A Dove with Claws

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Rosanne Cash gets hate mail:

Compounding the problem was her public opposition to the war in Iraq, which angered many of her father's admirers. "I got so much hate mail," Cash says. "Invariably, they would say, 'Your father's a real American, and you should go sleep with Sadaam.'" Ironically, Johnny Cash himself was adamantly against the war. "It broke his heart, it really did," she asserts, claiming that her father was "addicted" to war coverage on CNN during his last months. "We talked about it in every single conversation we had," she says. "He was almost a Quaker in his pacifism. He thought there was never a reason for war—and he had felt that way, he told me, since the Vietnam War."

More on Cash Sr. and Vietnam here. More on the politics of country music here. Lyrics to "Singin' in Vietnam Talkin' Blues" here.

[Via Norman Singleton.]

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  1. I’m not a particular Johnny Cash fan and I honestly never thought about Cash’s position regarding the war on Iraq, but if someone had stopped me on the street and asked, I would have said, “Based on what I know about Johnny Cash’s personal philosophy and political views, I would assume he’d oppose it.” I can’t figure out how someone who ever paid attention to his music could have reached another conclusion.

  2. I’m sure these brainless red-staters can’t figure out this Willie Nelson thing. The guy loves weed? But..but.. he’s a patriot!

  3. And once again why should I pay attention to what Johnny Cash, Roseanne Cash or any artist feels about foreign or domestic policy?

    There were (and are) principled positions against war in Viet Nam. (and Iraq)

    But categorical opposition to war, i.e., Quaker style pacifism is noble and naive and/or ignorant to the realities of human nature.

  4. I base all of my personal beliefs on what famous musicians think.

  5. Our shallow culture worships entertainers and other celebrities.
    Thank you H&R for feeding us.

  6. We should just have a celebrity death match between Toby Keith and Steve Earle to settle the issue.

  7. Funny how people don’t care about what other people think.

    Nothing like closed-mindedness to continue America’s slide into Third-Worldom.

    JMJ

  8. Funny how people don’t care about what other people think.

    Evidently, a lot of people care what Rosanne Cash thinks.

  9. “I’m sure these brainless red-staters can’t figure out this Willie Nelson thing. The guy loves weed? But..but.. he’s a patriot!”

    I hate to break it to you mr nice guy, but the red states are as awash in weed as the rest of the country. Many of my Republican friends smoke it.

  10. MNG: “brainless red-staters”??? Its a close race between the reds and the blues on brainlessness.
    I think the following describes Willie’s feelings about Iraq…to the degree it even matters.
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Music/01/01/music.nelson.reut/
    Willie is the only one who is in the same leaque as JC in terms of the universal appeal, breadth of music, and beauty of their talent.

  11. People who allow themselves to be divided into “red state” groups and “blue state” groups are equally brainless.

    And yeah, I do share some personal beliefs with musicians. Frank Zappa comes to mind. Here is his appearance on Crossfire, which is absolutely priceless:

    http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2658805?htv=12

  12. “He thought there was never a reason for war — and he had felt that way, he told me, since the Vietnam War.”

    Did he mean that every war since Vietnam had no (viable) reason? or since the 60s, he felt there was never a reason for any war.

    If it’s the former, he needs to learn a little more history. Only 2 US wars ever really had a “reason”.

  13. “Funny how people don’t care about what other people think.”

    “Nothing like closed-mindedness to continue America’s slide into Third-Worldom.”

    Aw, come on now, don’t get all in a funk just because I don’t care what you think. It’s not that big of a deal.

  14. Is this the same Johnny Cash who used to act tough and pretend he was an ex-con for street cred? Even though he eventually did do some jail time, that sounds like pure Quaker behavior to me.

  15. I base all of my personal beliefs on what the daughters of famous musicians think. The musicians themselves, I completely ignore.

  16. Cash was always patriotic so people associated him with being a Republican even though he wasn’t. The liberals are so incessently down on the U.S. that people just assume that anyone who is openly patriotic is a Republican. Stephan Ambrose is another example. Abrose was a died in the wool Humphrey liberal. He hated Nixon and was a lifelong Democrat, yet I bet you $100 that if you took a poll most people who know of him and is writing would say he was a Republican.

