Is Country Music Red or Blue? Part II

USA-3In my last blog post “Country Music and Politics: Is the Genre Red or Blue?” I used opinions from the democratic and republican platforms in order to demonstrate that country music does not fall completely to one side of the political spectrum, but rather straddles the line. I discussed Steve Grand’s song that expressed a more democratic opinion on gay marriage, while Matt Kennon’s record had a republican opinion on abortion. But just like there is never only one political debate before the big election, there similarly should not be only one blog post. There are countless controversial topics to discuss in country music AND politics, and I’d like to introduce you to a few more in order to get a more comprehensive view of if country music is red or blue.

“Guns” by Justin Moore

Gun control seems to be one of the topics that gets the most attention these days, especially around college campuses. With the recent statistic of there being 294 mass shootings in the first 274 days of 2015, there have been heated debates on the balance of restricting gun access vs. making self-protection available, but there is no question where Justin Moore stands. In his song “Guns” he asserts his right to bear arms, spitefully singing “I’m going to tell you once and listen son/As long as I’m alive and breathing you won’t take my guns”. He uses the argument “Somebody breaks into my house, I’m gonna need my Colt .44” to appeal to the logical argument of self-protection. So looking at the following statement from their political platforms, you can determine if Moore lines up more with the left or right:

Democrat: “We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition…We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation…so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.”

Republican: “We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizen’s God-given right of self-defense.”

“Travelin’ Soldier” by Dixie Chicks

The real political agenda of this song was heard, not in the lyrics, but rather when the Dixie Chicks introduced this song at a performance in London. Band member Natalie Maines boldly proclaimed “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” This performance took place while George W. Bush (republican) was in office, and that controversial statement effectively put an end to the band’s career. “Travelin’ Soldier” tells the story of a young girl falling in love with a boy who left to go to war; in the end her love was in vain as he lost his life fighting for his country. Using the following platforms as guides, do you think the Dixie Chicks have more democratic or republican opinions?

Blue: “We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq…there is no greater responsibility than protecting the American people. We also understand the indispensable role that the United States must continue to play in promoting international peace and prosperity.”

Republican: “The Republican Party is the advocate for a strong national defense as the pathway to peace, economic prosperity, and the protection of those yearning to be free…Sequestration of the nation’s military budget would be a disaster for national security.”

I hope that through reading both articles you have seen that country artists have strong opinions when it comes to controversial political topics, and that not everyone in the genre agrees about what is right or wrong. I think that is the best part about country music; you are never going to hear the same thing and by listening to the radio you will be exposed to a plethora of opinions. While I don’t expect your favorite song will dictate your political views, I do hope that it will get your gears turning to think about what you do believe in, and that it reminds you TO GO VOTE!

1 Comment

Filed under Blog Post 4, Politics, USA

One Response to Is Country Music Red or Blue? Part II

  1. Like I mentioned in class today, I’m going to spend some time talking about guns/gun control in class next semester, so I appreciate you bringing my attention to this Justin Moore song that I hadn’t heard before. Thanks!

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