BARACK THE VOTE: How ‘Non-Partisans’ Indoctrinate Our Youth

Rock the Vote (RTV) is one of the nation’s most influential youth-targeted non-profits, describing itself as a non-partisan initiative whose “…mission is to engage and build the political power of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country.” While the organization touts its alleged centrism, actions over the past decade have caused many to believe that partisanship does, indeed, play a role in the organization’s operations.

During my tenure at Teen Web Online (a site I created back in 1999 in the wake of the Columbine massacre to help my generation overcome various youth-specific issues), I was extremely supportive of RTV. I remember being enthralled by the notion that an organization would extend itself to trust and place value in America’s young generation, while working feverishly to make our voices heard.

Ten years later, I, like many others, have begun to wonder just how willing the organization is to remain true to its self-professed “non-partisanship” and whether I mistook indoctrination for trust. While I am certainly supportive of the notion that a healthy democracy is characterized by a variety of organizations that represent divergent viewpoints, I am increasingly perplexed by the existence of organizations that shield their true intent behind a “non-partisan” status.

For years, RTV has been accused of touting less than conservative values, while overexerting itself in support of progressive perspectives. Time after time the organization has denied what appear to be well-founded allegations. From the Iraq War to health care reform, RTV consistently sides with the Left. Meanwhile, the realities behind the “non-partisan” centrism through which its actions do not appear to flow raise concern, as RTV regularly registers young voters, while assumingly not providing them with the well-rounded and balanced materials they need to make educated decisions. All this in mind, let’s explore the evidence.

As most Americans know, the Iraq War began on March 20, 2003. Three days later, RTV announced, through a press release, the availability of a new song from Lenny Kravitz entitled, “We Want Peace.” The statement made it clear that the song was released in response to the commencement of the U.S.-led was; it said, “Rock the Vote and Lenny Kravitz today announced a new song by Kravitz called “We Want Peace,” which is available exclusively at Rock the Vote’s website…” Here is a glimpse into some of the song’s “non-partisan” lyrics:

      “Here is once again in our face
      Why haven’t we learn from our past
      We’re at the crossroads of our human race
      Why are we kicking our own ass

                         We’re on the eve of destruction my friends
              We are about to go to far
                 Politicians think that war is the way
              But we know that love has the power”

While nobody in his or her right mind enjoys war, this RTV/Kravitz partnership was a transparent endorsement of anti-Iraq War sentiment. Considering the sociopolitical landscape at the time, such a cohesive partnership for the release of a persuasive song showcases a hidden politically-driven agenda. Of course, this is only one example, though powerful in its own right; there are plenty of others.

 
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