End the duopoly

Michael Franti says positivity is more important than politics now

Michael Franti has shifted from politics to positivity. Michael Franti has toured the world for three decades playing socially conscious, politically charged music. But the San Francisco resident’s new album , set to drop June 19 in the middle of the most intense political campaign in a generation, is nearly politics-free.

Instead, the longtime activist is appealing to our human commonality at a time when racist rhetoric is peaking, people are filling the streets protesting police brutality, and Americans reflexively retreat into their partisan camps instead of seeking compromise. The title of Franti’s new album reflects his mantra in this era when shades of gray have disappeared from public life: “Work Hard and Be Nice.”

“I think it’s important to do (political music) from time to time, but I also feel like it’s important to express the full rainbow of human emotion,” said Franti, 53. “What music helps us do is … unlock those feelings that are so often bottled up.

“Our goal in politics is not to get candidates elected,” he said. “Our goal in life is to get candidates elected who can then improve the quality of lives for people so that people can be happier.”

Franti said his attitude […]

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