Country Music Already a Big Factor in Upcoming Presidential Election
In December, a song and video surfaced called “Stand With Hillary” that was filled with so much incidental humor, you almost had to convince yourself it wasn’t parody. Paid for by a political super PAC of the same name as the song and starring an actor who said he didn’t sing or write the song but was picked because he “looked like a country star,” the video showed the public both just how out of touch political strategists can be, and that the country music demographic would be square in the crosshairs of the political mindset on both sides of the aisle in the upcoming election. The “Stand for Hillary” video was one of the very first presidential-prescribed pieces of political propaganda of the entire election cycle, and here was country music standing front and center.
Ted Cruz, the junior United States Senator from Texas was the very first candidate to formally announce his bid for President on Monday (3-23). Cruz is known for stirring controversy and saying things that regularly rile his political adversaries. On Tuesday Cruz made an appearance on CBS This Morning and said, “I grew up listening to classic rock, and my music tastes changed on 9/11. On 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded. And country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me and I have to say, it just as a gut level, I had an emotional reaction that says ‘These are my people.’ And so ever since 2001 I listened to country music, but I’m an odd country music fan because I didn’t listen to it prior to 2001.”
Most politicians are like athletes in the sense that their lives must be so specialized, they rarely have the time or sense to be active music listeners. There are exceptions of course, and I’m not just talking about Bill Clinton playing saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show or Mike Huckabee playing bass. Vice President Charles Dawes under Calvin Coolidge wrote the classic pop standard “All In The Game” made famous by Tommy Edwards in 1958, but overall politicians make bad music specimens. Remember when Obama didn’t know the words to Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” last year? Are we to be enraged as country fans, or understand that the President probably has more pressing things to keep in his noggin? Did Hillary Clinton insult Tammy Wynette when she quoted “Stand By Your Man” during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, or was she showing us an impressive breadth of country music knowledge?
Is Ted Cruz truly a country music fan, or does he simply know his demo and how to secure votes in a Republican primary? Is he out there listening to Florida Georgia Line, or does his fandom barely extend beyond the Toby Keith’s 2003 album Shock’n Y’all? It took months for both rock and country to respond to 9/11 with actual new songs, so Cruz’s statement doesn’t quite make exact sense, but the idea that conservative types like country more than other music is not news.
What extended the story of Ted Cruz’s country music fandom pronouncement was when the senior digital editor for Ebony Magazine named Jamilah Lemieux on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner show said in response to Cruz’s quotes, “Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music.”
After a commercial break, MSNBC guest host Ari Melber said, “We have a programming note. A few minutes ago on this program, a guest made a comment about country music that was not appropriate, and we want to be clear this network does not condone it.” Why did MSNBC—known for attempting to be the counterbalance to the conservative-leaning Fox News—offer a clarification? Because they know just how valuable the country music demographic is these days, especially in the political realm.
Condoned by MSNBC or not, all indications are that country music will be a big player in the 2016 campaign, whether we like it, or not. Obviously with the conservative leaning listenership of the genre, the Republican side is where we can anticipate country being slated by both the right and the left, to be characterized as a bastion for patriots on one side, and closed-minded simpletons on the other. But just like with most political generalization, both sides will be wrong, and as “Stand With Hillary” proves, both sides will target country music voters.
You know Toby Keith, the guy that released that Shock’n Y’all album in 2003, and the controversial “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)” song with it’s “We’ll put a boot in your ass” line? Well he’s a registered Democrat, always has been, and has donated in the past to Democrat candidates. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill? They’re big Democrat donors. Taylor Swift (though recently converted to pop), is said to be obsessed with The Kennedy’s and once dated a young member of Camelot.
And then of course there’s The Dixie Chicks, whose rumors of a potential 2016 reunion tour could add an interesting dynamic to the political climate. Maybe they’ll put Kacey Musgraves as an opener, and she can sing “Follow Your Arrow” to all those conservative country fans. Maybe Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard will cut a political song on their upcoming album together.
And even though on the rock and roll side you have folks like Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong whose “American Idiot” was the counterbalance to Toby Keith’s “Angry American,” a staunch rock and roll conservative like Ted Nugent is an example of why listening to a specific genre of music based on political values is a really short-sighted enterprise.
Politics is best kept on the sidelines when it comes to music listening, and that’s what made Ted Cruz’s comments seem so out of place, and why they sparked the curiosity of the public. But here even before the campaign gets started in earnest, it appears country music is getting sucked into the political fray like never before.
It’s because country music makes for just about the perfect target demographic for politicians, arguably more so than it ever has before in its history. As country has grown into one of the largest genres in the United States, and therefore one of the largest voting blocs assembled around a single format, it’s a way for politicians to reach what they believe to be blue collar, rural voters with traditional values. But of course what makes politician’s courting of country voters such a humor-filled endeavor is just how surface-scratching and deprecated this assessment of country music can be.
Are there more conservatives in country music than elsewhere? That’s probably fair to say. But unless something drastic occurs, Toby Keith won’t be returning the admiration for Ted Cruz on Voter Day.
March 27, 2015 @ 9:05 am
WARNING: Nobody wants to read your reactionary “All Republicans are morons” or “All Democrats are commies” claptrap. So please keep your comments on topic and respectful. Please and thank you.
March 27, 2015 @ 1:27 pm
“WARNING: Nobody wants to read your reactionary “All Republicans are morons” or “All Democrats are commies” claptrap.”
Then how about this?:
Almost all Republicans are spineless, two-faced, flip-flopping, lying, sellout hacks; and almost all Democrats are evil, power-hungry, morally-reprobate communists.
March 27, 2015 @ 1:31 pm
As long as you hate on everyone equally, then I’m okay with it. 😉 And I would expect anything less from you Clint.
March 27, 2015 @ 6:52 pm
I’m probably one the most conservitave republican you can get (besides my friebd tracy) and I still agree with this guy
Is it my adoption from Russia? Heck no
Russia’s gay is my favorite Rucka Rucka Ali song
I also agree with Green Day in the song American Idiot
Anyway, any music could play a major role in this election
Rap, rock, country, metal, pop, anything could be a tool
It all depends on how people use music and how the fans respond
March 27, 2015 @ 6:59 pm
If the Democrats were even close to socialist, let alone communist, they would have:
1) Passed single-payer health insurance, if not nationalized health care, instead of subsidizing private health insurance companies without any public insurance option.
2) Nationalized the big banks in the wake of the Great Recession, forgiven foreclosures, and re-enacted the separation between investment and commercial banks, instead of bailing Wall Street out for nothing in return.
3) Massively ramped up direct government job creation through green infrastructure investment (a la New Deal) and established a national public bank to lend directly to job-creating small businesses, instead of leaving it all to the whims of big businesses and big banks.
4) Raised the minimum wage at least to its 1968 inflation-adjusted level of $11, and indexed it to inflation.
5) Paid off the national debt by raising the top tax rate to the pre-Reagan level of 70%, instead of settling for just 40%.
