In a letter penned for Dave Eggers and Jordan Kurland’s political project 90 Days, 90 Reasons, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe and writer-director Tom Gilroy attack the Republican platform for attempting “to create a permanent aristocracy.” The pair begin by sharing democracy’s ideal of “all men being created equal, with equal opportunity,” positing their belief that transgendered men and fratboys should co-exist in the workplace and that a non-English speaking janitor should have the same access to health care as a CEO. “Fundamentally, democracy is a vision of a society where there is no permanent class structure, where all citizens enjoy the rights of equal opportunity, access and a social mobility that is synonymous with ‘the American Dream,'” Stipe and Gilroy write.
But the duo see the Republican platform as a threat to that ideal of democracy for the way it “seeks to create a permanent aristocracy – an entitled gentry that has greater access to this dream than most of the rest of America,” they write “Literally every policy position of the Republican party can be explained in this light: Obstructing or denying equal access to healthcare, public education, equitable taxation, legal protection; obstructing or denying marriage equality, workplace safety, voting rights, a living wage; obstructing or denying a woman’s right to choose, and a fair-minded Supreme Court that would value the freedom of the individual over the power of corporations – this is how you create a permanent aristocracy, where only the rich can afford ‘equality.'”
“If you’re OK with America being changed like this, then do nothing, let it happen. If you’re nauseated by it, vote. It’s that simple,” ends the letter.