The National Receive Hate Mail For Supporting Obama

The National have been targeted with hate mail for supporting Barack Obama - but say supporting the President was worth it.

Ultimate Guitar

The National have been targeted with hate mail for backing Barack Obama - but say supporting the President was worth it.

They started getting aggressive messages on their Facebook page after playing a Democratic rally in Des Moines last month, but the band stand by their decision to play and say the election is "more important than any rock band".

"I know we've gotten responses from people [who] don't like the fact that we've taken a position on it," singer Matt Berninger told The Lantern. "I don't actually think artists or musicians necessarily have a responsibility to do that. But in our case, the five of us... talked about it and we were like, 'Yeah, it's worth it, for sure'."

Berninger said the stakes are higher than ever, but that leaves the band feeling more pumped than ever to make a stand.

He continued: "A lot of the people I grew up with who are very conservative feel a little bit alienated by the current sort of version of the Republican party.

"I think many of them don't feel represented by the Republican party anymore.. so there's more at stake this time, just with the way the whole political landscape has shifted."

Despite their political leanings, Berninger insists The National don't write political music. "I don't really want my rock music to be political. I listen to rock music to sort of escape that kind of stuff," he said.

What do you think of musicians taking a political stance? Would their support ever sway your opinion? Let us know in the comments.

78 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Free Speech man.....Sometimes it's a B**** and a half
    Damn right. Just because someone famous takes a political stance, someone has to shit bricks about it. They're people too, they're allowed to have an opinion.
    Obama FTW
    The thing that is really annoying is that everyone feels the need to criticize your opinion.
    I love seeing The National getting mentioned on UG but I wish it was for their music (which is great) and not over politics.
    America...where you have the right to vote, the freedom to choose, and some ass still feels THEY need to tell you you're wrong.
    becasue they have the right to tell you your wrong. thats freedom of speech man. If you exercise that freedom others will exercise it as well, likely against what you said.
    Van Guff
    Why should a band be any different from anyone else? A band is just a group of people. A group of people have a right to vote, why hound them for who they choose to vote for?
    Why don't they have more political parties in the US? I'm no expert on politics, but seeing as how many people seem to think that they aren't being properly represented by the current two party system it could be a great idea.
    there are more than two, but the media doesn't pay attention to the others. Like when they refuse to let Gary Johnson be part of any debate. Owell.
    The government knows with a libertarian president that they will lose a lot of power and control over the people so they try and shut the libertarians down.
    yeah. Its a shame, there really is little difference between dems and repubs in washington. Its all the same.
    they know that the libertarian party if it became popular enough would destroy the GOP and Dems, since it has the social platform of the Dems and the Economic of the GOP.
    Election laws were written that essentially gave the two parties a monopoly on the vote. For example, unless you have a lot of money and an established ground game, its nearly impossible to get on all 50 state ballots (the republicans have tried to block Gary Johnson from being on some). Then to get on the debate stage you have to have 15% of the supposed popular vote which is averaged from ten different polls. In theory, one poll could show you at 25 and another at 9 and you would not qualify. The media doesn't cover these candidates except when they want to know who they will vote for (in 2008, every third party candidate was asked "McCain or Obama?") And then finally most people feel that third party candidates are a waste of the vote. Most actually like Ralph Nader but many changed their vote at the last second because they thought it wouldn't matter.
    Facebook posts that disagree with one's political views are considered hate mail? Only on UG.
    In other news, the National are a real classy band. Looking forward to High Violet's successor.
    Psycho Pigeon
    Why announce who you're supporting if you're going to moan about criticism of your choice? Anyway, Obama has proven to everyone he's sold out to the elite why vote for a proven puppet.
    And Romney has done the same. What's your point?
    Romney hasn't done it in the oval office, failed America and then repeatedly slammed their faces in it. That's the point.