March 27, 2015 @ 8:52 pm
Well now we know (as if we couldn’t tell from everything else you’ve ever posted) what side of the aisle you sit on.
*Not attacking you Eric*
March 27, 2015 @ 9:05 am
I love country music and despise ALL politicians. Go pander elsewhere scumbags.
March 27, 2015 @ 6:54 pm
How do you know if a politician is lying?
If their mouths moing.
March 27, 2015 @ 6:55 pm
Moving you stupid piece of crap iPod
March 27, 2015 @ 8:27 pm
Should of got an android.
March 27, 2015 @ 9:12 am
I always wondered what side of the fence the Hag actually sits on. I like his music regardless but his early stuff contradicts what he does now. Tho according to him it was all in ‘Irony’
March 27, 2015 @ 12:52 pm
He talked about being almost criminal what Republicans do to Obama.
It seems to be a trend with alot of the legends, Him, Willie, Kris etc. that they seem less concerned about the overall political nature of the audience of Country and just say and sing about what they really feel (which as they get older tends to lean left) instead of being like Toby Keith (who is a democrat) or Hank Jr. and pander.
March 27, 2015 @ 3:31 pm
Hank Jr is a pretty staunch conservative. His rhetoric goes well beyond pandering.
March 27, 2015 @ 4:40 pm
Wow Merle, talk about being out of touch with reality.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 3:55 pm
Okie from Muskogee was never meant to be taken seriously.
I mean, it had the King of California Country decrying marijuana, haha.
March 27, 2015 @ 5:15 pm
There is absolutely nothing in the song that indicates satire. It was taken quite seriously by people at the time.
Here’s a interview from Merle that indicates that the sentiments behind the song were real:
Merle started out as a culturally conservative hawk, and moved to the other side over time.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 7:42 pm
He always says that he was faithfully representing the point of view of his father and hometown with those songs. He’s never argued that they represent his own beliefs.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:15 pm
From the interview:
“During Vietnam, there were all kinds of protests. Here were these [servicemen] going over there and dying for a cause ”” we don”™t even know what it was really all about. And here are these young kids, that were free, b””-ing about it. There”™s something wrong with that and with [disparaging] those poor guys.
We were in a wonderful time in America and music was in a wonderful place. America was at its peak and what the hell did these kids have to complain about? These soldiers were giving up their freedom and lives to make sure others could stay free.
I wrote the song to support those soldiers.”
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 10:33 pm
It’s definitely written from a very specific point of view, and one that he sympathizes with.
However, he’s released more than one interview on the subject, and he’s never said that every lyric of the song reflects how he felt at the time. Expanding on that quote, he’s said that he was disgusted with the protesters, and thought about how his dad would have felt in the same situation.
He was speaking for a very specific subset of Middle America, that wasn’t being reflected in the current popular music climate, not necessarily himself.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:30 pm
The fact of the matter is that Haggard has changed his story many times about the meaning behind “Okie from Muskogee,” just as he has sent a lot of mixed cultural and political messages over the years. He has said at various times that the song was intended as a joke, that it was inspired by real feelings, and that it was intended as a tribute to his father’s generation, among among other things. For example, here’s what Merle had to say in the 2003 BBC documentary “Lost Highway: The Story of Country Music”:
“My dad passed away when I was nine, and I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about somebody you’ve lost and you say, ‘I wonder what so-and-so would think about this?’ And I was driving on Interstate 40 and saw a sign that said ’19 Miles to Muskogee.’ Muskogee was always referred to in my childhood as ‘back home.’ So I saw that sign and my whole childhood flashed before my eyes, and I thought ‘I wonder what Dad would think about the youthful uprising that was occurring at the time… You know, I understood ’em, I got along with it, but I thought what if *he* was to come alive at this moment? And I thought, what a way to describe the kind of people in America that are sitting in the center of the country saying, ‘What is going on on these campuses?”
Most recently, I remember watching the interview Haggard did with Dan Rather for Rather’s “Big Interview” show in September of 2013, and when Dan asked him about the origin of “Okie,” Haggard said something along the lines of “You know, I wrote that song for the people who were against pot-smoking, but in another way, it was also for the pot-smokers,” which I thought was amusing, and pretty much on target with the way the song has come to be interpreted over the years.
My best guess is that “Okie From Muskogee” was at least partially inspired by genuine feelings of disenfranchisement, but I think it has probably taken on different meanings for Haggard himself over the years as his cultural views and inclinations have shifted one way or another.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 10:41 pm
Yeah, OFM was very much inspired by feelings of disenfranchisement, but I get the vibe from the song, and from the context of Haggard’s catalogue, that he was expressing feelings that he empathized with, rather than ones which he personally felt.
March 27, 2015 @ 9:22 am
‘actor who said he didn”™t sing or write the song’
I think that guy is moving on to his next gig . . .
March 27, 2015 @ 9:23 am
If a politician “targets” you, run away and don’t look back.
March 27, 2015 @ 9:30 am
1) I did not know that about American Idiot
2) I would LOVE to see the Dixie Chicks back and I think Kacey would be a perfect opener.
3) Why does some jaggoff from Ebony think it’s permissible to make a comment like that? Can you IMAGINE the backlash if a reporter from Country Weekly said “Nothing says foodstamps and welfare like some
4) If he is such a fan, then he is in luck, because FGL have that awesome little ditty called Cruise (yes I know, different spelling) that he could use at his rally’s to show how hip and in touch with country fans he really is.
March 27, 2015 @ 9:33 am
*like some rap.
Typing on my phone.. uggh
March 27, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
“1) I did not know that about American Idiot”
Neither did I
I read that at least the “redneck agenda” line was inspired by a 90’s Skynyrd song
March 27, 2015 @ 9:35 am
I was wondering if you were going to broach this topic and was half dreading the possibility that you would. That said, I appreciate your first comment.
If we take Ted Cruz at his word, then I would say he must be a passive music listener who, prior to 9/11, would probably not care if he was listening to Led Zeppelin or Loverboy. My brother is to my right politically and is a passionate music fan. His musical tastes are rock, blues, modern folk, Irish folk and some old timey. He does not share my love of bluegrass or hard country music. He could definitely get behind the sentiment of “Courtesy of the Red, Whit, and Blue” after 9/11 and had no sympathy for Dixie Chicks, but he didn’t change his musical tastes to suit his politics.
As for Jamilah Lemieux, I thought that was just a calculated, partisan, even racial cheap shot and an outdated one at that. It pissed me off. I do give the MSNBC host some credit for keeping a straight face, pushing back immediately on the comment and not yucking it up like the other guests.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:12 am
I was unwilling to broach the topics of Ted Cruz’s initial comments, or the MSNBC comment on their own because that just seemed to be asking for trouble (despite the large amount of traffic they may have brought). Instead I decided to zoom out and highlight an issue that I believe is going to be a recurring theme throughout the next 18+ months. I never like broaching political topics, but I do believe country fans should have objective coverage of what they can expect from the political sphere and the media.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:36 am
Jack, i worked in politics for a time, and, based on my own experience, politicians are passive and uninformed when it comes to just about everything except winning elections and maintaining their own wealth and power. One of the guys I worked for would ask me about what was going on with the weather, sports, cars, music, the stock market, etc. just so he had two or three things to bring up when he was meeting with the great unwashed. He made me teach him how to throw a baseball, because he had been asked to throw out the first pitch at a minor league game… The guy couldn’t throw a baseball….