  17. John,

    Anyone who believes “The liberals are so incessently down on the U.S.” needs to turn off the Fox “news” and grow a friggin’ brain.

    JMJ

  18. John DeWitt:

    So you’re a Nancy Sinatra man. Fabulous!

  19. I can see where people would get confused about JC:

    I work hard and I fight hard for the old Red, White, and Blue
    And I’ll die a whole lot harder if it comes to where I have to
    I’m a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam
    A rough riding fighting Yankee man

    And when I see old Glory waving
    I think of all the brave men who have fought and died for what is right and wrong
    And when I see old Glory burnin, my blood begins to churnin
    And I could do some fightin’ of my own

  20. When I was reading this comment section, it occured to me that the discussion at Reason used to be different. Just to make sure, I went back to a year ago in the archives. Even with Ward Churchill and Teri Schiavo as topics the level of discourse was higher than now. Every comments section devolves to name calling within three posts now, brilliant.

  21. Wingnutx: Cash might be anti-war but I don’t think he ever foreswore punching a man in the jaw.

  22. Not to mention that guy in Reno.

  23. “We should just have a celebrity death match between Toby Keith and Steve Earle to settle the issue.”

    Earle would grind Keith up and snort him.

  24. Finally something I can get behind: a death match between two musicians I can’t stand (Earle & Keith).

  25. Not to mention that guy in Reno.

    Ya know, though? If he “shot a man in Reno, just ta watch him die” why did he end up in Folsom Prison?

  26. Geez, Isaac, “Folsom Prison Blues” was just a song, dummy!

    Ya believe this guy?

  27. People should care what Cash would have to say because he embodies America. He went from poverty to superstardom through talent and hard work. He had his bumps along the way – addiction, crime, adultery, insignificance – and he battled through it all. He went out on top. He lived through pretty much everything that a person can live through and was open and honest about it. He’s a microcosm for a very big place and a whole bunch of people.

  28. The liberals are so incessently down on the U.S….

    How do you define “down on?” Do you mean they disagree with government policies? (I agree with Jefferson regarding dissent.) Or do liberals hate freedom? What exactly? Did you type before you thought? It happens to me, too, sometimes.

  29. Have ya’lls heard the NIN song that Johnny Cash sings? It is awesome.

  30. Mr. Nice Guy,

    Care to give me a summary of what is on the website you reference? The site is forbidden to me.

  31. Les & JMJ,
    I get the feelings that he liberals are so incessently down on the U.S. also.

    I could not be understanding them, I guess. It could be that they are criticizing to make us better, I don’t know. I watch news cast after news cast where they apear gleefull of any failur of our troops. Newscast after newscast of how bad we are, and mistakes that we make.

    And there is some stuff that they wont say except when they slip up, and when they don’t I could be mistaken in what I think they are really about.

    Did you ever see that cartoon where the guy was watching tv and the voice said

    “the infidel shall be driven from Iraq and slaughtered like the criminals that they are”

    And the wife asks if the dude is watching Al Jazeera, and the guy says “no, it is a Ted Kennedy speach”?

  32. I watch news cast after news cast where they apear gleefull of any failur of our troops.

    I think you should provide a link where a reporter is appearing gleeful while reporting bad news from Iraq. My first instinct is that that’s hyperbolic nonsense, but I could be wrong.

    And if you define “down on the U.S.” as hoping we fail in Iraq or thinking the U.S. is the worst country in the world, you’re talking about a tiny, negligible fraction of liberals (just as a tiny, negligible fraction of conservatives are actually racist fundamentalists, as they’re painted by people on the left who share your emotional take on the other side). Most liberals love the U.S. as much as most conservatives and they criticize U.S. policies no more or less than most conservatives (do conservatives who claim that the U.S. allows millions of murders in the form of abortions hate America?).

    I think it can be reasonably argued that as Americans, it’s our responsibility to be critical of our government’s policies, foreign and domestic. My harsh criticisms of U.S. policies stem from my love of the U.S. and its Constitution. I think the reflexive condemnation of criticism of what our government does with our tax dollars is more un-American than the criticism itself.

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