Thank God for Ted Nugent. Seriously. The guy is a true patriot, and he has strong notions about America and what makes her great, which he lays out in his new(ish) book Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto (Regnery Publishing). By articulating his proudly conservative beliefs, he has done a great service to all patriots, no matter what their political persuasion. This is a book that everyone who loves America needs to read — even liberals. Especially liberals.
Because Ted Nugent is a brave man. Ted says exactly what’s on his mind, and that takes courage. Conservative commentators are often taken to task for substituting canned talking points for critical thought. Well, I’m here to tell you, people: Ted Nugent is not using anything as a substitute for critical thought. When he trots out a well-worn anecdote or turn of phrase — spotted owls, “take the next boat to Cuba,” welfare = racism, love it or leave it, “more guns equal less crime,” and on and on — he leaves no box unchecked, and he’s 100 percent sincere about all of it.
That takes guts, friends. The traditional role of the press, it has been said, is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable — a transparent socialist redistribution scheme. Plenty of conservative commentators have dared to comfort the comfortable — lauding as “visionary” financial practices that in an earlier age would have been derided as banditry, for example — but it takes a pundit of Ted Nugent’s character and courage to go the extra mile and actually afflict the afflicted. A lesser millionaire rock star might think that his relative wealth and privilege might disqualify him from lecturing the poor and downtrodden, but Ted knows better. At every turn, he puts the so-called “disadvantaged” on notice.
Can’t find a job? It’s your own damned fault. You’re part of a “subhuman underclass of underachievers.” Welfare, says Ted, “is for liars and people too lazy to work.” Are you an African-American living in poverty? Quit blaming The Man: “[I]nstitutional racism is a dead, rotting corpse and has been for sometime [sic],” says Ted. “Both [Jesse] Jackson and [Al] Sharpton know this, but if they publicly admitted it, they would both be unemployed.” (Ted also takes pains to tell us that he is, himself, more authentically Black than either of those frauds.) No molly-coddling here: Ted makes it quite plain that he does not approve of the African-American community’s leadership, its attitudes towards assimilation and education, the way Blacks spend their money, or their sexual mores. (He neglects to single out their big pants and crazy hippity-hop music, but this was doubtless mere editorial oversight.)
Yes, Ted Nugent is a true American patriot, speaking truth to powerlessness. And more than that: Ted’s courage allows his Truth to run free, unconstrained by consistency. If a train of thought is heading towards an uncomfortable destination, the Nuge has no qualms about leaping off — even if it means landing rough in the weeds.
Take environmental issues, for example. Ted’s a hunter, of course, and this leads him quite naturally to conservationism; with his own hands he has planted thousands of trees, helping to preserve a healthy ecosystem in which wildlife can thrive, and his wild-foods lifestyle is a lot more sustainable than industrial agriculture. He genuinely cares about the Earth, and tries to live lightly on it. So you’d figure he’d be concerned about man-made global warming, right?
Oh, you foolish dupe of the left-wing media! Ted is quick to assure you that global warming is a hoax, a sham, and all the so-called scientific “evidence” is merely a plot to undermine the great U.S. economy, envy of all nations! If you think otherwise, you’re worse than a Nazi — supporters of the Kyoto Protocols are “pro-Goebbels, goose-stepping Global Warming Goons,” or “the Environmental Brownshirt Brigades.” Besides, what’s so bad about a warmer world anyway? Less Arctic ice means more polar bears for Ted to shoot with his bow. Talk about having your cake and eating it, too! (Although Ted would never eat a cake, unless he killed it himself.)
Again and again, Uncle Ted shows that he has no terror of self-contradiction. In a chapter entitled “We Know,” he makes a list of self-evident truths, he says “We know that child predators should be put to death” — and then, on the same page, asserts that “the feds should have kept their noses out of the Branch Davidians.” He states that cultural conservatism is essentially live-and-let-live — “It is we, the conservatives, who are for individual choice,” he says, in a section called “I’m the Friendly, Tolerant Guy” — then proposes expanding the War on Drugs to include the death penalty for narcotics dealers, and proposes prosecuting parents for child neglect if their kids are overweight or smell bad. (Ted identifies B.O. as one of the great scourges of American society.)
Elsewhere, Ted rightly heaps praise on our soldiers, cops, and fire fighters, lauding them for their discipline, dedication, and efficiency — notwithstanding that they are arms of government, which is, in the Nuge worldview, the font of all waste and inefficiency, and all of whose agencies and programs must be regarded with suspicion. A self-consistent, coherent worldview — that’s a crutch for weak liberal minds. Only weenies with no sense of adventure would waste precious time and energy trying to reconcile such mutually-exclusive notions. Ted Nugent? He just lives by ‘em, man.
And for that, we owe him our thanks. Three cheers for the Ted, White, and Blue, for laying down in such a clear, concise form the ethos and worldview of the American cultural conservative. And again, thank God for Ted Nugent; if he did not exist, it would be necessary for the progressive movement to invent him.