Choice of band prompts questions

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 09:03 PM.

The band doesn’t hide its conservative values and offered its music free of charge to the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket for campaign events, according to its website.

Madison Rising, named in honor of our fourth president James Madison, "promotes the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility," according to its website.

The band’s song titles include "Right to Bear" and "In the Days That Reagan Ruled."

So the question becomes this: Is the band promoting America or is it promoting a Republican agenda for which Havelock taxpayers — whether they agree with that message or not — are paying $7,500 to hear?

I suppose if you don’t agree with the band’s message, you can simply choose not to attend next year’s National Night Out, but that doesn’t stop your tax dollars from being spent to bring that message here.

I really am torn on the issue on several levels. First, the individual taxpayer doesn’t always get his or her way. Commissioners are elected to make decisions based on what’s good for the population at large. Granted, I’m not sure if commissioners had ever heard of this band before the meeting, and I’m not sure they had ever heard one of the band’s songs. I know I didn’t. I had to look them up.

Secondly, and it goes back to what I had said earlier, all music carries some sort of message. I listen mostly to country music on the radio these days, and there is no doubt that some of the songs carry a decidedly conservative message. But that’s OK. My tax dollars are not being spent to put those songs on the radio. Plus, I can always change the station if I don’t like a song’s message.

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