VELVET REVOLVER singer Scott Weiland has released the following political statement on the eve of the U.S. presidential elections:
"Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union there has been a lack of a balance of power. This lacking has created an environment whereas any American president — or 'two' presidents with the same name — could impose their will globally and unilaterally, for a number of reasons: anti-terror (defense spending), democracy (oil). Democracy, democracy, oil, oil, oil — 'All we need is oil / da, da, da, da, da.'
"The initial argument for war in Iraq was to rid the region of weapons of mass destruction and remove Saddam from power, making the region and the world safe from a maniacal dictator. Somehow the motive has blurred into something completely different altogether: 'A free and democratic society for the people of Iraq,' most of whom don't want what we're selling them, and never will.
"And then there's the Patriot Act whose name couldn't be more misleading or closer to the antithesis, and would never have been passed had it not been for the fall-out factor of 9/11, and the fact that the Bush administration was playing off every American's fears of one another. They didn't take away our civil liberties, we allowed them to be taken away! But what are we going to do about it now!!
"What does this election all mean to us? To you? To me? I believe this goes back to the foundation of ideals that this country was founded on — those God-given inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And brothers and sisters: with civil liberties under attack and censorship abound, I implore you to make a choice for freedom. A freedom for youth. Freedom of youth is the freedom of the future.
"Twelve years ago, as an artist I felt a freedom to express my ideals, thoughts, and hopes, even those that were not consistent with what was considered politically correct or deemed in line with current patriotic values. But all that has changed. Censorship has reared its ugly head. Not since the days of 'McCarthyism' in the 50’s has their been an actual public fear of persecution that was based in reality. Since I started this last album — the creative process, press, video, lyrics, album art, website art — I have been up against an unseen enemy that has been put in place by this current 'fascist-like' regime: censorship, and the persecution that comes with it.
"Ever since our media blitz in Hollywood (we did a free show in front of 3,000 kids), I have been speaking out candidly about these issues. Now, in the middle of an American tour, the frequency of which I’m selected for 'Special Security Screening' at airports has jumped from about 30% to 80-90%. Once again I say to you; it's not whether we're moving in the direction of a fascist state, it's whether or not you want it that way. Do you?
"I remember the weeks following 9/11. The tragedy, the sadness, and that overwhelming feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop… then something else happened. America came together and rose out of the ashes like a Phoenix for the first time in my life. The ideals, hopes, and common bonds that once were the bedrock of this nation rose again to the surface and we let the world see what we were made of — our unity, brotherly love, and honor, even if brought together by tragedy.
"I feel that George Bush took advantage of us. Took advantage of our loss. Took advantage of our pain. Took advantage of our grief, and used it for his own selfish designs. The question is not whether or not this happened, but if we’re going to do something to change it. Please make a vote that shows America does not belong to George Bush. That the White House is not an heirloom of the Bush Dynasty. Place a vote to restore honor and pride back to America and the presidency. Vote for John Kerry.
"If you’re asking, 'Why did you post this now? The day of?' It's because I want it to be the last thing on your mind before you hit that booth!"