"People have often been willing to give up personal identity and join into a collective. Historically, that propensity has usually been very bad news. Collectives tend to be mean, to designate official enemies, to be violent, and to discourage creative, rigorous thought. Fascists, communists, religious cults, criminal 'families' — there has been no end to the varieties of human collectives, but it seems to me that these examples have quite a lot in common. I wonder if some aspect of human nature evolved in the context of competing packs. We might be genetically wired to be vulnerable to the lure of the mob." ~ Jaron Lanier
An Open Letter to Hank Williams, Jr.
Column by Mark Davis.
Exclusive to STR
Dear Mr. Williams,
You are the man! Standing up to the corporate media like you did was heroic. I know that heroic is a word that gets way overused these days, but I can’t remember the last time an entertainer stood their ground when assailed by the self-appointed politically correct Gestapo that polices the airwaves. Actually, I can’t remember even one time. Your words have been twisted beyond recognition by clueless talking bobble-heads from coast to coast, yet you have met this heavy barrage of insults with firm responses meant to enlighten them instead of cowering in fear for your career. It also sounds to me like you’ve finally had it with the Republicans, Fox News and that whole cabal of socialist enablers. Way to go, Bocephus!
Telling it like it is, apparently, is no longer allowed in the U. S. S. A., even on so-called conservative media outlets. That experienced, educated journalists don’t understand what an analogy is would be laughable if not so sad. I can’t count the number of media idiots that have said you “compared Obama to Hitler.” When what you were clearly trying to explain was that Republican and Democrat leaders getting all buddy-buddy while playing a rich man’s game at an expensive, exclusive country club was a political disaster waiting to happen for the Republicans. Uh, duh!
Good people are losing their jobs, their homes and their lives primarily due to decisions that politicians have made, yet these supposedly adversarial politicos were out high-fiving each other and yucking it up on a golf course. The Fox and Friends’ hosts obviously expected you to go into a song and dance routine praising Sarah Palin or one of the other Republican lickspittles. But you said you didn’t like any of the Republican candidates, so they turned on you. Instead of playing the game of promoting politics as usual, you gave them a comment with substance. Not only that, you brought up a subject that must not be spoken of: the illusion that Republican and Democrat political leaders are mortal enemies. So the Hitler remark became the focus of the interview and more so in its aftermath.
Funny that. I Googled “Hitler Bush” and 34,700,000 results came up. Further, Hitler has become so commonly used as a foil by people from all walks of life that it amazes me so many in the media went nuts over it. I mean, come on, the Hitler videos on YouTube where he freaks out in his bunker and is dubbed over on subjects ranging from football fans, parking spots, commercials and real estate to Xbox and hundreds of others that have been reported about on Fox News, are mostly funny and certainly popular. If you had made the analogy of Satan playing golf with Jesus, it probably wouldn’t have made a stir; even if some media morons would have cried out about “comparing Obama to Satan.”
Of course, your analogy was meant to provide context for the contrast of political reality with perception, not a personal comparison of anybody to anybody. But I think at least some of the faux outrage over your comment is an attempt by media manipulators to rekindle the hated Hitler foil that has lost its shock value to most people.
Professional politics is like professional wrestling. The angry fighting in front of the cameras is just a show and backstage the wrestlers are all buddies. It’s true that “Politics is show business for ugly people.” And there’s a popular myth that if only the Democrats and Republicans all got along, you know “bi-partisanship,” then the government would just run smooth as silk. The reference you made to that memorable golf game showed that the government already has bi-partisanship in spades. Yet, the reality is that government steamrolls down the same path to more statist tyranny. Lord help you if you get in the way.
One thing that really pisses me off is that you have been ridiculed as a stupid Southern redneck for what was one of the most prescient comments I’ve ever heard on a political news show. Your initial point articulated one of the biggest problems with politics in this country and was certainly insightful. Yet the intellectually challenged hosts were so surprised you didn’t keep to the implied script (and they really didn’t understand the depth of your insight) that you had to try to explain it to them. Their clueless prompting was what led you to then use a colorful analogy to make a valid point and then you tried to move on. But it was “gotcha time.” Then the media feeding frenzy was on and even bigger idiots sitting in their smug studios and offices across the land piled on. The rest is history.
I know that just because you recognize the depth of the corruption inherent in our political system, especially its politicians and kept media whores, it doesn’t mean that you and I see eye to eye on anything else, much less everything, political. In fact, we probably could have some fierce debates on military matters, but I’m guessing that we would agree way more than we disagree on most other subjects. I’m sure that your respect for the working man and love of liberty is as heartfelt and sincere as mine. I respect that position and your intelligence, so I’ve written this letter.
Many conservatives are coming to the realization that the Republicans have played them for fools, and are walking away from a political game that is fixed against the little guy. This corrupt system is in its last days and will collapse before long of its own weight; the country boys I know feel this in their bones. A country boy will not only survive, but flourish in a free society without the top-down central planning machine that enslaves us with its regulations and taxes. I’m guessing that you already read a lot and must look about the vast library available on the Internet. This quest for knowledge can sooth your anger and possibly provide further insights. I hope that your quest will now include visiting Strike The Root and other liberty sites. Maybe it’s time to put more faith in people and less in authority? People seeking power over other people are the real enemy (e.g., “Obama and Biden”), not people seeking liberty.
Society must throw off its political chains to be free, but this is not always so easy to see through the fog of politics. I hope that you will consider some of what I’ve said and will feel welcome here, even if it’s just a stop on your journey. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. It’s the least I can do for one of my rowdy friends.