March 27, 2015 @ 12:20 pm
Jamilah Lemieux is not a politician, she’s a pundit and her comments were meant to be snark to appeal to MSNBC viewers, not the public at large.
March 27, 2015 @ 12:32 pm
What is the point of your response to me?
March 27, 2015 @ 9:58 am
nuthin says lets deel drugs n not take care of our kids and comit black on black violent crime, an fight armed cops like rap mussic.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:50 am
You’re absolutely correct Lil Dale, if only you would spell correctly.
March 27, 2015 @ 11:14 am
But Clint! The people whom Lil Dale is stereotyping and making fun of actually do spell like that!
March 27, 2015 @ 1:21 pm
Dale my be joking, but I’m not. What he said is totally true; and I don’t spell that way.
March 27, 2015 @ 2:40 pm
not jokin at all. rap is crap.
and if the senior editor of Time magazine were on that show and said something like “nothing says kill cops like rap music”, it would be the lead story on every news broadcast, lead story on every liberal news blog, trending on twitter, condemned by the president, and that editor would be fired. Time’s office building would be shook down — errr– I mean picketed by al sharpton and jesse jackson until the editor were brought forth public shaming — errr — I mean, press conference, to confess their sins.
aww well hell I dont no.
March 27, 2015 @ 6:38 pm
I knew you were serious, Clint, I wasn’t sure if Dale was. (as usual) I too hate rap and ebonics, I was just being silly.
April 2, 2015 @ 8:10 am
Couldn’t reply to lil Dale directly, but just wanted to wish him well after obviously getting mule-kicked in the head yet again.
You know you could sell that mule the next time he kicks the sense INTO you don’t you? You could break the cycle that way.
Just be careful loading him up.
March 27, 2015 @ 12:11 pm
All freaking right! Lil Dale is back! And he’s getting political, getting controversial, too! Gonna be a good day, welcome back, my frend! See whut i did there?
March 27, 2015 @ 12:37 pm
Whoever runs this parody account, you do an A+ job. You even fooled Clint into thinking this sentiment is serious. Great job Dale!
March 27, 2015 @ 1:31 pm
I guess you’re the one who’s fooled, Josh. I was just using Lil Dale’s joke as an opportunity to express my hatred for rap.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 4:01 pm
Maybe you should actually listen to some rap, then, rather than spouting off uninformedly?
People who consider themselves able to deliver a qualitative judgment on hip hop because they’ve listened to the genre’s equivalent of Jason Aldean once or twice always crack me up.
March 27, 2015 @ 5:51 pm
Well, keep on cracking, and I’ll keep on hating rap, the animals that perpetrate it, and everything it stands for.
March 27, 2015 @ 6:43 pm
Neither Clint nor I intend to take our time to listen to rap today or any other day, because our time is too precious to waste. We (unlike you) don’t have the time to sit around and find Country Music websites and then tell the patrons to listen to rap. But by all means if it makes you feel “cool” and “smooth” to do so then don’t mind me.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 10:17 pm
1) Clint: It makes a lot of sense that you’re against rap and everything it stands for. Being determinedly against even listening to something you have a mistaken preconception of fits perfectly with being against the struggle of African-Americans for socioeconomic equality. You didn’t have to call them animals to make that obvious, but it definitely helped! Good talk, kiddo.
2) Fuzzy: Thanks for reinforcing why I love my handle so much. It’s hilarious when people who try their best to climb onto a digital soapbox rather than discussing a subject reveal their ignorance of The Wire.
Seriously, though. You two clowns need to educate yourselves. You’re a less intelligent and informed version of my friends who refuse to listen to Steve Earle and Jason Isbell, because they think the entirety of country music consists of supporting the government, or complaining that your wife left after you broke her arm.
March 28, 2015 @ 4:46 am
Sure, not approving of people breaking the law, cussing, and ruining English with their ebonics is wholly analogous to wanting to keep colored people down.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 5:18 am
Again, if you had even a cursory knowledge of music history, you’d know that hip hop and the post-Movement struggle for equality are inextricably linked.
But, honestly, there’s no point in talking about this with someone who uses “ebonics” unironically.
March 28, 2015 @ 5:45 am
Right. because having a degree in musicology means I must have no idea what I’m talking about.
Are you the guy who founded countryrapsavingcountrymusic?
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 6:18 am
It’s nice that you have a degree in musicology.
It doesn’t change the fact that you lack even a cursory knowledge of the history of hip hop.
And the fact that you’re apparently a real person who uses the term “ebonics” unironically (which I think should be the real focus here).
March 28, 2015 @ 8:00 am
Clint, just curious, when you say “animals” did you mean any type of animal or were you leaning more toward the biped without an opposable thumb? I also wonder what “rap” you have heard that fires you up so much? I am certain I could find some hip hop (that you would call rap) that you would if not like, say that it was not bad. That is, assuming you meant animals in general.
March 28, 2015 @ 8:22 am
“Clint: It makes a lot of sense that you”™re against rap and everything it stands for. Being determinedly against even listening to something you have a mistaken preconception of fits perfectly with being against the struggle of African-Americans for socioeconomic equality. You didn”™t have to call them animals to make that obvious, but it definitely helped! Good talk, kiddo.”
What am I mistaken about? Where’s the preconception? I’ve heard plenty of rap in my lifetime. It all sucked; and I hated it. You’re trying to make this complicated when it’s really very simple.
There is no “African-American struggle for socioeconomic equality”, not that I said anything about race. I just said that rappers are animals.
Actually, all inner-city thugs are animals.
Lester, disagreeing with an arrogant, condescending smart-ass like you, doesn’t make me unintelligent, or a clown. It just makes me another person, with another opinion, and I’ll bet you’d have a difficult time calling me kiddo, with the head of my penis blocking your larynx.
March 28, 2015 @ 9:41 am
You’re right Lester, I have no knowledge to speak concerning hip-hop. but is that so surprising considering I frequent a website entitled “Saving COUNTRY Music?” I can only assume you also enjoy frequenting bowling alleys to reprimand bowlers for not having a complex understanding of rugby, right? What are you trying to accomplish here?
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 10:52 am
I bet you say that to all the boys, Clint! 😉
If you’re looking for that kinda thing, you should probably download Grindr.
In all seriousness, though, I’m always mystified by people who make rape threats during internet arguments.
Do you threaten to rape everyone who makes fun of you for being silly and ignorant (and there are surely many, many people who do so, whether you realize it or not), or is it just the cloak of anonymity online that makes you such a Tough Guy?
Do you think that doing so will stop people from mocking your ignorant and silly opinions? Rather than just finding you even more ridiculous than they did already?
Keep on doing you, you little scamp!
