On the day after Sen. Ted Cruz formally announced his presidential candidacy last week, he made these peculiar remarks in an interview on CBS:


I grew up listening to classic rock, and Iíll tell you sort of an odd story: My music taste changed on 9/11. And itís very strange. I actually intellectually find this very curious. But on 9/11, I didnít like how rock music responded. And country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me. And I have to say, it just is a gut-level. I had an emotional reaction that says, these are my people. So ever since 2001, I listen to country music.

Those sentiments represent, of course, simple-minded pandering to the country-music crowd, as if those folks are more patriotic than rock-music fans. It ignores the fact that millions of Americans enjoy both genres of music — not to mention the fact that more than a few popular rockers have written and recorded country-flavored songs themselves.

More to the point, however, is the fact that scores of famous rockers nobly responded to the attacks of Sept. 11 with appearances at prominent fundraisers, including the telethon “America: A Tribute To Heroes” and “The Concert for New York City.”

The rock artists at these events included Bruce Springsteen, U2, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, the Who, Elton John, David Bowie and Eric Clapton.

Bruce Springsteen sang “My City of Ruins.” Neil Young sang “Let’s Roll,” which was inspired from a call to action aboard the ill-fated Flight 93. Paul McCartney sang “Freedom.”

I’m guessing that Ted Cruz especially enjoyed the more jingoistic “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (the Angry American),” in which country singer Toby Keith offered lyrics like these: ďYouíll be sorry that you messed with the US of A, ícause weíll put a boot in your ass, itís the American way.Ē But that song didn’t make country-music people any more patriotic than their rock-music counterparts.

But I suspect that the real subtext of Cruz’s remarks is the thought that fans of country music represent a pseudo-patriotic monolith whose political strings he can pull with stupid remarks.




 







On the day after Sen. Ted Cruz formally announced his presidential candidacy last week, he made these peculiar remarks in an interview on CBS:

I grew up listening to classic rock, and Iíll tell you sort of an odd story: My music taste changed on 9/11. And itís very strange. I actually intellectually find this very curious. But on 9/11, I didnít like how rock music responded. And country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me. And I have to say, it just is a gut-level. I had an emotional reaction that says, these are my people. So ever since 2001, I listen to country music. Those sentiments represent, of course, simple-minded pandering to the country-music crowd, as if those folks are more patriotic than rock-music fans. It ignores the fact that millions of Americans enjoy both genres of music — not to mention the fact that more than a few popular rockers have written and recorded country-flavored songs themselves. More to the point, however, is the fact that scores of famous rockers nobly responded to the attacks of Sept. 11 with appearances at prominent fundraisers, including the telethon “America: A Tribute To Heroes” and “The Concert for New York City.” The rock artists at these events included Bruce Springsteen, U2, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, the Who, Elton John, David Bowie and Eric Clapton. Bruce Springsteen sang “My City of Ruins.” Neil Young sang “Let’s Roll,” which was inspired from a call to action aboard the ill-fated Flight 93. Paul McCartney sang “Freedom.” I’m guessing that Ted Cruz especially enjoyed the more jingoistic “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (the Angry American),” in which country singer Toby Keith offered lyrics like these: ďYouíll be sorry that you messed with the US of A, ícause weíll put a boot in your ass, itís the American way.Ē But that song didn’t make country-music people any more patriotic than their rock-music counterparts. But I suspect that the real subtext of Cruz’s remarks is the thought that fans of country music represent a pseudo-patriotic monolith whose political strings he can pull with stupid remarks.