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Why this fan refuses to listen to the Dixie Chicks from now on

By Paul M. Weyrich
web posted March 17, 2003

I don't follow contemporary music but I have to admit I became a fan of the Dixie Chicks. I liked their sound and you could actually understand what they were singing. Well, no more. In an appearance in London, their leader denounced our President and said they were embarrassed by President George W. Bush because they too were from Texas.

The Dixie ChicksThe Dixie Chicks may be entitled to their opinion, but for them to give aid and comfort to the enemy when we are on the edge of war is just outrageous.

I'll never again listen to their songs. I certainly won't buy their CDs. I hope after this they are relegated to playing at Hank's Bar and Grille in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

I don't know what has happened to the concept that "Politics Stops at the Water's Edge".

I guess there is no loyalty to this country any more.

I made many trips abroad during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. I was interviewed by foreign media. I had profound disagreements with their policies. I was very careful not to let the foreign media take advantage of my views. If ever I was tempted to let the former Soviet Union know what I thought of Bill Clinton it was during one of our major press conferences in Moscow. Despite being pressed, I would not take the bait. I was in Kazakhstan during President Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate. At a press conference I was asked about the trial and declined to comment.

I despised what Clinton did. I thought the impeachment was justified. I thought he should be convicted. I could have said plenty. But I felt it improper to do so.

There is no room for knocking any President of the United States abroad. There is plenty of room for that over here. But if I were the Dixie Chicks I wouldn't go running off at the mouth about President Bush and the war at one of their domestic concerts. Their audience consists of some of the President's strongest supporters. And while they don't take politics all that seriously, I guarantee if the Dixie Chicks spewed forth the venom against the President that they displayed in London at a concert in, say, Memphis, they would be run off the stage.

Performers in years past had views of our presidents and on their policies. They didn't express them unless they were doing so in a humorous mode. Bob Hope took some digs at FDR and Harry Truman, but they were funny to the point that even the supporters of those presidents could laugh. If you are wondering how I know that it is because I collect old time radio shows.

I fail to understand what makes uneducated and uninformed performers think they can go outside of this country and make stupid and insulting remarks about our president. With more than 250,000 troops deployed in and around Iraq did it occur to these brazen performers that they might be doing harm to our brave men and women in uniform? No doubt the Dixie Chicks had a lot of fans among the armed forces. They are lucky that news is scarce among the troops and most likely they won't find out about what was said. If they do, it will be all over for that little group.

I would not be surprised if their popularity takes a mighty tumble anyway, and if it does then it will serve them right. Perhaps if that does happen it will be a lesson to others. No matter what your views, when you go abroad, keep your mouth shut. Of course, it takes a thinking person to understand such a concept. Perhaps that is asking too much of people who seem to lack brains.

Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.

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