My wife introduced me to modern day country music when we started dating. And with someone with my political leanings, it’s sometimes difficult to separate the music from the message or more specifically the mentality.
I have always hated the “Ugly American” image. The F-ck you if you don’t love America. Goes hand-in-hand with the “Questioning the government during times of war is unpatriotic”. There’s a mentality of blind loyalty that you must have to play country music that you must be Christian (with a capital C), you must be Republican, and you must love the Military.
Which is even more why Johnny Cash is one of the greatest human beings ever to walk the planet. He maintained his own point of view throughout his life, and got people to love him. An admirable man.
And this time, a country music star is taking Johnny Cash’s name in vain, instead of Jesus’s name.
John Rich is one half of the duo Big & Rich, who sing “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.” A likeable band, if only because the other half of the duo, Big Kenny, appears to be a peace loving, pot smoking, love and freedom, country hippie. So it’s a fun dychotomy. Anyway, recently John Rich said the following at a John McCain rally:
Somebody’s got to walk the line in the country. They’ve got to walk it unapologetically. And I’m sure Johnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around.
First off you NEVER do that to anyone dead. It’s insulting that you want to speak for someone, especially someone who can’t speak for themselves.
And secondly, Johnny Cash had serious liberal views when it came to politics. I mean I don’t know the man (tho I did meet him once), but who is John Rich to say that he knew Johnny Cash enough to say that he would have supported John McCain.
Well, just like Jesus, it appears that people can now make Johnny Cash out to be whatever they want him to be.
Anyway Johnny’s daughter, Roseanne Cash, really put it best.
It is appalling to me that people still want to invoke my father’s name, five years after his death, to ascribe beliefs, ideals, values and loyalties to him that cannot possibly be determined, and to try to further their own agendas by doing so. I knew my father pretty well, at least better than some of those who entitle themselves to his legacy and his supposed ideals, and even I would not presume to say publicly what I ‘know’ he thought or felt. This is especially dangerous in the case of political affiliation. It is unfair and presumptuous to use him to bolster any platform. I would ask that my father not be co-opted in this election for either side, since he is clearly not here to defend or state his own allegiance.
Or let’s let Dan Le Sac put it even better:
Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, John Hartmond, Desmond Dekker, Jim Morrisson, Jimmy Hendrix or Sid Barrett in vain.