone agrees. That's something I find so incredibly wonderful about America. We can disagree with each other, and in the midst of that disagreement find a new and better truth.

But I think there is a grave danger in stifling dissent. In the absence of protest, power consolidates and dominates. That is the perhaps the law after "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

If people see an injustice and do not speak up, they are complicit in the injustice. I believe we owe as much to the men and women who have died protesting and acting against injustice. Mickey Schwermer, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were brutally murdered in 1964 trying to give black people a voice and a vote. The very rights we both agree are worth dying for. Whose life is worth more? Or less?

Please consider that the exercise of your muscles is what keeps you strong. The same goes for rights, and I believe with every fiber of my being that our Founding Fathers believed in the importance of exercising those rights so much that they guaranteed them to every citizen.

Please do not consider protest unpatriotic or disloyal to America. That, to me, is every bit as misguided and disgraceful as accusing a 20 year old soldier returning from Viet Nam of being a baby killer.

To me, the people who care enough to get out of the house and show up in the streets under fear of being videotaped or arrested by the Police for exercising their rights are just as patriotic as those who take an oath to protect us. The sad fact is that the real, TRUE majority of Americans don't care enough to get out and vote. Whether someone is fighting to protect the right to vote, or exercising the rights guaranteed to them by a democratic government, they are both participating in creating a thriving, healthy democracy.

Thanks for your good wishes, although it's hard to believe your really meant to wish me success. I'm not attached to how all this turns out. I AM committed to doing everything I can to get this song by as many people as possible, because I think it's an important message worth sharing.

And actually, I totally disagree that "touching music is not got our country where it is today." As a matter of fact, I think that touching music is what makes this country great. When I was in boot camp, I used to totally get off to our theme song - Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be An American". There are certainly countless stories where hearing the Star Spangled Banner has roused men and women to heroic feats. If "touching music" weren't powerful, "Taps" wouldn't cause us all to grieve the costs of war. "Imagine" wouldn't have been an anthem for people seeking an alternative to brutality.

And I wouldn't be talking to you now.

Thanks again. What city are you in, by the way? Are you in Boston? I've just become a huge Boston fan this last game. I think it'll be a lifetime thing - I'm just a huge fan of the underdogs.

./ian

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