BY ROLLING STONE
The horrors of 9/11, understandably enough, unleashed a tidal wave.
In Toby Keith’s arena-shaker of an anthem, which envisions the Statue of Liberty herself ready to step into the ring, he sings “We’ll put a boot in your ass/It’s the American way,” and who could disagree?
Toby Keith, ‘Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)’, 2002
The Most Conservative Country Music Songs of All Time
EVEN ACROSS THE whole history of the genre, unabashedly conservative country songs are harder to find than non-fans might think. Nashville’s prevailing ethos has always been far more focused on entertainment than on stirring up trouble on sensitive issues, even from a side many core listeners might find sympathetic.
But at least since our culture war found its current form during the Vietnam years, twang-infused songs that take up right-wing arguments keep popping up — most recently in the form of Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” and Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond.”
(The latter song is a complicated case, since its own creator doesn’t see it as conservative — but many of its most vocal initial fans did.)
In the wake of those two songs topping the charts, here’s our look at the most conservative country tunes of all time.
(And yes, there are also plenty of progressive-leaning country songs, too, from Maren Morris’ “Better Than We Found It” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” to almost anything by Jason Isbell.)
Merle Haggard, ‘Okie From Muskogee’, 1969
Ever since the world first heard one of the most unforgettable opening lines ever — “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee” — both sides of the aisle have fought over the ever-shifting and infamously cryptic intent behind Merle Haggard’s biggest hit: Bob Dylan insisted it was satire; Richard Nixon adapted the song as a straightforward silent-majority anthem; Merle himself could disown his signature song in one line onstage, and defend it in the next.
But what’s clear is the cultural impact this Number One country hit has had in the 50-plus years since it was released:
“A single, ideologically loaded shotgun blast of what, from here in the 21st century, we recognize as an early rehearsal of identity politiColin Kapernickcs,” as Rolling Stone contributor David Cantwell wrote in his book on the singer, “one early return of fire in what we now term the culture war.” Whatever Haggard was thinking when he wrote it, it’s still a fantastic song, and all the more enjoyable if you’re aware just how much weed its author went on to smoke. —J.B.
Colin Kaepernick Hates America
Privileged SJW denounces Fourth Of July as a ‘celebration of white supremacy’
Except from a piece that appeared in The American Conservative in 2020 by Rod Dreher, one of our favorite writers ever. – HEADLINE HEALTH
Well, okay then, you multimillionaire ingrate. For all its faults, this country has made you richer and freer than anywhere else on earth.
Let’s remember this from a couple of weeks back:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is encouraging a team to sign free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision,” Goodell told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg on a special edition of “SportsCenter” on Monday. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.”
Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season when he peacefully protested social injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem.
Goodell also expressed his desire for Kaepernick’s participation in the NFL off the field, welcoming his voice on the social issues that plague the country today.
“If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities,” Goodell said. “We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody’s welcome at that table and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around for a long time.
“But I hope we’re at a point now where everybody’s committed to making long-term, sustainable change.”
Go ahead, NFL, embrace this America-hater. I can’t wait to see how that’s going to work out for you …