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Country music = conservative agenda

F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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3/29/2013 12:36:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I love country music - not necessarily the meaning behind the content but just the lyrics and the music for its artistic value. However, I feel that many songs that are regarded as country music often promote the conservative political side. For instance, in John Rich's "shutting detroit down," here is a sampling of the lyrics:

"While the boss man takes his bonus pay and jets on out of town,
DC is bailing out them bankers on the farmers auction ground,
while here in the real world, they are shuttin detroit down
."

This creates the impression of solidarity with the poor people in detroit who are being "shut down" by the people in New York. Of course New York is mostly liberal.

Another song of John Rich glorifies the military. The song title is "The good lord and the man."

Some of its lyrics are
"he was one of the million who signed up to defend us
long ago in 1941. When they sucker-punched us in pearl harbor,
he fought under McArthur with an army thompson gun....

If it wasn't for the good lord and the man,
there wouldn't be a breath of freedom in this land.
I see people on my TV taking shots at Uncle Sam,
I hope they always remember why they can,
Coz we'd all be speaking German living under the flag of Japan,
if it wasn't for the good lord and the man.
"

First of all, where does the "good lord" come into the equation other than that John Rich just made it up. Also, his view of WW2 is heavily distorted as he makes the Japanese out to be the bad guys and pretends as though they would have occupied and invaded the United States if it wasn't for the "good lord and the man." I don't want to post tons of videos so here is a tinyurl link of the video: http://tinyurl.com...

Going further into the song, he glorifies war even more by singing:

"I am the grandson of a soldier
I'd fight the whole world over
If duty called and freedom's on the line
But thanks to the greatest generation
and the ones still fighting for our nation
I'd never had to kill for my way of life"


Lol. No offense to TUF but seriously? Does anyone believe that the US Army actually fights for "freedom?" The invasion of Iraq was based on multitude of reasons none of which was a fear that the freedom of Americans would be lost. Stationing 10s of thousands of troops in the Middle East to be a police state is one thing - after all the United States is powerful - why not try to police everyone. Saying that freedom is on the line is downright hilarious. Also, John Rich clearly doesn't know the rigors of military life and how hard it really is for soldiers or he wouldn't have glorified their fights as "freedom."

Toby Keith is another awesome country singer and a guilty pleasure to listen to because he is a very good singer despite his message being unapologetically conservative. In American Soldier (the video shown), the song can be really inspiring for instance when he sings:

"You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door
Hey, I'm solid. Hey I'm steady. Hey, I am true down to the core.
Oh, and I don't want to die for you but when dying's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with honor; coz freedom don't come free...

... when liberty is in jeopardy, I will always do what's right,
I am out here on the frontline, sleep in peace tonight.
"

It can be very glamorous and inspiring to hear such songs. But the point is, it is a huge lie. But singing about freedom provides a much more inspiring visualization to be proud of as opposed to singing "I fought for oil" or "I fought because HW had a personal grudge and W sent me to fight for him." Now that's not very inspiring.

To conclude, country music is freakin awesome but they so obviously have a conservative political agenda.

Toby Keith: American Soldier is shown in the video.
OberHerr
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3/29/2013 12:40:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't see how this really matters......
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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3/29/2013 12:45:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/29/2013 12:40:31 AM, OberHerr wrote:
I don't see how this really matters......

Why does it have to matter? It is my opinion which I expressed in a forum.
Oryus
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3/29/2013 12:54:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It always annoys me when people say stuff like "fought for your freedom." It is so vague and just flat-out makes no sense. It's just rhetorical propaganda.

Nice, thorough post, f-16.

But shame on you for listening to Toby Keith ;P
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johnnyboy54
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3/29/2013 3:52:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Lolz Toby Keith is a democrat.

@ Oyrus

Toby Keith is very hit and miss. His old stuff his great, new stuff not so much (except Bullets in the Gun, that song is awesome).
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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3/29/2013 4:04:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/29/2013 3:52:22 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Lolz Toby Keith is a democrat.

@ Oyrus

Toby Keith is very hit and miss. His old stuff his great, new stuff not so much (except Bullets in the Gun, that song is awesome).

Didn't know that. Source? I still think he is a closet republican though. He may not have wanted to come out due to the social stigma associated with it...

John Rich is a flaming Republican though. He once did a song "raisin McCain" and LOL, I laughed at the lyrics.

He got shot down in a Vietnam town
Fighting for the red, white and blue.
They locked him up in the Hanoi Hilton
Thinking they could break him in two.

