The 60's Are Over: this is '06....
I've accepted that much of the music and artists that I love or will listen to, are liberal. That's just the way it is. Liberals make beautiful music. Even the lyrics to such Beatles songs as "Imagine" don't bother me. I grew up on music before I knew politics.
In today's New York Times, there is a piece written up on "Peter, Paul, and Mary", focusing on Mary Travers' recovery from leukemia, which she was diagnosed with in 2004.
The cancer diagnosis came quickly, she recalled. When chemotherapy did not work, she waited for a bonemarrow transplant. It turned out that her donor was named Mary and, like Ms. Travers, had two daughters. Ms. Travers, a lifetime Democrat, joked with her family that she wondered if a Republican's marrow had save her body. She learned that this was indeed true when she called the other Mary to thank her.Haha....the stereotype of heartless, selfish Republicans at work...
Ms. Travers, who was 26 when the trio sang during the March on Washington in 1963, still sounds like her old political self. She says she is upset by, among other things, changes in the immigration laws, domestic eavesdropping, the Iraq war and efforts to ban abortion; and disappointed that artists are not fighting the powers-that-be with the same zeal as they did in the 60's and 70's.My advice? Turn proud, happy, registered Republican. Then maybe you won't carry around so much negativity and anger all the time. It's bad for the heart.
According to the Pew Research Center, Republicans tend to be more optimistic, and happier:
Some 45% of all Republicans report being very happy, compared with just 30% of Democrats and 29% of independents. This finding has also been around a long time; Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the General Social Survey began taking its measurements in 1972. Pew surveys since 1991 also show a partisan gap on happiness; the current 16 percentage point gap is among the largest in Pew surveys, rivaled only by a 17 point gap in February 2003.As I've matured into the fine, middle-aged, conservative blogger you read here before you, I've grown to accept that money is not the root of all evil; and that capitalism and the pursuit of wealth is moral and noble. By helping yourself, selfishly, you are empowered to help others. It is wealth that allows one to have the power to affect change: to help your friends and family in need, to be charitable to others less fortunate. It is the "evil" corporations that have improved the quality of life for so many people; that have improved technology that has improved the quality of air and helped the environment. It is our wealth that affords the U.S.- both as a government and as individuals- to be generous in so much foreign aid to other countries in need; whether it be trillions wasted on 40 years of Marshall Plans in Africa, the funding of the UN, foreign aid to undeserving, thankless nations, or emergency tsunami and earthquake relief to those in peril.
Could it be that Republicans are so much happier now because their party controls all the levers of federal power? Not likely. Since 1972, the GOP happiness edge over Democrats has ebbed and flowed in a pattern that appears unrelated to which party is in political power.
For example, Republicans had up to a 10 and 11 percentage point happiness edge over Democrats in various years of both the Carter and Clinton presidencies, and as small as a three and five percentage point edge in various years of the Reagan and first Bush presidencies. Also, we should explain here a bit about how our survey questionnaire was constructed. The question about happiness was posed at the very beginning of the interview, while the question about political affiliation was posed at the back end, along with questions about demographic traits. So respondents were not cued to consider their happiness through the frame of partisan politics. This question is about happiness; it is not a question about happiness with partisan outcomes.
Of course, there's a more obvious explanation for the Republicans' happiness edge. Republicans tend to have more money than Democrats, and -- as we've already discovered -- people who have more money tend to be happier.
Who is more likely to be charitable? Republicans or Democrats? Hmmm....
I digress. To continue on with the Pew Research...
But even this explanation only goes so far. If one controls for household income, Republicans still hold a significant edge: that is, poor Republicans are happier than poor Democrats; middle-income Republicans are happier than middle-income Democrats, and rich Republicans are happier than rich Democrats.And make no mistake, that there are plenty of rich Democrat fat cats, the likes of George Soros, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, and Hollywood liberals.
Might ideology be the key? It's true that conservatives, who are more likely to be Republican, are happier than liberals, who are more likely to be Democrats. But even controlling for this ideological factor, a significant partisan gap remains. Conservative Republicans are happier than conservative Democrats, and moderate/liberal Republicans are happier than liberal Democrats. Hmmm, what other factors might be at play? Well, there's always...And to return us back to the NYTimes and Ms. Travers:
"Do we have to rely on the Dixie Chicks?" she asked.When I think politics, I am pretty secure in my belief that the country that bleeds red is on the right path to success and happiness, and making this a better world for all to live in.
Still, she, Mr. Yarrow and Mr. Stookey see hope in a fresh wave of political and artistic energy in folk music. Mr. Yarrow, for one, says he is ecstatic that Bruce Springsteen is reinterpreting Pete Seeger songs from the Peter, Paul & Mary era.
"It's great," Mr. Yarrow exclaimed. "He always was a folk singer. He always had it in his heart. Of all the people who had the legitimacy to do it, he does."
After all these years of the precise enunciation of folk music, Ms. Travers now prefers "nonverbal music" or even, as she put it, "a little schmaltzy opera." She added that when she is not thinking about politics, she is pretty happy.
Feel better, Ms. Travers, and God bless. The country is in good hands. Thanks for your concern; we are working hard to make this a better world, each and every day, for you to live in.