Fuzzy, it’s not surprising, but I would argue that it’s best not to make generalizations about stuff you know you aren’t familiar with. I have friends who only listen to hip hop who think all country music is racist stuff sung poorly by rednecks, and I call them out for that just as much as I’m doing here.
March 28, 2015 @ 11:31 am
Why? Why do you waste your time Lester? Your last comment gave away your problem. You can’t accept the fact that people disagree with you, for any reason. If you correct your friends for generalizing country music, and you correct Clint and me here, you’re only wasting your time. I disagree with you, Clint disagrees with you, your friends who don’t line country music disagree with you, and you won’t change anybody’s mind with your rhetoric, and the sooner you learn to accept this fact then the sooner you’ll find inner peace, and the world will be short one bore.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 11:36 am
I just generally can’t stand the smugly uninformed, you know?
When I see someone who doesn’t know his arse from his elbow pontificating about a subject they are entirely ignorant of, I generally try to correct them.
You’re right, though. I really do have to get over my intolerance for people who think that railing on about stuff they know nothing about makes them look smart, or cool.
There are 14 year olds everywhere, unfortunately. Especially on the internet.
March 28, 2015 @ 4:38 pm
The larynx thing was a joke that you didn’t get, so never mind that.
I agree with fuzzy. You remind me of a 14-year-old beat-off who has to get the last word, and you keep repeating the same empty words over and over again: “uninformed”, “ignorant”, “ridiculous”. You haven’t made fun of me so much as annoy the living shit out of me, and I have a feeling you really enjoy it.
I am a normal person who hates rap. Accept it and move on with your life. Do you think being a petulant, snarky, little prick, is going to make anybody take you seriously, or think that you’re less of a self-important pseudo-intellectual than they already do?
Just piss off, Lester. Please, piss,the f@#k, off.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 5:22 pm
Hahaha, way to backtrack on saying that you want to shove your dick down my throat for making fun of you. What, pray tell, was it a reference to?
Or was it a parody of the sort of pathetic child who resorts to such “Tough Guy” posturing during an argument about music on the internet?
Also, I apologize for the repetition, but it’s quite difficult to find words other than “ignorant,” “uninformed” and “ridiculous” to describe such doozies as “There is no ‘African-American struggle for socioeconomic equality'” and your claim that all rappers are “inner-city thugs.”
If anything, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt by blaming the silly things you say and think on ignorance, rather than simply stupidity and/or racism.
So, you’re welcome!
I don’t mind that you don’t like rap music. De gustibus non disputandum, and all that. What I do mind are the ignorant (there’s that word again!) reasons for your dislike of the genre, and the (disturbingly) racially coded language you used to express those reasons.
March 28, 2015 @ 6:56 pm
Who’s backtracking? It was a joke that you’re either too young, or too stupid to get; probably both. That’s why I said never mind; a joke isn’t funny if you have to explain it.
The reason for your repetition, is that the only response entitled, obnoxious simpletons like you know, is contrived shock and disbelief. You’re so sheltered from reality and surrounded by robot-like people, that you very rarely meet people who don’t fall in line with everything you think or believe.
And for the record, I said, “all inner-city thugs are animals”; not, “all rappers are inner-city thugs”.
I wish you were ignorant, because it would mean that you had the capacity to learn. But sadly, you actually seem to be an imbecile; and possibly afflicted with neurosis.
My primary reason for not liking rap, is that it sounds like crap. How does equate to ignorance?
March 27, 2015 @ 7:07 pm
Hate rap eh?
Oughta try out some Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Tedashii, Trip Lee, KB, Kj-52, or Social Club my friend.
Christians and non Christians alike love their music!
March 28, 2015 @ 12:14 pm
I may be uninformed, I’ll admit that, but I really don’t care about hip-hop; at all. And by insinuating that I’m a child when we’ve already established that I have a college degree just shows that you’re desperately grabbing at straws trying to get the last word in. and honestly what do you stand to gain by wasting so much time commenting on an article about Ted Cruz?
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 12:23 pm
People of all ages, and of all education levels, can be 14 year olds.
It’s a frame of mind, more than an age.
March 28, 2015 @ 12:36 pm
Yes! Yes it is! I used to have a friend a few months older than me who dressed like and listened to Luke Bryan. I always joked that he was a thirteen year old who found a Zoltar Machine on a day Tom Hanks was unavailable hahaha.
March 27, 2015 @ 12:53 pm
March 28, 2015 @ 7:52 am
Maybe Lil Dale is more of a hip hop guy. I don’t like rap but I enjoy hip hop”¦.especially the guys who rip on the rappers (like KRS-ONE) and mock the gun/violence/chains etc. culture that rap pushes. Though, if one doesn’t know the difference then one probably is not qualified to comment.
April 1, 2015 @ 3:44 pm
Yet you jealous racist idiots can’t accept the fact that Rap is the most populer music in the country and all of your fellow country artists like Luke Bryan, FGL, and even Zac Brown! Along with many many more keep covering rap and hip-hop songs. i seriously doubt you fools even have listened to any rap songs recently otherwise you would know there is certainly nothing from Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. cole, or Jay Z even remotely suggesting to kill cops or cause violence. What morons you uninformed three fools are!
March 27, 2015 @ 9:59 am
Very interesting article, no matter where one’s political leanings lie. Well written. Thanks, Trigger.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:20 am
If there isn’t the term “born again country music fan”, I just coined it.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:29 am
“Why did MSNBC””known for attempting to be the counterbalance to the conservative-leaning Fox News””offer a clarification? ”
I read something a few weeks ago that MSNBC’s ratings are going from abysmal to absolute zero and they are going to move to the right to try to pick off some morons from the Fox News viewership.
Nothing says lets go kill some Muslims like strong, traditional French Catholicism. Je Suis Charles Martel 🙂 It warms my heart to think of those brave men…
Overtly political music is awful. Music that makes sharp, intelligent, cultural critiques, or has patriotic or populist appeal can be good. But the political drivel turned out by Hank Jr., Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Toby Keith, Ted Nugent, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, etc. is less than worthless….
March 27, 2015 @ 1:09 pm
MSNBC’s mistake when they decided to be the left leaning Fox was that they didn’t hire somebody like Roger Ailes who had actually been a political campaign person to run it.
I don’t mind political songs when the artist isn’t pandering with it. Unfortunately that is rarely the case with mainstream country artists.
March 27, 2015 @ 2:37 pm
Republican talk radio and Republican news work, because there is always a laundry list of things that the Republicans can complain about, pretend to care about, and ultimately do nothing about. This is also how Republican politicians get people, many of whom consider themselves to be conservatives, to vote for them. The Democrat party, now composed almost entirely of radical leftists, imbeciles, third-world wretches, and welfare loafers, always win in any supposed “clash” with the Republican party. There really isn’t much to complain about if you’re a progressive. Of course they still do, but the world has been trending their way for over 200 years. Whatever crazy, sick, immoral, twisted, disgusting cause a progressive might have will come to fruition in the fullness of time. Two steps forward, a quarter of a step back. The Gramscian long road, if you will. The Republicans complain about what the Democrats are proposing to do, and use it to rally fools to waste their money contributing to Republican causes or waste their time voting for Republican candidates, but all of the evil that happened up until yesterday is fine with the Republican Party. In reality, the Republican establishment is just as radical as the left, but they need to pander to the average Joe conservative to win elections, even though they have absolutely no intention of ever addressing any of their concerns and they openly and mercilessly hate the people who vote for them.
