“Now this should be a lesson,
If you plan to start a folk group.
Don't go mixin' politics,
With the folk songs of our land.
Just work on harmony and diction,
Play your banjo well.
And if you have political convictions,
Keep 'em to yourself.”
February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003
Country singer John Rich has just informed us Johnny Cash, the legendary Man In Black, would have backed Republican John McCain in his bid for president. In what parallel universe does he imagine Johnny Cash singing harmony to John McCain's Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran?
In an effort to promote his own career by selling John McCain to the American public, Rich told a recent concert crowd:
"Somebody's got to walk the line in the country... They've got to walk it unapologetically. And I'm sure Johnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around."
He then went on to sing the lines from Johnny Cash's hit song, "I Walk the Line" totally unaware the Man In Black also sang about the "thousands” who died in a war he abhorred.
"And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believin' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believin' that we all were on their side.”
John Rich also took this opportunity to promote his new John McCain campaign song “Raising McCain,” which is about the years McCain spent as a POW in Vietnam and contains simplistic, easy to sing along good old boy language highlighting an attitude so often seen today among some Republicans when it comes to dissent, "if you don't like it, leave."
“He stayed strong, stayed extra long 'til they let all the other boys out
Now we've got a real man with an American plan,
we're going to put him in the big White House.
We're all just raising McCain
Everywhere across the USA
You can get on the train or get out of the way
We're all just raisin' McCain."
Now we have John McCain's own "I'll follow bin Laden to the Gates Of Hell" rednecked, hell raising line continuing the failed Bush tradition of building up bin Laden into a world class hero for terrorists in order to play macho man rather than treat Laden, as most foreign policy experts advise, like the common criminal he is. Americans have to wonder why McCain wasn't singing this same tune back when our troops had Laden cornered early on at Tora Bora. We have to wonder why McCain gave Bush total support for calling our troops off the hunt and sending them to Iraq rather than allowing them to finish the job at Tora Bora by taking out bin Laden.
Which country singer looking for a boost in the pop charts will provide the tight jeans and music to go along with McCain's new tough talk campaign lyrics? Am sure John Rich will wear his when he visits the Green Zone in Iraq to bring the message of John McCain to our troops. Johnny Cash also visited American troops during wartime. Upon his return from Saigon, he not only spoke out against the war in Vietnam, but recorded “Singing in Vietnam Talking Blues” which talks about his own personal experiences in the war-ravaged country.
"Well now that's about all that there is to tell,
About that little trip into livin' hell.
And if I ever go back over there any more,
I hope there's none of our boys there for me to sing for;
I hope that war is over with,
And they all come back home,
Johnny Cash had this to say about Vietnam:
“As far as the war in Vietnam is concerned,that war just made me sick. I’m not supporting that war or any other war... Maybe Vietnam has taught us a hard lesson to not be involved in foreign wars. Maybe that’s the lesson we’ve learned. I hope we have.”
Shortly before his death and during the lead up to the war against Iraq, Johnny Cash instructed his daughter, Rosanne Cash, to let her concert audiences know of his own opposition to the coming invasion of Iraq by the Bush administration. For her efforts to bring her father's message to the stage, she was bombarded with hate mail from those who, like John Rich, tend to glorify war and even use words of war to tout 'proof' of their own manhood, especially when they are not the ones doing the dying.
Rosanne kept her promise to her father even though, as she put it, “I got so much hate mail.” Hate mail telling her “Your father’s a real American, and you should go sleep with Sadaam" was the norm.