But he stayed strong, stayed extra long
till they let all the other boys out
Now we got a real man with an American plan
we gonna put him in the big White house!


I mean LOL. Seriously. Conservatives make me laugh out loud sometimes. The song doesn't need me dissecting it and poking fun of it. It speaks for itself.
johnnyboy54
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3/29/2013 4:08:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think its funny that you point to some sort of conservative bias, when you only bring up two artists, and one of whom is a Democrat. Even so, two examples do not mean that a whole music industry has some sort of political agenda.

As a lifelong country music fan, I think it has less to do with political agendas and more to do with the culture of the south. Southern culture typically stresses respect for the military and national pride. Than again, Americans do that as a whole, regardless of political alignment. It is more pronounced in the South though.

Also, I think it is kinda hypocritical to say that John Rich shows conservative bias in the song, "Shutting Detroit Down," when the sentiment he shared in that song is very similar to the same message of the Occupy movement.

Another problem I had with F-16's post is that Country music often isn't music with. messages." You don't hear protest songs in Country music often because Country music historically has been about telling a story through the medium of music. They typically are ballads about life, not messages about the politics or the ills of society.
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johnnyboy54
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3/29/2013 4:17:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/29/2013 4:04:35 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 3/29/2013 3:52:22 AM, johnnyboy54 wrote:
Lolz Toby Keith is a democrat.

@ Oyrus

Toby Keith is very hit and miss. His old stuff his great, new stuff not so much (except Bullets in the Gun, that song is awesome).

Didn't know that. Source? I still think he is a closet republican though. He may not have wanted to come out due to the social stigma associated with it...

Apparently he is an independent now though.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

John Rich is a flaming Republican though. He once did a song "raisin McCain" and LOL, I laughed at the lyrics.

He got shot down in a Vietnam town
Fighting for the red, white and blue.
They locked him up in the Hanoi Hilton
Thinking they could break him in two.

But he stayed strong, stayed extra long
till they let all the other boys out
Now we got a real man with an American plan
we gonna put him in the big White house!


I mean LOL. Seriously. Conservatives make me laugh out loud sometimes. The song doesn't need me dissecting it and poking fun of it. It speaks for itself.

John Rich =/= all conservatives. There are people who say the same kind of things about Obama.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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3/29/2013 4:23:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Johnny, the reason I say it is biased is that it often idealizes life on the "country" and has very traditional conservative values. Yes, Southern culture is a part of it. But even more than that is the it clings to a very IDEAL notion of what things are or should be like. Most other musical genres don't do this.

Take this song from Sara Evans for instance:

Some of her lyrics:
Like the way your mama felt
the very first time you were held
the way your daddy still feels about your mama now.


This just felt so alien to hear because she doesn't consider that a large number of people are divorced and the lyrics just don't speak to the reality of life but rather an idealized version which is often exemplified by the American South.

Again, I love Sara Evans. Fantastic artist and great song. But there is this underlying theme among country music artists to appeal to the ideal, the conservative, and the southerner.

I don't entirely like all aspects of the South because Southerners once held slaves and are more likely to be racist/sexist etc than people in other parts of the United States. I am not saying anything against any Southerner in particular but rather as a general trend (I haven't actually met a Southerner in real life, at least not since I was a kid) so I can only speculate but that is just me.

The reason I say country music is pushing a conservative viewpoint is that they subconsciously assume that the conservatives are right (for instance by glorifying war, "traditional southern values" etc). Hopefully I got my point across - I know I wasn't very clear because there were so many conflicting feelings that I wanted to get across - good thing I am not debating this topic.
OberHerr
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3/29/2013 4:28:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think your over thinking it a bit F-16.

Artists tend to sign about things from their perspective of their culture and home. Just because some of the things they sing about haopen to be conservative values, which I personally would say a lot of them are simply American values, doesn't mean there is this huge bias.

Some are biased I'm sure, some aren't. I personally find a lot of country to beat out three things: beer, woman, and your home.
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johnnyboy54
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3/29/2013 4:52:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/29/2013 4:23:40 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Johnny, the reason I say it is biased is that it often idealizes life on the "country" and has very traditional conservative values. Yes, Southern culture is a part of it. But even more than that is the it clings to a very IDEAL notion of what things are or should be like. Most other musical genres don't do this.

I will agree there is a disturbing trend of country songs about how awesome country life is. Those are the people country music fans like me put on list and wait for God to smite them with fire.

