Rock the Vote, which champions itself as the premier youth-voter advocacy group, has kicked off its participation in the 2012 presidential election and despite it’s non-partisan status, the organization is campaigning on behalf of progressives.
A recent “history of voting” video features Obama-supporting liberal celebrities celebrating and crediting the youth vote for putting Obama into office.
Focused on engaging more young people in the democratic process and “building a political movement to fight for young people and the issues that affect their lives,” Rock the Vote is registered as a tax exempt 501(c) (3) non-partisan non-profit.
But Rock the Vote seems intent on ignoring that pesky “non-partisan” status. In March 2012, Rock the Vote released a short video entitled “History of voting!” featuring musician John Legend, actor Darren Criss, and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. The release of the film coincided with Democracy Day, which Rock the Vote encourages through its Democracy Class program in high school civics classes.
If the corpulent top-hat wearing capitalists peering over the political arena and sneakily guarding the ballot box don’t tip you off, the political bias becomes particularly clear at 2:47.
Based on this video, one would think voting Republican is like electing your own tyrants to dominate you, voluntarily bonding yourself, sacrificing the liberties of your well-meaning gay friends, consciously destroying the planet, and facing a death the equivalent to being smashed by the spiked pillars of a U.S. Army tank— likely one driven by a heartless soulless skeleton, as is featured in this video.
There was more subtle Democratic messaging when students are shown that by voting, they get the opportunity tho choose the direction of the country. Celebrity Bridget Kelly tells young voters “Together, there is so much we can decide, like whether or not we should go to war or how we spend our money and how we power our lives!”
During this segment, Kelly is positioned between visual depictions of the two choices she presents- “whether or not we should go to war” shows an outdated, black and white “video” of planes dropping bombs, while on Kelly’s other side, a colorful peace sign appears. Regarding “how we spend our money” again, a man in black and white appears with a pile of cash in front of a “Wall Street” building on Kelly’s left, while a pretty red school house with children appears on her right. A colorless pollution-producing coal factory is juxtaposed with pretty blue solar panels and windmills when Kelly tells young voters that they can choose how to power their lives.
Such a gross misunderstanding of Republican principles and conscious effort to deceive can hardly be the product of an organization honestly billing itself as non-partisan. And even the political records of the celebrities used as spokesmen are far from politically neutral.
Of the spokesmen in the video, John Legend wrote a song inspired by the 2008 campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama and performed it at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In February of 2012, Legend headlined a $5,000 per ticket Obama fundraiser which featured a private performance by the singer/song-writer.
Darren Criss, best known for his role on the television show Glee, performed at a fundraiser gala for Obama in Los Angeles earlier this month.
We don’t expect Rock the Vote to be politically neutral (although their non-profit status suggests otherwise); we just want them to be honest about their political leanings. I imagine their video graphics staff could do some pretty impressive things with a candidate endorsement.