About Me

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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What Now? (The dreaded, inevitable political post)

When they go low, we go high.

On Tuesday, there is a very real, plausible possibility that American voters will elect Donald Trump as the next President of the United States of America. Some of my friends are delighted by this prospect, and many more are horrified by it. I am among the latter group. I am voting for Hillary Clinton, not because she's the lesser of two evils (though that would be sufficient in my view), but because I believe she is far and away the most qualified candidate to run this country, and because I believe she has the potential to be an outstanding president. The fact that my vote for her is also a vote against Donald Trump is just a bonus.

But this is not a political blog. This blog is about The Monkees, and Batman, and how hot I thought Suzi Quatro was when I was 15. I know I can't influence your vote; if I had that kind of sway, The Flashcubes would be a million-selling act, and this blog would have paying customers. Whatever result occurs today, there is a question we all have to address:

What now?

What happens on Wednesday? What happens on January 20th, when the new president is sworn in? And what happens after that?

Unfortunately, we all know one likely answer to that question. Gridlock will continue. Even sincere efforts to reach across our great divide will be met with suspicion and rejection. Paths forward will be obstructed. Small minds will have their day, and not a goddamned thing will get done.

But we can hope. Whether it's a Clinton Administration (yay!) or a Trump Administration (just show me to the bar, dammit), we can hope that left and right may find some sort of common ground. We can debate our differences, propose our contrasting ideas, and participate in America's greatest strength: the union of the disparate many into the united one. This has never been a perfect country, but it is indeed a great country; we're still an experiment, and we're still figuring things out, but America endures because its people believe in its promise.

We need to stop fighting each other. We need to stop hating. We need to work together, for cryin' out loud.

I confess this sin: I do believe that our current dismal political stagnation and stalemate is more the fault of right-wing zealots than left-wing zealots. I'm not going to indulge in the ritual charade of false equivalence. But screw the zealots anyway--the hell with all of 'em, from Matt Drudge to Susan Sarandon. We don't need them. We need each other.

I never liked President Reagan. Maybe you never liked President Obama. But both men did love this country, and both deserved our respect. We can disagree without being assholes about it. We should disagree, and debate, and improve. That's what's great about America.

In the words of a great man named King: I have a dream.

In the words of a not-great man named King, whose circumstances compelled him to reach higher: Can't we all just get along?

And in the words of a great man called King: Thank you. Thank you very much.

The naysayers? They are rabble. They are noise. And they are not built to last. When they go low, we go high.

"We Go High" by Pacific Soul Ltd.

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