Take this song from Sara Evans for instance:


Some of her lyrics:
Like the way your mama felt
the very first time you were held
the way your daddy still feels about your mama now.


This just felt so alien to hear because she doesn't consider that a large number of people are divorced and the lyrics just don't speak to the reality of life but rather an idealized version which is often exemplified by the American South.

Every genre of music does this. Listen to a pop hit about love or some sh!t. They do the same thing. Artists across all genres have written songs about their undying love, only for those same artists to be divorced years later.

There are also plenty of country music songs about love gone bad. Most of the time it ends with bullets though, so I guess that does separate Country from other genres.

Again, I love Sara Evans. Fantastic artist and great song. But there is this underlying theme among country music artists to appeal to the ideal, the conservative, and the southerner.

So only conservatives dream of idealistic love?

I don't entirely like all aspects of the South because Southerners once held slaves and are more likely to be racist/sexist etc than people in other parts of the United States. I am not saying anything against any Southerner in particular but rather as a general trend (I haven't actually met a Southerner in real life, at least not since I was a kid) so I can only speculate but that is just me.

The reason I say country music is pushing a conservative viewpoint is that they subconsciously assume that the conservatives are right (for instance by glorifying war, "traditional southern values" etc).

I just really think you don't understand Southern America and small-town culture. People are proud of the towns they grew up in the communities are much more tight-knit. Why wouldn't people sing about lives, places, and people they are happy with?

Hopefully I got my point across - I know I wasn't very clear because there were so many conflicting feelings that I wanted to get across - good thing I am not debating this topic.
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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3/29/2013 5:09:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I won't pretend that I am fully aware of all aspects of southern American life and culture. Most of what I know is from the perspective of an outsider looking in. With that said, I don't like most of what I observe and I disagree with them. In general, southerners especially Texans are the ones who massively push for gun rights. Southerners are usually the most religious people (bible belt). They are also less used to ethnic diversity (exclude Texas) which to me looks as if they are in their own little world. They also are less inclined to show modern values like equality between men and women like the rest of the United States does. I find the culture different from the culture of the rest of the United States especially metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles or San Jose which are in general multicultural, modern, and mostly liberal.

Country music exemplifies the values of the South more than it does mainstream American values especially taking patriotism to a higher level than is normal in addition to the values that I have mentioned above. Romantizing the military as a glorious endeavour while undermining the reality of the military and the questionable motives of war is in a way, a subtle advertising of the military to young people. This could lead to more young people registering for the military which is ultimately what the conservatives want. While some may laugh at the notion that country music would encourage people to join the military, I'll pre-empt that by saying that the environment one is exposed to plays a large role in their decisions and at first glance, even I was inspired by Toby Keith's line about "freedom don't come free."

The alternative explanation is that as you and Ober have said, it is possible that country artists merely sing about their home and culture. In this case, I would contend that they are unwitting conservative proponents by displaying the conservative aspects of their upbringing through their songs.
thett3
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3/29/2013 10:26:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well I don't know about the John Rich songs, but I think it's important to remember that many pro-war country songs including I believe American Soldier came out in the post 9/11 patriotic fervor. Of course I would never attempt to deny that country music is sometimes basically the Republican Party turned into song lol
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dylancatlow
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3/29/2013 10:39:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Their lyrics serve only to appease people who are already conservatives. I doubt non-conservatives even listen to this lol.
imabench
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3/29/2013 10:42:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Country singers usually have country listeners who tend to be conservatives. The musicians might just be catering to their audiences probable political leanings to boost their own sales.

The music doesnt have a conservative agenda meant to force its views onto others, its more like the music has a conservative taste to appeal better to those who will most likely buy it/listen to it
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BlackVoid
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3/29/2013 4:19:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've never thought of country music that way (rarely listen to it), but it makes sense that it would have a conservative leaning. A lot of coutnry singers are from the south, and the south is predominently conservative. So its not surprising.

Regarding it actually affecting people, the effect seems like it would be minimal. If you were to survey 1000 people who listened to country music and 1000 people that didn't, and kept all other variables constant (and this is key), I have a hard time believing that the former group would display more conservative ideals than the latter. Similarly, if you could create a time machine and prevent country music from ever existing. I doubt the political landscape would be very different.
Subutai
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3/29/2013 9:19:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Obviously, you haven't heard of Merle Haggard, or he'd be the main part of your post...
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