I wonder if this is a gross misuse of music and an instance of the exploitation of our youth in the United States, for the purposes of advancing narrow political interests and a policy of militarism.
I heard this story, and the accompanying music on NPR just yesterday.
The headline was:
The musicians who play in this clip belong to the:
West Ashley High School Band.
In short, I wonder why a public high school band is playing at a function for a political candidate, why this is being done "in front of air craft carrier," and why students at a public high school should be promoting militarism, imperialism, interventionism and warmongering in this way.
Perhaps others can comment, and tell me whether this is another instance of the gross misuse of music and aspiring musicians for a narrow and misguided political agenda.
Parts the text of the radio story underlined below.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
This week, we've also seen political confrontations caught on video. Republican Sen. Rand Paul clashed with TV reporters who asked about some of his shifting positions, including positions on national security. Some Republicans have criticized the presidential candidate as an isolationist. Yesterday, Sen. Paul made a speech in South Carolina in front of an aircraft carrier. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea was there.
DON GONYEA, BYLINE: The crowd of a few hundred arrived at Patriots Point near Charleston Harbor in shirt sleeves and summer dresses. In the noon-hour sunshine, there was even some seersucker. And there was pre-speech entertainment by the West Ashley High School marching band …
(SOUNDBITE OF MARCHING BAND)
GONYEA: But the big set piece was the USS Yorktown, sitting off in the distance and now a museum and tourist attraction. Some in the audience wore ball caps noting past military service in Vietnam or Iraq. Sen. Paul said as commander in chief, his desire for peace would not be mistaken for passivity.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
SENATOR RAND PAUL: The world should not mistake our reluctance for war for inaction. And if war should prove unavoidable, America will fight with overwhelming force, and we will not relent until victory is ours.
[My comment: What "reluctance for war???!!!" We are at war right now in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and quite a few more countries, with drone strikes, "covert ops," and an all time record high military involvement and increasing budgets, increasing the numbers of bases we have around the world! Most Republicans say we are not involved in ENOUGH WARS, and would like to go to war in Iran as well, and they would like to USE MUSIC TO PROMOTE WAR as much as possible, as is being done at this rally. ]
GONYEA: The aircraft carrier was there to symbolize Paul's commitment to a strong military, but foreign policy is a tricky issue for him. His father, Ron Paul, the former congressman and three-time presidential candidate, was a loud critic of what he saw as a U.S. too eager to deploy military force. Rand Paul campaigned for his father back then. But as a U.S. senator, he's distanced himself from some of his dad's views and from some of his own past statements.