I subscribe to a number of right wing newsletters and email lists using a throwaway email account, so that I can keep up with their shenanigans and talk about it once in a while. And it seems like every quarter or so, one of these “causes” touts the “wisdom” of right wing “demi-god” Ted Nugent as a fundraising tool. (And I use the word “tool” advisedly here). Apparently, Nugent is among the best fundraisers they have, despite the inherent hypocrisy of using such people to promote an ideology that throws around the term “family values” as much as they do.
Ted Nugent is one of the greatest bullshit artists of all time, and he is paying his bills by preying upon the far right idiot horde, currently known as the Republican Party. To hear them tell it, Nugent was once a rock and roll icon. You’d think he was a masterful guitarist with a huge following, rather than the mediocre talent with a big mouth that he actually was. He’s released more than 30 albums, and only two sold more than one million copies, including one with a group called Damn Yankees, whose biggest draw was Styx lead singer Tommy Shaw.
As a guitarist, he’s considered average, which is strange given that he claims to have performed more than 6,000 concerts over the 55-year professional career he claims to have had. Of course, since he’s only 64, and it’s unlikely he goes back that far, so like everything else, that claim is bullshit, too. He actual career started in 1967. Nugent is like Kim Kardashian; he’s great at attracting attention. However, unlike Kim, he claims to have talent he doesn’t actually have.
Nugent makes a great Republican spokesmodel because he’s a master bullshit artist. Take a look at the following, which is a description of a book he wrote back in 2009, and which was used to raise money for right wing political groups:
Now comes the Motor-City Madman’s wildest, most politically incorrect book yet. In Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto, “The Nuge” lays out his plan for defending red-blooded, full-throated Americanism against pantywaist politicians, nanny-state judges, and tofu-eating Obamamaniacs — calling on readers to “Roll up your damn sleeves, sharpen your crowbars, and think hardcore.”
In modern Republican-speak, being “politically incorrect” is actually code for “I’m going to say nasty things about brown people and gays, but don’t call me a bigot.” For the most part, the “political incorrectness” movement trend only applies to a small portion of “stick up the ass liberals” and is exaggerated by the far right to give them cover for being racist. When someone like Nugent is being “politically incorrect,” he’s going to say something mean and hurtful, something untrue, or both. Nugent’s entire “conservative” viewpoint is actually a parody of the right wing’s viewpoint on everything, although I’m not sure whether it’s intentional or not.
If you really look at it, Nugent’s “conservative” viewpoint is actually a parody of the Republican viewpoint on everything. He can’t possibly believe his own bullshit; he has to be saying what he does for effect. He claims to be virulently anti-drug and anti-alcohol abuse, but he continues to do concerts for crowds full of high or drunk crowds of “men” whose adolescence is in permanent arrest. While he claims to be an avid hunter and conservationist, he runs a “canned” hunting facility and charges exhorbitant fees for killing trapped animals. Like I said, he’s a bullshit artist. Real hunters understand the value of controlled and limited hunting; canned hunting is not something most support. Dick Cheney goes on canned hunts; what does that tell you?
Nugent also represents a sterling example why we have to stop calling people like this “consevative.” There is nothing “conservative” about Nugent or the people like him. No true conservative would call for the “clubbing” of an animal rights activist on the radio. Nor would a true conservative threaten presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama by demanding they “suck on his machine gun,” as Nugent did in 2008. He’s subsequently threatened the President of the United States with violence repeatedly, among many politicians with whom he disagrees. No true conservative would ever say, “Our failure (in Iraq) has been not to Nagasaki them,” as Nugent did back in 2009.
Ted Nugent is no conservative. People like him use the word to give themselves credibility, and too many liberals and others are willing to grant them that. But these folks are actually radical right wing extremists. And they will always lie to make you believe what they want you to believe. For example, when this second-rate guitarist talks about the military in glowing terms, it helps to remember that he and many of his right wing brethren did everything they could to make sure their own asses didn’t get shot off in Vietnam. In fact, Nugent went farther than most to avoid doing his duty. It’s hard to know how he did it, exactly, but there are two stories about what he did, both of them told by him. That’s the thing about bullshit artists; their stories always vary.
In an interview with High Times magazine in 1977, he told one story;
“I got 30 days’ notice of the physical (and) I ceased cleansing my body. Two weeks before the test I stopped eating food with nutritional value. A week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. My pants got crusted up.”
The first question is, why would someone who’s been “anti-drug” since the 60s give an interview to High Times in the first place? However, years later, Nugent used a second story to explain this away; a story that was more in line with what the far right who adores him think he should believe is true. Seriously, read this and laugh. It’s from a story in the UK Independent:
“You’ve got to realize that these interviewers would arrive with glazed eyes and I would make stories up.” He explained that he did not go to Vietnam because he had a 1 year student deferment. When questioned, he admitted that he had “not wanted to get his ass blown off in Vietnam,” but made note of a tour he made with the USO in 2004 to Fallujah and Afghanistan as support of his assertion that “I am not a coward.” He also said that “Because I failed to serve in Vietnam, I feel an obligation now to do everything I can to support those defending our freedom. Do I feel guilt and embarrassment? Yes.”
Pure bullshit. If he did feel guilt and embarrassment, he would have just done the shows and not patted himself on the back for being “brave.” He would have also complained about the fact that our soldiers were in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place. If he actually supported the troops and felt bad about what he’d done, he’d have been disgusted by Bush and would have said so. Doing a few USO shows doesn’t give anyone the moral high ground unless you’re also working to bring the troops home.
Of course, that wouldn’t fit in with the phony persona he’s created for himself to fleece the right wing horde. While he’s in favor of his view of Second Amendment gun ownership rights, he demonstrates no tolerance for any of the other rights mentioned in the Constitution, and he prefers to denigrate anyone who doesn’t agree with his extremist views. That, along with his penchant for “canned hunts” makes it impossible to take him seriously as a gun advocate. True conservative gun rights advocates understand why gun controls, such as registration and licensing, are useful tools to enhance gun rights for owners, rather than insidious tools for government confiscation of guns. But Nugent speaks of gun ownership and hunting in near-religious tones.
Nugent has been divorced, has more children than he acknowledges and more than he takes care of. He claims to admire “the troops,” but he apparently shit himself to get out of Vietnam. He publicly ridicules and occasionally calls for the death of, anyone who doesn’t share his extremist views. In short, he’s a walking, talking far right cartoon. And that makes him the perfect icon for the modern Republican Party, who only exist to fleece the “true believers” they count on as their “base.” He and the GOP live to make tons of money off ignorant morons.
The more publicity we give people like this, the more excited the Republican faithful become, and the harder we have to work to get competent people elected. So, let’s concentrate on our own agenda, and stop playing to theirs.