RANGER AGAINST WAR: Let's get out of Iraq and get back on track <

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Let's get out of Iraq and get back on track

You can't really say a lot of things nowadays or
somebody in a helicopter might come down a rope on you

--Merle Haggard


Our friend Minstrel Boy at Harp and Sword mentioned Merle Haggard in his Friday music list, which reminded me of a recent Washington Post interview with Mr. Haggard (If a song actually had an opinion, that's the first thing they'd throw in the Trash.)

Merle (Oakie from Muskogee) Haggard's politics have undergone a transition to the liberal in recent years. For those who don't know, Merle has had the benefit of seeing life from both the inside of the big house and the outside, so I imagine freedom is a cherished commodity. Below are a few excerpts from the interview:

In the new "What Happened?" you wonder where America went. Any theories?

In the last 10 years, we've lost most of what we claim to be fighting for. We have a police state -- helicopters flying above houses, looking to see if they can see some marijuana. America has gone downhill.

You're not shy about expressing your political opinions, are you?

I should be. I got a family, and there's somebody liable to kill me. But it's still a free country -- to a point. You can't really say a lot of things nowadays or somebody in a helicopter might come down a rope on you.

(T)here are some conditions in the United States that don't resemble Americanism. Where are the people that care about freedom? We're overseas fighting for it and people are giving their life for it when it doesn't even exist here.

The last bit seems especially poignant. He may be an Okie, but he's not dumb.


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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

mighty merle has always been a thinking man. he's right when he said that when he wrote "okie from muskogee" and "fightin' side of me" that he sincerely felt that way. he's pretty much physically incapable of singing something he doesn't believe. but merle is from the california central valley okie stock, by way of the dust bowl and the various diasporas of scots/irish from the appalaichans. he's the natural heir of robert burns with a touch of rob roy.

he's also a hoot and a half to play with.

Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 7:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Lisa said...


I'm beginning to think you know everyone! Well connected, you are. Thanks for sharing this bit about Merles' origins.

Jim said, well, he's old enough that he can say these things. But, he didn't have to.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 9:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

I am glad Merle Haggard is speaking up and out. I always found his views heartfelt and respectable....he is potent reminder that being "conservative" did NOT always mean being a plutocratic, theocratic asshat invested in plundering national coffers in wars for private gain.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 12:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yeah, it's refreshing that some people can think and alter their perceptions and positions.

The key is probably contact with others in the world, outside of one's hermetically-sealed little circle of yes men.

Monday, October 15, 2007 at 12:04:00 PM GMT-5  

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