The 2012 presidential election through a country music fan's eyes

Hank Williams, Jr. at Mystic Lake Casino
Hank Williams, Jr. at Mystic Lake Casino
Photo by Nikki Miller

When it comes to political touchstones, country music is all about po' folks and old time religion, issues that largely resonate with folks no matter where they sit on the political spectrum. As we gear up for the November election, it's important to think about what you support -- not just politically, but musically, as well.

If country music had its own political party, the platform would probably go a little something like this. One, two, three, four.

On the economy: If you've got the money honey, I've got the time. We'll go honky tonkin' and we'll have a time.

On guns: I've got a shotgun a rifle and a four wheel drive and a country boy can survive.

On religion: Gimme that old time religion gimme that old time religion gimme that old time religion, it's good enough for me.

On national security: We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.

On clean, renewable energy: Well I was born a coal miner's daughter, in a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler. We were poor but we had love, that's the one thing that Daddy made sure of. He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar. See also: Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed, poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed. Then one day he was shooting for some food, and up through the ground come a bubbling crude. (Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea).

And on women's issues: Save a horse, ride a cowboy.

But for as populist as the genre may seem, many country musicians have been taking sides in the upcoming election and - no big surprise - many have been siding largely with the folks who advocate for old time religion, but at the same time do whatever they can to make po' folks poorer, ensure Loretta's Coal Miner father (and the whole neighborhood) die coughing up blood from their black lungs, and who help international conglomerates put the likes of Jed Clampett straight outta of business. You can suss out for yourself who that might be. But hey, country folks will be glad to hear no one on that side will try to pry the military-style semi-automatic assault weapons they use what fer huntin' turkeys and whatnot from their cold, dead hands!

Some lowlights:

Country musicians turn out for the RNC
Plenty of musicians are pissed at the GOP for using their music in ads and at rallies, but not to worry - the party still has plenty of support from country. Country rap-rocker Kid Rock, Zac Brown Band, Midnight Cowboy Jon Voight, Sara Evans, Rodney Atkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Oak Ridge Boys were all slated to perform or make appearances at events associated with last week's stormy RNC. The Romney camp has issued no comment on Kid Rock's more colorful lyrics involving pussy and cocaine and titties.

Absent from the festivities? Randy Travis. The fallen country singer was set to play a fundraiser for veterans, but has been cancelling appearances left and right, including his September show at Mystic Lake Casino. You know why.

Hank Williams, Jr. says Obama is a Muslim who loves gays
Does anyone really listen to anything Hank Jr. says, anymore? Dem supporter Alec Baldwin does, and has called Bocephus a "broken-down, senile, racist coot" and offered that "if Hank Williams Jr wasn't such a pathetic, wheezing fossil, I'd have a talk with him." Hank Williams, Jr. is a broken-down, senile, racist, pathetic, wheezing fossil-coot? Isn't that what we're supposed to love about him?!? No? Okay Alec, we concede you've got this one right.

The Rapper for Romney, the Country Singer for Obama
Way back when Bush II was President, the Dixie Chicks caught hell after Lubbock-born singer Natalie Maines told a British audience, "We're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." According to this article, fellow country singer Ronnie Dunn (our amigo!) has broken ranks with country conservatives by supporting Obama, while rapper Nicki Minaj has broken with her hip-hop compatriots by supporting Romney.

Not so fast.

On a mixtape that has her and Li'l Wayne rapping over a Kanye West song, Minaj brags about her vast riches, adding, "I'm a Republican, votin' for Mitt Romney/You lazy bitches is f---in' up the economy." Several fans and fellow musicians have since tweeted that Minaj might be taking artistic license in her claims.

Dunn is reported to have voted for Obama in '08, but check out his Facebook page, and you'll see (amidst plenty of rambling) that he's undecided this go-round. "There is a good chance that I'm going with Romney this time but it's NOT in stone." Vote for Willie, Ronnie, vote for Willie!

This writer's advice for election season? Don't be an f'in idiot. And save a horse, ride a cowboy. Woohoo!

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