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They Make Take Our Lives, But They Will Never Take Our Dadrock

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Man, what is with conservative columnists having epiphanies about AMERICA while dragging their kids to museum-of-boomer-rock shows?  First David Brooks tossed his advanced degrees in the gutter in favor the “emotional education” given to him by Bruce Springsteen (yeah, I don’t know what the fuck he was talking about either), and now Big Hollywood’s Joseph F. Connor has learned, with some help from Tom Petty, that everything about America statehood is awesome, except for, you know, the American government, which is evil.

I have never heard Tom Petty talk politics. When it comes to performers, that generally is a good thing.

Connor really hates it when musicians get all political.  That is the WORST.  He’d like to sit at home and vibe on “Soak Up the Sun,” but instead he’s got to listen to all these terrible NUGE records to maintain his pristine conservative earspace.  Now that Connor’s done admonishing artists for having political views and speaking about them, he’s going to spend the next few hundred words straining to read a political message into a Tom Petty song (spoiler: it lines up perfectly with his own ideology!  Who would have thought?):

Last week my wife and I took our kids, 13 and 11, to see Petty and the Heartbreakers…

As the band played “Refugee” I couldn’t help but focus on the audience, including my children, singing in unison “everybody’s got to fight to be free.” Like many Petty lyrics, its a simple, direct, powerful line; easily repeated but probably rarely internalized.

Dude, next time just let little Johnny and Susie go see Soulja Boy like they wanted to.  Or get a sitter and just take your wife; she deserves a night out if she’s dealing with preteens belting out “Refugee” around the house.

We, as Americans, do have to fight to be free.

Who am I supposed to be fighting again?  The British?  The concept of tyranny?  I guess terrorists, maybe, but that’s not something “we, as Americans” all have to deal with.  It’s not like those guys are running up all in my and Joseph F. Connor’s grills, personally, telling us we can’t do stuff.  Just for you, Joseph F. Connor, next time a jihadist comes up to me all, “Hey, dieblucasdie, stop being free,” I’mna punch that guy and sing “You Don’t Know How It Feels” to him.

The upcoming generations need to understand that. Our grandparents had to fight to be free of Nazism. Our parents and my generation (though we can discuss The Who at another time) fought to be free of Soviet style communism.

But for this generation and the at least the next, not only do we have to fight to be free of radical Islam but more insidiously we have to fight to be free from the tyranny of our own federal and even local governments’ designs on our liberty. We, who are parents, have a responsibility to educate our children. Our freedoms are threatened by those within and without.

Oh, I see, it’s my local aldermen I should be punching.  He isn’t clear about which liberties my local government might have “designs” on, so how am I supposed to educate the kids?

We must teach our children about the Declaration, the Constitution, our God given individual rights, the brilliance, morality, sacrifice, and bravery of our forefathers and instill in our kids the motivation to become active participants in guaranteeing their own freedoms. Pink Floyd asked, “Mother, should I trust the government?” The answer is “no.” It is filled with too many people who would gladly step in and decide our freedoms for us.

I’ve often wondered how the paranoid anti-government right manages to reconcile such an intense distrust of American institutions with a stringent, no-caveat dedication to American exceptionalism/American nationalism.  My pet theory has always been, “They just don’t think about both at the same time,” but here’s Connor, disproving it.  For him, hatred of American government isn’t just compatible with true American patriotism, it is American patriotism’s defining feature.  Oh, whatever, let’s just go watch some VH-1 Classics.

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