Politics in Country Music

It’s that time in America again. We as a nation are generally disinterested in exercising our civil duty as citizens of this great Democracy by voting, but every four years we move from general disinterest to the mild annoyance that moves a third of us to vote for president.

It always sort of makes me cringe when a celebrity speaks out about politics. Sure if they have the right to speak out about the issues that concern them, but their fame is not based on their adept understanding of foreign policy or economic issues so they typically come off looking goofy and damaging their brand. So why is country music different?

I tuned into the news today to see Hank Williams Jr. warming up a crowd in Virginia for Republican candidate for president John McCain (actually he warmed them up for GOP vice-president candidate Sarah Palin who then warmed them up for McCain) (edit: you can hear his campaign song “McCain-Palin Tradition here), John Rich (the shorter, darker half of Big and Rich) penned McCain a song “Raisin’ McCain”, Merle Haggard wrote ‘Let’s Put a Woman in Charge” for the Hillary Clinton campaign, Ralph Stanley recently endorsed Democratic candidate for president Barack Obama and Obama used Brooks & Dunn’s “Only In America” played after his acceptance speech at the DNC convention in Mile High Stadium.

Personally I’m glade that country/roots music is taking more of bipartisan approach to politics and no longer just seen as the birthright to either party. How about you reader? What do you think of country music in politics?

Kris Kristofferson – In The News


2 Replies to “Politics in Country Music”

  1. Love the blog – btw – just found it through your myspace link.

    On an e-mail subscribe list I’m on for Buddy and Julie Miller, the news was put out that Buddy was on Obama’s campaign CD and that Ralph Stanley was endorsing him as well. The discussion got down right ugly! I think that music can be such an instrument of peace and bringing people together, it is too bad when it starts to add to the division in America. But I would rather hear political opinions through a song than preaching between the songs. Stick to the medium. I think it’s more effective.

  2. Jason, welcome to my little patch of the Web. I think music is a lot like religion in culture, when one side or the other thinks they have jurisdiction over it they fight tooth and nail, like it was land or something. I think the biggest problem with politics today is people confuse ideas with identity. I can respectfully disagree with you without it equating to “You suck!”

    Again welcome to the site and don’t be a stranger…

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