Last week Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and, according to Wikipedia, “actress” Sheryl Crow, started a Change.com petition calling for a shorter election cycle. Crow, fed up with the current election, has ostensibly taken inspiration from international political systems like that of Canada—whose last election lasted just under three months—as potential models for the U.S.
After collectively googling “What ever happened to Cheryl Crow?” and “Sheryl or Cheryl,” Americans had a variety of reactions to Crow’s petition.
Marcia Laughlin, a volunteer for the Clinton campaign in Philadelphia, found Crow’s ideas refreshing, “I truly think this isn’t an issue many people consider, it’s a case of American exceptionalism to think that the current system is the only way politics can be organized. I do think she makes some very cogent points.”
Crow’s impassioned argument is perhaps summed up in the following quote from the petition, “The American people have been extremely disrespected in this campaign season with the ugliness that pits us against each other and with nonsense and fear-mongering. It is time this comes to an end and that we demand better for ourselves.” This message has struck a chord with many who have grown tired with this election’s extreme polarization and, in particular, what many see as Donald Trump’s dangerous political rhetoric.
While Laughlin supports Crow’s petition, she was confused by Crow’s involvement, “I mean, again, I think this is sort of an undiscussed issue, but what a blast from the early 2000s, right? I think the last thing I remember her doing is that one James Bond theme, what was it, ‘The World is Not Tomorrow Never Dies Another Day,’ or something like that? Are her and Lance Armstrong still together? I just love that song she did with Stevie Nicks.”
Others weren’t as decisively pro-Crow as Laughlin, not knowing where they stood on the issue. Philadelphia resident George O’Meara was intrigued by the proposition but wasn’t sure about the woman at the helm, “I don’t much care for Ms. Crow’s version of ‘The First Cut is the Deepest,’ I know a lot of people prefer it, but for me she just ruined the song and I’m not sure how I feel about signing on to something like this if she’s behind it all.”
To add more complexity to the picture, some Americans are strongly in opposition to Crow’s suggestions. Lorne Michaels reportedly claimed that he would “end that monster’s career once and for all,” presumably for threatening SNL’s last reliable source of material. Everyday Americans were critical as well, though perhaps for different reasons. Main Line-based Jack Snyder wasn’t a fan of the medium Crow has chosen to spread her message, “I hate Change.com. I hate it so much. Every time I log on I end up spending 15 minutes signing petitions. It’s like Upworthy, but there’s actually the chance it might help someone; it’s infuriating how it traps you. I signed a petition to save a no kill shelter in Ardmore and I’ve been getting “update emails” with pictures of the saddest dogs I’ve ever seen for weeks now. I can’t even check my phone without wanting to cry.”
Despite the mixed response to Crow’s petition, there are nearly 60,000 supporters already. Though, perhaps the greatest success of Crow’s campaign has been a surge in Spotify streaming of “Everyday is a Winding Road,” a trend which has led Spotify to create a special playlist for songs most notable for their use in automotive commercials.
Whether Crow’s petition is successful or not remains to be seen, but it has left many Americans with one question on their minds. As Marcia Laughlin puts it, “What is even going on in American politics anymore that Sheryl Crow has emerged as an important voice of reason on a policy matter?”