So the long and short of it is: The Democrats can’t make a go of their efforts at talk radio or news because they have nothing to complain about. They always win.
March 27, 2015 @ 6:49 pm
I wish liberals were always winning. That may be the case for cultural issues, but definitely not for economic issues. The country (along with the rest of the Western world) has moved significantly to the right on economics since the late 1970s.
1) Top tax rates before Reagan were around 70% (in the 1950s, they were over 90%). Nowadays, talk of even a 50% top rate is off the table.
2) In the postwar era, Democrats supported single-payer health care (and successfully enacted it for the elderly and the poor) and Republicans supported government-subsidized health insurance. Nowadays, Democrats support government-subsidized health insurance and Republicans support a complete free-market system.
3) The minimum wage peaked in 1968 at $11 (inflation adjusted) and has been dropping ever since. The differences are even starker when you consider that the inflation-adjusted GDP per capita was less back then.
4) In the postwar era, strict Wall Street regulations like Glass-Steagall were supported by both parties. In 1999 and 2000, both parties united in removing those regulations. Even in the wake of the Great Recession, Glass-Steagall and a break-up of the big banks are off the table.
5) In the 1950s and 1960s, state universities were basically tuition-free due to government subsidies. Ever since the 1970s, though, state governments have cut back on tuition supports and let the prices rise dramatically.
6) From the Great Depression through the 1960s, government invested massively in infrastructure, which is how the interstate highway system was built for example. Since the late 1970s, infrastructure investment has decreased significantly as a percentage of GDP.
7) Virtually the entire welfare state today (with the exceptions of Obamacare and Medicare prescription drugs) was established in the period from the 1930s through the 1960s. The welfare state was cut back significantly in the 1980s and 1990s. Food stamps were cut sharply under Reagan and public housing was cut under both Reagan and Clinton. Most importantly, the AFDC welfare program, which had existed since the Great Depression, was eliminated under Clinton.
8) The National Labor Relations Board, starting with Carter, decreased protections for labor unions, while at the same time there has been a proliferation of states passing “right-to-work” laws.
In conclusion, the country moved sharply rightward on economic issues in the 1970s, and the entire period from the 1980s until 2008 was one of economic conservatism. The Great Recession moved the population somewhat leftward, but the political class (which responds more to big business than to the working class) is still as right-wing on economic matters as it was before 2008.
March 27, 2015 @ 7:50 pm
So you’re a Marx guy, huh Eric?
March 27, 2015 @ 7:59 pm
What does this have to do with the topic at hand? Please keep comments relevant. Thanks.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:36 pm
No, Clint, I’m an old-fashioned New Deal/Fair Deal/Great Society liberal. I consider myself very much disaffected by the modern liberal movement that spends its energies on identity politics while ignoring the cause of economic justice.
As Trigger desires, let’s leave it at that.
March 28, 2015 @ 9:14 am
You must be a huge fan of Reagan, then. He was essentially the last New Deal/Fair Deal liberal.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 11:25 am
I’d say Nixon was, personally.
LBJ was definitely the last, great domestic legislator, though.
I do love HW, too. It takes a special kind of balls to push through a necessary tax hike even though it guarantees you won’t be re-elected.
A lot of the Clinton prosperity came from Bush’s term (and a lot of the next run of Clinton prosperity is probably going to come from Obama’s term).
March 27, 2015 @ 10:12 pm
I frequently wonder if MSNBC executives realize that their network often reaches the level of self-parody. Sometimes, you just have to wonder how these folks get paid for their shit,
*I’m approximately to the right of Barry Goldwater but hate Fox too; their fact-checking sucks and tends to make conservatives look bad.
March 28, 2015 @ 10:07 am
Me too MOreb, the tea party is moderate in my eyes. Ha
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 4:02 pm
Yeah! What kind of hack would get so political as to ask in a song “What did they say when they shipped you away/to give all in some Hollywood War?”
That stuff is less than worthless!
March 27, 2015 @ 10:33 am
Jamilah Lemieux is an idiot. I’m sorry, but what a completely stupid comment. That would be the equivalent of a Country Weekly editor going on TV and saying all Rap or R&B songs are about killing cops or selling drugs. Hell, to put it more on the nose that she may understand, that would be like saying nothing says let’s go burn Ferguson down and kill some cops like Rap or R&B.
It is amazing how some people like her can ascend to being the editor of a magazine while clearly lacking the ability to cognitively think.
I hate calling for people’s jobs, but she should probably be demoted or fired for that comment. It is that stupid and makes her magazine and readership look terrible.
There are plenty of reasons to dislike or like the idea of Ted Cruz as President without having to cite his favorite type of music as a reason for or against. This is why our political system is in such shambles, because we are actively having discussions about a political candidates fitness for office based on the music they listen to. The worst thing to happen to Washington (besides corporate lobbyists) are the 24/7 news channels that basically promote this kind of idiotic behavior.
March 27, 2015 @ 3:02 pm
I agree. There is definitely a double standard at play.
March 27, 2015 @ 11:00 am
what’s really scary is how Jamilah Lemieux will more than likely walk away reasonably unscathed from such a knuckle headed comment. But, if the shoe were on the other foot, the NAACP, AL Sharpton, and ACLU would be on the front page of every “news” paper demanding reconciliation, only after the NY times, decided to make a story out of it. I guess that’s just more an indictment of the left leaning biased mainstream media. Too bad everyone in the media isn’t as objective as Trigger.
March 27, 2015 @ 1:01 pm
That happens of both sides of the spectrum. MSNBC gets away with stuff, Fox News gets away with stuff. Conservatives will get up in arms on Sharpton and Maddow and this one and Liberals will get up in arms on O’Rilley and Hannity. I don’t watch either of those politics stations. I try not to pay attention to what is said on those two.
For that reason I mainly watch BBC World News and AJ America (who did a great interview with Rosanne Cash a while back in an arts spotlight).
March 27, 2015 @ 11:05 am
I LOVE Red State Update! I listen to every podcast. They remind me of my relatives.
March 27, 2015 @ 12:18 pm
For what it’s worth, Musgraves was a big Ron Paul supporter.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 4:05 pm
Of course, she was also like 23 at the time.
Lots of us are libertarians at that age, before we realize that it’s nice to be have fedeal highways and public schools.
March 27, 2015 @ 6:11 pm
What kind of person thinks its nice to have public schools? Public schools of indoctrination are a Yankee invention, intended to brainwash kids into blind loyalty for the empire.
March 27, 2015 @ 7:08 pm
Are you against public roads as well? How about assistance for basic needs such as food, housing, and health care?
