Track of the Day: 'Democracy'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

For our periodic series of songs themed on presidential candidates, reader Meg nominates a Leonard Cohen classic for Bernie Sanders:

It’s appropriate on so many levels. The two men have a lot in common in generation and origin, but more importantly, in viewpoints on social justice, equality, individual liberty, and peace. Both are complex, but they are brave in their convictions, and this song addresses hope for the restoration of a functional democracy.

Update from a reader with an alternative pick:

Leonard Cohen is great, but for my money you’d be hard pressed to find a song more explicitly socialist in sentiment than Joseph Arthur's “Travel as Equals.” (There’s a studio version too, but this live version from the Letterman show is somehow far superior.) The message aimed straight at the 1%, and the emotion in Arthur’s vocals seem to me a perfect summation of the core of Bernie’s appeal.

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