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There was more to Third Eye Blind's RNC-related performance than just 'trolling.'

Whether or not you agree with their message, their willingness to take a stand speaks volumes.

Do you remember the band Third Eye Blind? (Don't lie; you know you do.)

GIF from Elektra/YouTube.


Well, they were in Cleveland to play a show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while the Republican National Convention was taking place down the street. Playing for an RNC-friendly audience, the '90s alt-rockers decided to use the platform to speak up for their own personal beliefs.

Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind performs during a 2012 concert in New York City. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images.

But in what many are calling an act of "trolling," the band's Cleveland show didn't feature many of the band's hits. Instead, it featured something much more heartfelt: truth.

"To love this song is to take into your heart the message and to actually have a feeling to arrive and move forward and not live your life in fear and imposing that fear on other people," Jenkins told the crowd before strumming the opening chords of "Jumper," a song about a gay friend of his who jumped from a bridge to his death.


He called on the audience to welcome LGBTQ people such as his gay family members "into the American fabric."

Some cheered and some booed, but everyone, for that brief moment in time, had a chance to reflect on where they stand on these important issues. Maybe if society would have been more accepting at the time, Jenkins' friend wouldn't have lost his life to suicide. While it's too late to change the past, a more welcoming world is still deeply needed today.

Four years ago, singer Jenkins blogged about the band's invitation to the 2012 RNC and why they declined.

"This is not my mom's Republican Party anymore," Jenkins wrote for The Huffington Post, criticizing the party's stance on things like LGBTQ issues, voter ID laws, disaster funding, and reproductive health.

"If I came to their convention," he later wrote, "I would Occupy their convention."

Fast forward four years, and Jenkins got his chance to do just that.

Jenkins performs during a 2014 concert in Dover, Delaware. Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly Music Festival.

And whether or not you agree with Jenkins on political issues, you really have to respect the fact that he's willing to stand up for what he believes is right.

He's willing to put his career and reputation on the line to get across what he believes is an important message. Did he alienate some fans? Possibly. Still, he had the bravery to take a stand, and that's worthy of applause.

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George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

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