March 27, 2015 @ 10:17 pm
Public roads are, in a limited way, provided for in the Constitution. The rest is best left to the states, which occasionally manage to run enterprises somewhere other than into the ground. Unlike the feds; see USPS and the SSA, among other things.
“A Yankee invention for indoctrination”…I like that line; might have to borrow it.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:25 pm
Social welfare programs are also allowed in Article I of the Constitution, under the “general welfare” clause.
Given that, what difference does it make whether the programs are run by the states or by the federal government?
March 27, 2015 @ 6:19 pm
And she was 23 when she wrote Follow your Arrow, which is the source for her being a liberal.
I’m not a libertarian or Ron Paul supporter. I was simply pointing out that absent any other information to the contrary, I find it doubtful that she’ll be supporting Hillary Clinton.
March 27, 2015 @ 7:07 pm
“Follow Your Arrow” can be either liberal or libertarian. It’s socially liberal, but does not tell us anything about her opinions on the size of government services.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 9:38 pm
Yup. Follow Your Arrow is not evidence of anything other than her being a reasonable human being.
March 27, 2015 @ 7:13 pm
Young people tend to be somewhat to the left of older people on economic issues, due to the fact that the former is poorer. This gap has become quite clear in the wake of the Great Recession.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 7:40 pm
And we tend to be way, way to left of older people on social issues, because we’ve actually interacted with gay and African-American people and therefore recognize them as essentially human.
March 27, 2015 @ 7:50 pm
More generally, we are much more likely to believe that personal liberty and equal rights trump bigoted and authoritarian tradition in policymaking.
March 28, 2015 @ 11:02 am
Who said having dark skin, or sliding your penis into an anus, makes a person not “essentially human”?
March 28, 2015 @ 10:54 am
Depends on what state one lives in. Those young kids havent lived yet, cant take their side on anything.
March 28, 2015 @ 11:54 am
“More generally, we are much more likely to believe that personal liberty and equal rights trump bigoted and authoritarian tradition in policymaking.”
But Eric, you’ve stated in at least 2 other comments on here, that you LOVE authoritarian policy making.
Which is it? Do you, or don’t you?
March 28, 2015 @ 5:18 pm
Personal liberty means full bodily freedom, including sexual freedom, freedom to imbue any substance, freedom of expression, freedom of movement and assembly without being threatened by police, the right to privacy, freedom to be treated as an individual rather than a member of some group, etc.
My political views can be summarized as economic justice, personal liberty, and a peaceful foreign policy.
Even more generally, I believe that the highest role of government is as nurturer, and that its coercive power should be minimized. If it makes you happy, perhaps I should mention that I even oppose imprisoning tax evaders. Imprisonment should be reserved for those who violate other individuals’ life, liberty, and property (with much lesser sentences for property crimes).
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 5:33 pm
Hah! It’s always nice to see someone who knows their Locke.
March 28, 2015 @ 5:28 am
Whenever I hear of the libertarian party I think of Ayn Rand and this is the best quote summarizing her work:
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 11:03 am
One of the better lines that has ever existed.
March 28, 2015 @ 11:07 am
Great article on why the Constitution doesn’t provide for Welfare programs. Filled with quotes and research. Once again, the 1930’s messed up America.
March 27, 2015 @ 12:35 pm
Country music will not affect this election,just like it didn’t affect the last one. The morons to the right seem like a majority only because they bitch the loudest,and are the biggest blind consumers(hence Chase Rice huge sales-all from people who classify themselves as Republicans)..once the black man is out of office politics will go back under the rug
Truth No. 2
March 27, 2015 @ 1:25 pm
Do not associate this Republican with Chase Rice or presume our opposition to the current president is at all based on race!
March 27, 2015 @ 2:05 pm
Chase Rice,Colt Ford, Duck Dynasty etc are all Republicans. Their fans are exactly what the GOP is these days. The GOP ran all the people with a brain away long ago,just like country music has
March 27, 2015 @ 10:20 pm
1) How do you know that the people you mentioned are Republicans?
2) The fan base for those singers is significantly younger, and thus likely more liberal, than country music on average.
March 28, 2015 @ 8:10 am
1.Chase Rice sports a Reagan/Bush hat constantly,and he’s too stupid to be ironic
2. Colt Ford says in Answer To No One “I’m a Republican voter”
March 27, 2015 @ 10:22 pm
*The comment above refers only to Colt Ford and Chase Rice. Of course Duck Dynasty is Republican, but that has nothing to do with music.
March 28, 2015 @ 8:13 am
Duck Dynasty fans are also new country music biggest supporters,,, go to a concert and see count many Duck Commander shirts you see. The point is the Ebony editor is dead on
March 27, 2015 @ 1:47 pm
I’m voting for Camacho.
March 27, 2015 @ 2:02 pm
Funny, I had to STOP listening to country for a while after 9/11. Some of it was pretty insufferable.
March 27, 2015 @ 2:07 pm
Check out Waylon’s song America..the right would not approve
March 27, 2015 @ 9:35 pm
Stop grouping all right-wingers together. America is my favorite “patriotic” song. I am a very conservative libertarian. You don’t have to always assume that everyone on the right believes that white people are the only good people. The red man is right but you are wrong.
March 27, 2015 @ 3:05 pm
Why isn’t “Jamilah Lemieux” tagged?
March 27, 2015 @ 3:50 pm
Because I don’t envision ever mentioning her on the site again. Outside of the site’s coverage map.
March 27, 2015 @ 3:11 pm
There’s nothing like a good ol’ Hank Williams song to make me want to go kill muslims.
March 27, 2015 @ 3:43 pm
He was talking about today’s mainstream country fans..I saw plenty “country boys” tweet “if American Sniper don’t make you wanna shoot some towel heads get out of the USA” type statements just a few tweets after quoting Brantley/Church/FGL lyrics
March 27, 2015 @ 8:36 pm
I know. I just think its unfair that’s they’re just saying “country music” which incorrectly classifies the entire genre as being bigoted.
March 27, 2015 @ 10:18 pm
I would guess that today’s mainstream country fans are much less bigoted than those of the past. The best evidence for that is how much today’s fans enjoy rap.
March 28, 2015 @ 8:23 am
They like Iggy Azaela, Macklemore,Colt Ford,FGL etc..whites took over rap long ago when they saw it was profitable. Put in some Tupac and they’ll shit their wallet chains and run for the hills.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 11:20 am
Well, at least there’s still Kendrick! TPAB is about to go gold, if not this week, then next, and it wouldn’t have gotten there without suburban white kids trying to look down with the struggle.
March 28, 2015 @ 5:14 pm
As bad as their music is, Jason Aldean and FGL deserve some credit for collaborating with African-American rappers.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 5:35 pm
Yeah, if you’ve got to spew out country-rap garbage, at least record it with hip hop artists rather than…whatever Iggy Azalea is.
March 28, 2015 @ 11:07 am
Listen to yourself, Eric! You, are the bigot.
