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Michael Stipe of R.E.M. Says the Republican Party Wants a ‘Permanent Aristocracy’

Michael Stipe
Jemal Countess, Getty Images

The Republican Party are looking to create a permanent aristocracy. That’s what Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and independent filmmaker Tom Gilroy say in a new essay as part of the ’90 Days, 90 Reasons’ project.

“America is a democracy founded on the ideal of all men being created equal, with equal opportunity, equal access to resources, equal power in a government of the people, for the people, and by the people,” Stipe and Gilroy wrote. “The current Republican platform seeks the opposite of democracy. It seeks to create a permanent aristocracy — an entitled gentry that has greater access to this dream than most of the rest of America.”

Throughout his career, Stipe has been an activist for liberal causes. He has often given support to environmental and human rights and feminist concerns. In 2004, R.E.M. participated in the Vote For Change tour with other famously liberal musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews Band and Pearl Jam.

’90 Days, 90 Reasons’ was created by writer Dave Eggers and artist manager Jordan Kurland. The series features columns by celebrities explaining why they are voting for President Obama in the hopes of restarting the grassroots activism that got him elected in 2008. To date, such diverse figures as Ben Gibbard, Roger Ebert, Patton Oswalt and Paul Simon have contributed.

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