By Rachel Birdsell
Remember when the Dixie Chicks’ lead singer, Natalie Maine, told a London audience, “We’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas”? Remember how Republicans across the country lost their collective minds about it? Radio stations refused to play their music. Right-wing pundits on Fox News ripped them new ones. Christian protesters held up signs letting us know that the Dixie Chicks were going to H-E-double hockey sticks. Rallies were held for the sole purpose of burning the group’s CD’s. George Bush supporters were enraged by a single, nonviolent comment.
Another musician, albeit one that isn’t as popular as the Dixie Chicks were in their time, recently made a comment about President Barack Obama. During a concert in Singapore, Dave Mustaine, lead singer of Megadeth said, “Back in my country, my president is trying to pass a gun ban so he’s staging all of these murders. The ‘Fast and Furious’ thing down at the border. And Aurora, Colo., all the people that were killed there. And now, the beautiful people at the Sikh temple.”
I’m not sure what leads a person to surmise that the leader of their country is planning murders in order to pass a gun ban. In this case, it would mean that President Obama is a thoroughly evil man, and from everything I’ve seen, he is nowhere near evil. I also haven’t heard of President Obama calling for a ban on guns. In fact, I don’t think he’s talking enough about any kind of gun control. The only conclusions I can come to is that Dave Mustaine is either clamoring for attention or he’s nuttier than squirrel poop.
Oddly enough, while Republicans fumed about the Dixie Chicks, the silence with regard to Dave Mustaine is deafening. So, Republicans, where is your rage when a person has the cojones to say that our president is plotting mass killings? If someone would have said that about Bush, no matter their popularity, the steam coming out of your ears would have been enough to fuel a freight train from Schenectady to San Jose and back again. Shouldn’t there be at least a little outrage over this from the right side of the aisle? Are any of you going to speak out about what Mustaine said or will Megadeth be the background music played at the Republican National Convention?
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Republicans are silent about Mustaine’s musings. Another washed up musician, Ted Nugent displayed his penchant for violence earlier this year when he said, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Instead of being infuriated, Republicans have made Teddy a Tea Party god.
We should be able to voice our disagreement with our government. That’s what the lovely First Amendment is for. If you want to take issue with a political policy, knock yourself out. Carry protest signs, hold rallies, write blogs, petition and scream until you’re heard. Pound on your chest and show some passion in your protest. However, don’t be so passionate that you lose your grasp on any good judgment you may have had. I think disagreement and debate is necessary for politics, but we have to be honest and at least somewhat civil. Whenever you catch someone lying or resorting to violent speech, please check them on it, and especially so when it’s a has-been from an ‘80s hair band. Because, honestly, we don’t need the ugly rhetoric and we definitely don’t need the ugly reminder that bands like Megadeth are still on the scene.
Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.