Truth No. 2
March 27, 2015 @ 3:41 pm
Trigger, where did you hear about a Dixie Chicks reunion? There’s only so many thousand times I can play the Home album…
March 27, 2015 @ 3:51 pm
There’s just been chatter so far, nothing official. I wouldn’t get too excited until we see something concrete.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 4:06 pm
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that a Dixie Chicks reunion would be the best thing that has happened in years.
March 28, 2015 @ 12:06 am
Man, a Dixie Chicks reunion is an interesting prospect, although if they ever recorded new music, I wonder if it would be country at all? I know the last album from the Chicks was considered to be a rock record, and judging from Natalie Maines’ comments in the intervening years since the band’s breakup, it seems that she never liked or cared about country music in he first place.
In fact, if the Chicks ever did reassemble, I have a feeling Natalie would use the occasion as an opportunity to talk more trash about county music and its fan base.
I found her previous comments along those lines more irritating than any of her political bloviating.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 11:26 am
I can’t really blame her for hating the country music fanbase, considering how many death threats she got for daring to exercise her right to free speech.
March 28, 2015 @ 2:16 pm
Amen Lester! Natalie Maines was in poor taste, saying controversial things at a sensitive time; BUT she was legally entitled to say them!
March 27, 2015 @ 5:13 pm
Why do you assume Cruz is referring solely, or even primarily, to “Angry American?” How can you leave out “Where Were You,” which Alan Jackson recorded less than a month later? That song was bigger, and, at least to me, is much more characteristic of country’s reaction. Songs like that, Darryl Worley’s “Have You Forgotten,” Toby Keith’s later release of “American Soldier,” and SHeDAISY’s “Come Home Soon” are much more reflective and deeper than “Angry American.” They described the hurt, loss, confusion, and fear that most people felt. While many Americans were very justifiably angry, and that was certainly part of country’s reaction, to imply that it was representative of the whole response is missing the bigger picture. Considering Cruz’s description of his as “an emotional reaction,” I think he is most likely talking about much more than a single Toby Keith song.
March 27, 2015 @ 5:33 pm
I’m assuming nothing. I only brought up the “Angry American” song after bringing up Jamilah Lemieux’s comment. In fact I said, “Is he out there listening to Florida Georgia Line, or does his fandom barely extend beyond the Toby Keith”™s 2003 album Shock”™n Y”™all?”. The reason I said that was to highlight that we really have no idea how deep Ted Cruz’s country music fandom goes. You very well could be right that it’s the more sentimental songs that spoke to him, which would be another reason Jamilah Lemieux is wrong.
March 27, 2015 @ 6:03 pm
Well, I was thinking “Angry American” was from Shock’n Y’all, but I see now it wasn’t. But by giving the suggestion of listening to the duo who-shall-not-be-named as the only alternative, your choices ranged only from bad to worse. While 99% of politicians give the rest a bad name and cannot be trusted, it isn’t like Cruz is an expert politician. Given his tendency to say things that make him an easy target for opponents, and things that are very unpopular even with many Republicans, I doubt that he said that simply to get votes. I think there’s a good chance he meant it. As for the woman’s statement, I thought it was at best too ignorant to warrant discussion.
March 28, 2015 @ 10:13 am
Cruz aint scared, thats why I like him for now. He is a very smart guy. If he does something that pisses us conservatives off, he will hear about it. Conservatives do not like repubs by the way either.
March 28, 2015 @ 10:01 am
On a different note, do you have any guess as to whether Swifty is an activist liberal, or if she admires the Kennedy family because of their social status?
Cool Lester Smooth
March 28, 2015 @ 11:08 am
I think she just likes them because they’re iconic.
Her reasons for liberal have more to do with having gay friends, wanting to be paid the same amount as male artists, and enjoying the right to control her own body.
March 28, 2015 @ 10:30 pm
Why are we making assumptions about her political views? She has gone out of her way to refrain from discussing politics in public.
March 27, 2015 @ 5:45 pm
Article from 2008 > Toby Keith Registering as Independent Voter – Keith said the Democratic party no longer represents his views.
“I”™ve been a lifetime Democrat, and I”™m re-registering this year as an independent,” he said. “It”™s strictly [because] my party, that I”™ve been affiliated with all these years, doesn”™t stand for anything that I stand for anymore. They”™ve lost any sensibility that they had, and they”™ve allowed all the kooks in, so I”™m going independent.”
As a former member of the TK Fan Club, I feel Toby supports the Military as for years he has done U.S.O. tours. He also brings military members to his concerts, has M&G with them, brings them up on stage for the closing of every concert.
March 28, 2015 @ 10:20 am
I was about to say.. I know good darn well that Toby didnt vote for Obama or any dems in the past 15 yrs, just no way. The democrat party today is not the dems of yesterday. He probably just said that comment to just to get the media off his back for a little bit.
March 28, 2015 @ 10:32 am
Toby Keith did vote for Obama. This is what Toby Keith said two weeks before:
“I think he’s the best Democratic candidate we’ve had since Bill Clinton. And that’s coming from a Democrat.”
Then two weeks later he said he was an independent, my guess is because of the backlash he received about his comments. Subsequently there’s stories about how he is still a Democrat, though he did contribute money to Texas governor Rick Perry at one point.
March 28, 2015 @ 10:57 am
WOW, never would have guessed that
March 27, 2015 @ 7:57 pm
I won’t ever vote for Cruz due to this bogus comment. He was acting a part, very poorly, and I am done voting for actors.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 27, 2015 @ 9:53 pm
…there are a long, long list of reasons not to vote for Ted Cruz.
That one should be very, very close to the bottom.
March 27, 2015 @ 11:16 pm
Jamilah Lemieux: setting back race relations 60 years. Way to go, girlfriend!
March 27, 2015 @ 11:39 pm
He seems like a smart man. However I will not be voting for him, just like I did not vote for Obama or Bush the second. By the way I think those two are idiots and the worst thing this country ever did. I do not want to offend anybody, buy in my experience hard core conservatives, and tree hugging socialist democrats are both nut jobs. But again don’t get offended because I just called my dad and grandma a nut job.
March 28, 2015 @ 12:08 am
This is off-topic, but now seems as good as time as any to ask this:
Can someone tell me how to use italics or bold letters in my comments?
I never got the memo.
March 28, 2015 @ 12:42 am
Just use HTML code.
Italics can be inserted using and , and bold with and , without the quotes.
For example, if I want to italicize the phrase “country music”, I would write it as:
country music (without the quotes)
March 28, 2015 @ 12:47 am
Sorry, that did not come out right. I will try again.
Italicized phrases can be started using:
and finished using:
Bolded phrases can be started using:
and finished using:
March 28, 2015 @ 12:52 am
March 28, 2015 @ 2:04 am
You’re welcome, Applejack!
March 28, 2015 @ 2:40 am
“the conservative-leaning Fox News”
That is like saying, yeah Michael Moore is sort of centre left.
March 28, 2015 @ 10:14 am
They are really a center program, they are FAR from right wing.