    Go ahead big mike, pretend Congress has nothing to do with it, keep on pretending that one man (from whatever party) can actually do anything without the cooperation from their constituents.
    Thank you! The best comment I've seen on here about these elections yet. Does no one get that Obama has been opposed every step of the way by a congress that has a republican majority? "A system of checks and balances"? Hello? The president has only a limited amount of power. People act like he should have come into the office, snapped his fingers, and VOILA! Whisked us all to neverland. Every time he tried passing something the benefited america, republican congressmen have opposed it, out of sheer vindictiveness. You have a problem with what's happening in America? Talk to your local CONGRESSMEN, those ACTUALLY responsible for all this.
    @cdsnzeevnaja - What's even worse is how once there was a Republican majority, John Boehner said their priority would be JOBS. JOBS JOBS JOBS they said over and over again. How many jobs bills did we see from the Republicans?
    You know the first two years of Obama's Presidential career was held with a complete Democratic Congress right?
    you know that congress is the problem right? the president makes decisions yes, but the congress votes on everything else and the president became the scapegoat for America to bash, i personally have never heard in a argument "congress has failed america" its always "the president has failed."
    @bigmike - You realize all the Republicans did was fillibuster so nothing could get done, right?
    gotta love how you say "Romney hasn't done it in the oval office". What does this mean? 'Done it' like screwed his wife? or done it as in referring to the comment about selling out to the elite? I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you meant the latter point which isn't any less ridiculous IMO. I hope you aren't suggesting that even though Mitt sold out to the "elite", he wouldn't do it in the oval office? Lastly, if it was about sex, then whether or not they were caught I'd put all my money down that every president ever has had sex in the oval office. Who wouldn't?
    They aren't "moaning" about it, they are just stating that regardless of the hate mail they will continue to follow through on their decision to support Obama.
    While I will not be voting for Obama, I will commend these guys for their passion. They believe in what they are doing, and I can only give them praise. If more people could be like these guys, the world would be a much better place.
    While I will be voting for Obama, I will commend your level headed comment, which draws great respect from me. Sir, if more people could be like YOU , the world would be a better, more tolerant place.
    I thank you for the great compliment. That's something that will probably raise my day up by a bit. Thanks!
    And yet Ted Nugent and Dave Mustaine don't get hate mail?
    They do, but not for supporting Obama. They get it for not supporting Obama. I'm not sure how exactly this current story is news though. /shrug
    Yeah, I meant "yet Nugent and Mustaine don't get hate mail for not supporting Obama." Given Obama is more popular than Romney you'd think it more likely that Nugent and Mustaine got the hate mail, not these guys.
    yeah, it's just that since democratic voter aren't convinced romney's the antichrist out to destroy america (although that titles starting to look about on par with ceo of bane) they tend to not take this stuff quite as seriously, there's just not the same fanatic vocal minority the right has, it's their, it's just not as prominent for some reason.
    the media makes it appear that obama is much more popular than romney, but if you actually talk to people in real life, (not the 15 year olds on the internet) then it's much more close.
    The opinion polls (actual statistics, not media interpretation) all say that Obama is more popular than Romney, with the exception of polls about who won the first debate (however I've not seen that affect other opinion polls so far). And actually a fair bit of the media is trying to make it look like Romney is more popular, most notably Fox news.
    Obama signed into law the NDAA Act of 2012, a provision of it stating that the military can indefinately detain US citizens without a trial or charges. So in short, the military can arrest whoever they want for no reason. Mitt R(Money) also stated he would have signed the law. .....tell me how anybody could vote for these psychopaths?
    It's so hopelessly predictable that musician's support democrats, as if it's still being rebellious. The irony now is they're standing up FOR the government now. As far as their opinions go, almost all actors and musicians have high school diplomas (or less in a lot of cases). The ability to understand most of these issues, or even adequately inform themselves, isn't particularly strong for these people. Like most voters, they vote their emotions and oversimplify the issues to convince themselves they're right. Power is far too centralized in this country now, which is bad for all of us. Power divided is power checked-the original intent of the Constitution.
