Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Why Must They Do It?

I desperately try to stay clear of political debates on social media. And like everyone else, I’m not always good at it. I get irked because conservatives call me a liberal snowflake and the liberals call me a bullheaded conservative. I’m a Libertarian. There is a distinct difference.

I think that I’ve written about it before… I became aware of the Libertarian Party during the 1980 Presidential election. Ed Clark was the Libertarian candidate. And in Mr. Newell’s Social Studies course in 8th grade, we were required to keep track of the election as part of our grades. We would have discussions in class about it. Everyone chose to side with either the Democrats or Republicans except for me. I was the only one that “played both sides” of the fence depending on the subject at hand. When Mr. Newell asked me which party I most identified with I proudly sided with the Libertarians. When I was asked why I said, “Because they seem the most American to me. They’re capitalists. They don’t care for socialism whether it’s welfare or social security. And they don’t try to shove their religious beliefs on every citizen in the country. They’re for freedom. And I think that’s what America should be about.”

There was a time not that long ago that political differences weren’t so cut throat. But I think social media has really brought the rabid bulldogs out of just about everyone. No one can state an opinion or belief without being ridiculed, called names, or blocked. And that bugs me because I like discussions. I’m able to see wiggle room for just about any political subject. I try not to sit upon the high horse of my opinion in order to tell folks that they’re stupid for not believing what I happen to believe.

But the BIGGEST thing that I hate… Entertainers using their stage to promote their political beliefs. I despise it. I’ve heard Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Ted Nugent pontificate on and on about their certain affiliations. I would silently wait until they were done after they waste a few minutes preaching to everyone that has already chosen a side.

Admit it… We have all chosen a side. Who is going to be swayed by someone on social media, an actor, or god forbid, a rock star?

Some friends of mine went to see Rod Stewart with Cyndi Lauper recently. It was a show they were looking forward to seeing. And they had a great time until Lauper started pontificating on the liberal side of things. Of course, within any multitude, you’re going to have someone of opposition in attendance. The Trump supporter didn’t care about what she had to say and let everyone within earshot know about their displeasure concerning her opinion. And without meaning to, Lauper put an unpleasantness in the concert experience for my friends.

Yes, the Trump supporter could have been cool about it. Just let it go by without being a jerk to everyone else around. Let Lauper have her stage to pontificate on how everyone should think and how they should vote. I’ve let disagreeable opinions slide by me a few times without shouting at a performer. It’s rather easy to ignore things that I don’t agree with. Hell, I’m able to ignore ‘America’s Got Talent’ even while I’m confronted with it in our own home. I’ve been able to laugh at Ted Nugent’s asinine over-the-top comments from the stage many times. It's easier than most can imagine.

I still love my Young, my Springsteen, my Waters, my Nugent, and my Mustaine. I still dig the music even though I cannot agree with all their opinions. Musical performers are the worst about it. They take valuable minutes spouting out their beliefs as if they want us to be as smart as they are. After all, they’re famous. They know so much more than we do… The poor folks that spend our hard-earned money to see them perform songs with their political messages of hope.

Jesus Chrysler Dodge.

Just keep it off the stage, please. Save it for interviews. Your social media page. Your Twitter rants. You don’t see Meryl Streep breaking down the fourth wall during a film to tell us how to think politically. They’re getting paid to act. Singers get paid to sing, so sing. Why don’t you play an extra song instead of trying to convince to join your political affiliation?

No, you have to feel self-important and put it out there. It doesn’t matter if someone in the crowd doesn’t agree with you and they’re able to make the rest of your performance miserable for your fans that paid to see and hear you sing. No, your fans are entitled to hear your opinions and some jerk-face in the crowd heckle you for the rest of the evening.

I know that it won’t change, but that’s my opinion on the matter.

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