The Leaf Chronicle - www.theleafchronicle.com - Clarksville, TN: "While movie stars and rock musicians routinely get bashed for speaking out on political issues, country's conservatives are rarely told to 'shut up and sing' when they spout off. A lot of their political activism takes place below the radar of the 'elite' media. Martina McBride, Sara Evans, LeAnn Rimes, Chely Wright and Darryl Worley have all been friendly guests on Sean Hannity's right-wing radio show, along with the man Hannity calls 'my buddy Charlie Daniels.'
There was a time when Daniels campaigned for Jimmy Carter, but he has little good to say about any Democrat today, unless you still consider Zell Miller a Democrat. Willman notes: 'This is somebody who, in the '70s ... was singing about being stoned in 'Long Haired Country Boy'; by the '90s, with 'In America,' he was advocating the death penalty for drug pushers. Even Zell might find that a little hardcore.'
But few country stars are as blatantly right-wing as Daniels or Hank Williams Jr. Most will say they're neither Democrat or Republican (like Wright), or they'll claim to be a conservative Democrat (like Toby Keith). Yet they only turn out for GOP rallies, they never criticize the Bush administration and they gleefully slam 'liberals,' 'leftists' and 'the Hollywood crowd' in interviews."
This is an excerpt from a review about a new book about politics and country music.
There are a couple of things that should be pointed out.
Charlie's tune may have changed over the last 20 years but that represents personal progress and development. To quote him from his DVD that was recently released, "We live in a free country. I don't expect everybody to agree with me...The one's who don't, that's fine. If we did everything I wanted to do we'd go down the drain but if we did everything they wanted to do we'd go down the drain, too. We're not all right all the time, and we're not all wrong all the time."
Be it noted here, though, that Charlie's usually right.
Another problem with the article or book, or both, is that Charlie didn't originally record the song In America in the '90s, and that song doesn't advocate the death penalty for drug pushers. The song with the line "If I had my way with people selling dope/I'd take a big tall tree and a short piece of rope" was in the song Simple Man from the late 1980s. They got the gist right, but the facts wrong.
Finally, this may seem obvious, but most of rural America is conservative. How does someone like Robert Byrd come from West Virginia and Bill Clinton from Arkansas then? The economy is so poor in both of those states that anyone who can help the poor gets a vote. That doesn't mean these people who elected them are going to necessarily going to support gay marriage, abortion rights and join NOW. They just need a hand up, and the only one offering them something are the pork barrellers.
[For more of Charlie's opinion visit his site, and for more of my own visit my other site.]