Thursday, June 14, 2012

Number 7

An Open Letter to "The Nuge"

Dear Ted,

I've thought it over and I'll not be attending your concert this evening.  It's true that Mankato doesn't get a lot of rock n' roll artists to stop here while on tour, and I genuinely like many of your songs, so I really did consider showing up.  Whether or not your interested in the reason why, I thought I'd tell you anyway.

It's not because we disagree politically.  Talk about cutting my nose to spite my face.  If I eschewed all entertainment produced by those with whom I disagree politically, I'd be missing out on Charlton Heston's "get your paws off me, you damn dirty ape" or "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meat Loaf, (among others).  I'm sure some of my more conservative friends just shrug their shoulders when Bruce Springsteen goes on one of his populist rants, thinking "that's the price I pay for coming to his concerts".  The point is, political differences should not keep us for enjoying one another's talents.

So if it's not politics, what's the reason?  The easy answer is civility.  Or rather the lack of it.  I believe the lack of civility demonstrated by our national leaders has become a national crisis.  It's not enough to disagree with one another these days.  Disagreements need to be accompanied with crude epitaphs and gestures, which only serve to harden the hearts of the recipients, which in turn makes necessary compromise even harder to come by.

You don't like President Obama.  That's your right.  But when you state that either "you or he will be dead" if he's re-elected serves no purpose other to inflame an already tenuous political environment in which the most that gets done in a typical day is finger pointing and name calling.  Seriously, it's OK for us to disagree with one another, but could you please use your fame and the accompanying bully pulpit to engender a less combative dialogue?

Until you do, I'll stay away.

Rock on,