A reader writes:

The fact that the Dead, drug culture and all, became some sort of culture war rallying point is ridiculous. The Dead embody true libertarianism as much as any other rock band in history. In my opinion, that the remaining members would get back together to play for Obama confirms your essay's thesis far more than refutes it.

Another reader adds:

Despite the collective impression that the Grateful Dead are tree hugging hippies, their sensibility has always been, at the core, libertarian. If they had a motto (they don't), it might be "live and let live" or more concisely "leave me alone."

It's not surprising that Bill Weld was a dead head, nor that the Dead's junior songwriter (John Perry Barlow) worked on Dick Cheney's 1978 congressional campaign.

One of the last songs that Jerry Garcia recorded before his death was titled "Liberty." It's not exactly a treehuggers delight:

If I was an eagle I'd dress like a duck
Crawl like a lizard and honk like a truck
If I get a notion I'll climb this tree
or chop it down and you can't stop me
Chop it down and you can't stop me

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home




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