March 28, 2015 @ 5:36 am
I’d like to see Ted Cruz chant ‘chew tobacco chew tobacco spit” with Blake Shelton, deliver “baby you a song’ with FGL from the aptly named ‘Cruise”, or join in with Toby Keith in a rousing round of “Red Solo Cup” to prove his country bona fides.
March 28, 2015 @ 8:58 am
One of the problems with assessing Cruz’s comment is that you have to realize it was calculated. In today’s American politics, everything said by a candidate on the national stage (like Cruz) is calculated. Everything they’ll say in an interview has been run through focus groups in order to see what works and what doesn’t’t. Cruz no doubt has polling indicating what saying he likes country music will mean for him, and obviously, the pluses outweighed the negatives so he said it. I’d be willing to bet his knowledge of country music isn’t that deep.
March 28, 2015 @ 7:50 pm
You nailed it, Heyday.
March 28, 2015 @ 9:48 am
Most of population of this country does not live in rural America any more. But country music is still perceived as a symbol of American exceptionalism, and as a badge of populism. It is used as window dressing by politicians who want to be seen as empathizing with the common man. Sometimes this symbolism is used defensively by the “one percenters” to neutralize their political weaknesses. The candidates whose backgrounds and lifestyles are furthest removed from the genre’s blue collar rural roots, such as George Bush Sr, tend to try the hardest to publicly associate themselves with country music.
For minority candidates running in Republican primaries, talking about country music could also be a way for them to demonstrate that they have fully assimilated. I wonder if Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley have made any public statements about country music.
March 28, 2015 @ 1:20 pm
Consider that Ted Cruz is a graduate of Princeton, graduated near the top of his class at Harvard Law School where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review (just a few years after some guy named Obama) who married a partner at Goldman Sachs. Not exactly your average blue collar guy. So of course it makes sense that he would want to use country music to establish credibility with the rural voter who is important in the GOP process. It’s what politicians have been doing for years in the past and in years to come. Hell in the Presidential election of 2080 I can imagine some politician dragging a 90 year Taylor Swift on stage and talking about how Taylor was a key influence in her life.
March 28, 2015 @ 12:08 pm
I’ll keep my opinions about this to myself.
March 28, 2015 @ 1:49 pm
Bill Maher covered this last night.
March 28, 2015 @ 4:35 pm
I’ve seen Rand Paul share a wide variety of country music on his Twitter account. One of the more interesting examples was the Carolina Chocolate Drops: https://twitter.com/SenRandPaul/status/474551547553415168
As for whether Ted Cruz’s country music fandom extends to Florida-Georgia Line or is limited to early-2000s Toby Keith, the fact that he chose to quote the lyrics of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” to take up time during his ObamaCare filibuster suggests that its more likely the latter.
March 29, 2015 @ 12:34 am
Toby Keith is more country than Florida Georgia Line. I’d be concerned if someone who claims to be a country music fan DID happen to be a fan of Florida Georgia Line.
March 29, 2015 @ 1:11 am
Agreed. Politics notwithstanding, Toby Keith is both far more country and far more talented in songwriting than FGL. He had some of the best honky-tonk songs of the late 90s and the 00s, featuring an ideal combination of humor and wistfulness. Here’s a great song of his about aging:
Cool Lester Smooth
March 29, 2015 @ 11:10 am
Yeah, the one thing I wasn’t totally behind the Dixie Chicks on was their weird feud with Toby.
Dude’s legitimately one of my favorite artists of the last 20 years.
March 28, 2015 @ 9:03 pm
I’m a little late to the conversation, and I tend to keep my head in the sand regarding most politics as is because it’s so nauseating and monotonous………………..but here’s what I’ll add here.
While it would be a stretch to say country radio, in particular, has trended apolitical as of late………..in that you still see song lyrics that kind of vaguely reinforce the rural vs. urban culture war dichotomy (i.e. “I could never do it like a pretty city boy…” in Canaan Smith’s “Love You Like That”, “I’ve had enough of this concrete jungle!” in Rascal Flatts’ “Banjo”, numerous Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert songs, etc.)…………..they nonetheless always refrain from going further for the obvious reason of fear of alienating soccer moms and youthful demographics that largely fall outside of the traditional listening demographic.
But mainstream country music is refraining from the particularly confrontational. Case in point: Jamie Jones’ polemic “Pissed Off Rednecks Like Me”.
Despite generating a barrage of coverage and publicity across the blogosphere and even mainstream news headlines, it only briefly dented the iTunes Country Singles chart upon its debut………..and just slipped into obscurity straight from there.
And it’s not hard to see why. Most people are fatigued of polemics.
On the other end of the continuum, Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” lacked staying power because unlike “The Rising”, which chose to focus on the triumph and fragility of the human spirit through tragedy, “Wrecking Ball” had lyrics that largely pandered to bumper sticker activism and were surprisingly cliched and canned by Springsteen’s standards.
Oddly enough (and for all the wrong reasons), one of the most political singles released these past six months happened to come from no other than………….(gulp)……….Nickelback!!! But despite “Edge of a Revolution” managing to top the Mainstream Rock Singles Chart (mostly because it was a lead single from a heritage act of the format)……………….but when you even read the lyrics on paper and then expose the song as utterly calculated and shallow and about as written-by-committee as political songs go, it abandoned the memory of listeners even more quickly than when it entered it.
So, there’s no doubt in my mind that countless politicos will pander to the country listening demographic for overtly obvious reasons in the next……………uggghhhhh……….twenty months ( -__- )……………but don’t expect to see radio pander to the politicos much the same way, just as we don’t expect rappers to come knocking on the doors of Music Row begging for collaborations with their cream of the crop.
March 29, 2015 @ 9:24 pm
Wow, I didn’t read 10% of the comments but its pretty clear this country is more divided then ever. Both sides are worthless, we just have to pick the lesser of two evils.
March 30, 2015 @ 7:18 am
As many other lovely SMC users have stated, politicians: no thanks. Please keep your self serving non-working asses away from my country music. Politics in this country are disgusting and always have been. My political needs are simple. I do not want the government in my life raising taxes, spending my money for me, restricting trade, creating needless regulations, telling me who and what I can do, or providing me healthcare. I like an America that has choices and free open competition trade. I want the government to worry about protecting our citizens as designed by the founders. I hate that the government feels they need to get involved in how people live their lives. I has been this way since 1790ish. So, we should be happy to have the freedoms we have. I hate when anyone political affiliation gets in the way of getting the job done (looking at you congress).
March 31, 2015 @ 8:49 am
I don’t want to hear any of my favorite entertainers discuss politics. I have my views and nothing anyone says or sings is going to change my mind.
March 31, 2015 @ 1:59 pm
Ignoring the split of ignorance and arrogance that always seems to come with political discussions, that Hillary campaign song is hilarious. I’ll never get tired of things like attempting to rhyme “lady” with “lady.”
March 31, 2015 @ 6:24 pm
Yes. Its almost as fantastic as the Foreigner line from Hot Blooded:
“You don’t have to read my mind
To know what I have in mind”