    I wish I had that much free time that I could send hate mail to people for their political views.
    They're entitled to their opinions, and if they all decide they want to play at a rally for someone, it doesn't have to have anything to do with how you view their music. It's kind of like how I love Clint Eastwood's movies, so I keep in mind that his weird speech at the Republican conference has nothing to do with them.
    Really? You'd be hard-pressed to find a notable public figure who hasn't received hate mail after endorsing either candidate. UG, your news section is seriously becoming a tabloid-esque joke. Please grow up and write on directly guitar-related events only, and drop the liberal-biased political stories that happen to include musicians.
    I could never send any sort of hate their way. They are such a great band, and class acts. I seen them a little over a year ago, and the show was just great. Who ever they back is their choice. I seriously can't say enough about these guys.
    Lol @ this election being "important". Both candidates are shit and supporting either one of them is a waste of time
    They must have been hired to play during the scheduled nap time at the rally.
    If I didn't like bands being political with their music, I wouldn't consider myself a fan of System of a
    Oops. Stupid iPad lol. But yeah, I wouldn't consider myself a fan of system of a down or rise against, or even own their albums. I listen to music regardless of message. If it sounds good, it is good.
    there's difference in freedom of speech and threatening someone for saying the opposite. That's just, stupid. If anything this will make Obama even more popular, his name is being spread everywhere.
    Sleez Boy
    uh America, the country where I can say what I want and almost dress up the way I feel and vote forever who I want even if I am ridiculed for it. Not like in Syria or Venezuela where death squads are high and fat guy "wins" every election.
    Another ridiculous thing on UG's part in relation to this article is the way they make it sound like they're standing up for what they believe in against mass harm and ridicule. No... if you're supporting Obama, you're not exactly in the minority in the present day. I'd be willing to bet that famous musicians who support conservatives receive far more "hate mail" than these guys or any liberal supporters do.
    Well at least for me I appreciated bands like Rage Against the Machine giving me different perspectives on things. While i don't agree with some of their views, i did learn a lot by looking up events that they talked about in their music.
    Every One of you Mother Fuckers should KNOW BY NOW that you can write in votes on the ballot right????? RON PAUL 2012!!!!! If not, you are as ****ing stupid as the people you vote in!
    Pretty sure most people know that. Also pretty sure most people aren't going to bother and are going to write in the name opposite of the one they hate, just to make sure the one they hate doesn't get into office.
    I wish there was a strong independent to vote for. That being said let's all just shut up and play guitar.
    Larry Masterson
    If I pay to go see a band live, I sure don't want to hear politics being thrown in my face from the stage, regardless of whether it is from the left or the right, SHUT-UP AND PLAY!!! And then go write a song about it!
    Freedom of speech goes both ways; they have a right to support Obama, and people have a right to oppose him. Also, who the F### are the national and why am I supposed to care about them? I could care less about Gene Simmons' opinion on politics let alone some band I give two farts about.
    I totally though there was a "National Get Hate Mail for SUpporting Obama" Campaign. First I was going to bitch about it not being guitar related, and then I was going to sign a bunch of my friends up. But this kind of thing happens a lot anyways, people get crazy when they talk about politics.
    As far as I care (which isn't terribly far at all), everyone is entitled to their opinion. When musicians are concerned, it's fine that they care about their country's future, etc. The fact of the matter is, I don't want to know. I'm picky enough with the bands that I listen to without their personal opinions affecting how I feel about the band. It's awful to say, but even subconsciously it will have an effect or impression on me. For example, every time I listen to Megadeth I have a small chuckle at Mustaine's expense for supporting the Republican party and then denying it so vehemently. It's not a big impact, but it does happen to be there and I would feel happier without it.
    I see where you're coming from. Green Day has ruined their music for me. Can't listen to stupidity.