Beating around the Bush: Writers get the word out on voting


No other president has polarized the country this much since LBJ. America stands at a crossroads between the professedly-conservative-but-actually-radical right’s hold over the government and a critical change that could pave the way for progress. Pundits on the left, on the right, in between, and outside anticipate November’s turnout to match the unusual 58 percent reached in 1992. Downtown for Democracy, a political action committee—i.e., an organization regulated by the Federal Election Commission—drawn from the creative community, understands 2004’s decisiveness but doesn’t believe in the “indifference” of the nonvoting millions. So to raise funds for voter education drives and campaigns in swing states—they’re gonna need it; the Republican National Committee aims to register 3 million new GOP voters by November—D4D presents a superstar bill of writers, all with new works. Jonathan Safran Foer introduces each reading: the first with Lou Reed, Jennifer Egan, Paul Auster, Susan Sontag, Jonathan Franzen, and Dave Eggers; the second with Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Gary Indiana, Colson Whitehead, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Wendy Wasserstein. The price is admittedly steep since D4D hopes to raise $3 million to $5 million in the fight to beat Bush. Whether you’re a staunch liberal or a true “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” conservative, the caliber of these authors and this cause can make allies of us all.

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