I love Election Day. Sure, early voting is great if you absolutely can't make it to the voting booth the day of, but given the choice I will always vote on Election Day. There may be lines, it may be out of the way, and it may even involve casting a ballot for someone I don't necessarily like, but voting makes me feel more American, and I like that feeling.
I also like making playlists, and I make them for everything. Seriously, I can't even make a 30-minute trip out of town without two hours of music to listen to, just in case.
What I'm getting at is that like anything else good in life, your Election Day drive needs a playlist. Struggling for ideas? Don't fret -- here are five songs to help you get in the voting spirit, no matter your political persuasion.
5. Rick Derringer, "Real American"
"Real American" comes from the same place songs like "Eye of the Tiger" do; sure they're corny, but they'll get the blood pumping. How can you hear it and not want to go defend your country against whatever foreign invaders are here to steal our freedom or, in this case, cast a ballot for the leader of the free world?
4a. will.i.am, "Yes We Can" (Democrats Only)
What a difference four years makes, right? In 2008, Obama was just a guy from Chicago with big ears and a funny name trying to change the world. Hope and change were in the air and felt real enough to touch. Who knew that things would become so divisive in politics? Listen to this song and take a moment to reflect back on what it felt like on this day four years ago.
4b. Kid Rock, "Lonely Road of Faith" (Republicans Only):
What a difference four years makes, right? Obama might not have driven the country into the gutter like a lot of fearmongers claimed he would, but it still feels like things could be better. Who knows what would happen with him in power for another term? Listen to this song and take a moment to think about the long road to today, and how things could be four years from now.
4c. Living Colour,: "Cult of Personality" (Independents Only)
What a difference four years makes, right? We all know politics are glorified popularity contests, but this is ridiculous. Rather than talk about substance, politicians spend all their time talking about personality. What would the founding fathers think of this nonsense? Listen to this song and think about all the people who are only voting because of how someone makes them feel and not what they'll do once they win the election.
3. Anti-Flag, "9/11 For Peace"
Now that we've gotten our partisan angst out of our system, can't we all agree that we are all in fact in this together, and the people who vote differently from us aren't monsters? And that a renewed focus on space exploration/saving the environment/marijuana legalization/[your pet cause here] would be awesome? OK, maybe not awesome, but we could at least have adult conversations about it. Like the song asks, aren't you tired of the fighting?
2. Pilfers, "Generation"
Unless you spent way too much time in the late '90s listening to ska (I know I did), you've probably never heard this track. Click "play" on the above video and rectify that, because this song is awesome. One might say that lyrically, this song is simplistic, but I would say that sometimes the truth is simple. By voting, we're taking an active effort in attempting to make the world a better place, but don't forget all the good you can do outside of the voting booth as well.
1. Hatebreed, "I Will Be Heard"
It always seems silly when someone claims that their vote is going to cancel out yours. Not only is it petty, but it's also not how voting works. Never take anyone who tries to marginalize your voice seriously. You may be one vote, but your vote carries the same weight as everyone else's. So go forth and be heard: Vote!
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Got a song you think would be good for this mix? List your track in the comments or hit me up on Twitter at @cfaust.