Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: Republican rock stars

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Republican rock stars

"Rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics."- Alice Cooper


I like to keep my music preferences and my political view points to separate conversations. Often times politics can ruin the party. I feel like I've experienced it a few times, sitting around at my place socializing with  friends playing good tunes. Interesting discussion is inevitable, but it's a well known "social rule" that it's good to steer clear of politics (especially in new or mixed company). But when a group of thoughtful friends gather around, the topic of discussion could go anywhere. Sometimes music and politics collide. 

A popular topic to talk about lately at Rock and Roll Headquarters has been Dave Mustaine's comment about President Obama having to do with the Aurora Theater shootings. As soon as I heard about this I had to learn more. I wanted to hear exactly what he said.  
"Back in my country, my president, is trying to pass a gun ban so he's staging all of these murders. The 'Fast and Furious' thing down at the border. And Aurora, Colorado, all the people that were killed there. And now, the beautiful people at the Sikh temple." Mustaine went on to say, "I don't know where I'm going to live if America keeps going the way it's going because it looks like it's turning into Nazi America." 


By the way, one of the shooting victim's Carli Richards said "Some people think the president is a good scapegoat but he didn't shoot me." 

The scary part is, Dave Mustaine is no where near the only rocker to come out against the President. I don't mind so much when someone is Republican, but I am concerned when they are both crazy and Republican. I don't expect the cliche that every rock and roller is a liberal. Ted Nugent, Dave Mustaine, Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper are all Republicans. Gene Simmons endorsed Obama, then Rick Perry and then Romney saying he regretted endorsing Obama “America is a business and should be run by a businessman,” Simmons said on of all places...Fox News. Mustaine supported Rick Santorum and even Alice Cooper is a George W Bush and Sarah Palin supporter.  Ted Nugent is pretty much notorious for his hatred for Obama. He made pretty clear at the NRA Convention. He put the final loony nail in his coffin when he was interviewed on CBS. Not only was Nugent irate and rambling, he had the nerve to verbally assault at least one woman off camera.

"I'm an extremely loving, passionate man!
I'll suck and fuck you!"
....

Again, it's not so much that they are right wingers, it's the fact that they've got the Rush Limbaugh approach to being a Republican. "Believe what I believe or you are on the Terrorists side" sorta thing. That I find scary. In fact these guys believe that if you don't support the Republican candidate, you are committing treason. Alice Cooper in 2004 called rock stars campaigning for Democrat John Kerry "Treasonous morons". He said he was disgusted to learn Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, R.E.M., Sheryl Crow, James Taylor and Dave Matthews were hitting the road for a series of concerts designed to help defeat President Bush. 
"To me, that's treason," Alice Cooper told the Canadian Press. "I call it treason against rock 'n' roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics."
"When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I'd run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick.
"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."
"Besides," he continued, "when I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn't already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that's a good reason right there to vote for Bush."
Alice back peddled on a later interview saying he was "not a right wing Republican." 

I'm amused by this Republican logic; support the President, if you don't you are a terrorist. But don't support the President if he's a Democrat, if you do you are a terrorist. There seems to be some real extremism going on that would make Rush Limbaugh proud. Oh right, "Tea baggers." Some people have the mind set that celebrities shouldn't open their mouths and express opinions. I think anybody should be able to do that whether they are a Republican, Democrat or whatever. These Republican rock stars are allowed to express their opinions. I find the "I paid you to perform not to talk about your political views" point of view a little disturbing. They have the right to say what they want but we also have the right to asses the validity of what they are saying. Dave Mustaine thinks the Aurora Theater shooting was a set up to sway votes in his [Obama's] favor, Ted Nugent said "Obama represents everything bad about humanity", and Alice Cooper thinks anyone who supports a Democratic candidate is "a treasonous moron." 

It is easy to see upon little examination that these statements lack truth and are full of bottled up hate. I would suggest to these extreme Republican rock stars (mostly Nugent and Mustaine), that if you don't like it...leave!

I think it matters when rock stars express their political views especially because they have fans who take their words very seriously. You know they exist, for every band...that group of crazy fans who take their words as truth without examination. That's another reason it scares me.

One of my favorite things that I get out of rock and roll is this feeling of freedom of thought and expression. I hope that Megadeth, Kiss, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent fans can have the chutzpah to think for themselves. I have faith that most of them can. Like most music fans, I'm just going to put Alice Cooper's political viewpoints aside and enjoy the music. I'm not about to support their politics, but I will continue to listen to their music...with the thought in my head that these guys grew into old tea baggers. Cheers, gentlemen.  

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