Broken Social Scene, an indie-rock band from Toronto, played the Siren Music Festival at Coney Island on Saturday and at the end of their set, lead singer Kevin Drew told the captive audience to go out and vote for Obama. The fact that an indie-rock band was stumping for the Democratic nominee is not remarkable. After all when he was campaigning in North Carolina a few months ago, Superchunk, an indie-rock stalwart since the early 90’s, played a fundraiser for him. And in Portland, it was a band called the Decemberists that drew thousands of his supporters to a pre-rally concert. Actually Obama, rather smartly, has locked in this demographic from day one of his race. Last July I was in Chicago for a huge, three-day, indie music festival and there was a booth selling Obama bumper stickers and t-shirts. I bought a bumper sticker and just a couple of months ago when my parents were visiting, my mother saw it in my room and asked if she could have it. She said a co-worker of hers back in Alabama was always bashing Obama and had a McCain bumper sticker on her desk. My mom wanted to pick a fight.
But I digress; back to Saturday night. The lead singer of this band full of Canadians told everyone to go out and change the world. He said a vote for Obama is not only a vote for change in “your country” but for change all over the globe. Again he reminded everyone that he was not “one of us” and instead said he was only our “neighbor.”
And that’s just it.
Obama’s election is not only important for America; it’s critical for the rest of the world. Everyone is watching us, and in contrast to the last eight years, they are watching with optimistic eyes. An Obama victory this November will reverberate beyond our borders as the first step to cleaning up the wreckage Bush is leaving in his international wake. A British friend told me today, waiting in line to get coffee, that all of her friends back home were pulling for Obama. She also said her friends constantly ask her why she chose to move to America, to which she responds, “not everyone supports Bush’s policies.”
I feel safe predicting Obama won’t receive the same reception when he visits London in a week that “W” did the last time he was there.