Folk musician Oliver Anthony’s song “Rich Men North of Richmond” took the country by storm. Decrying inflation, welfare abuse, and even Epstein island, the soulful lament rocketed up the charts with enthusiastic help from conservative influencers and their millions of followers.
(Article republished from ConundrumCluster.Substack.com)
And yet, Anthony’s mood towards the conservatives who embraced his music seems to be souring. He released a video where he laid out his thoughts on the growing political controversies surrounding him and his music.
First, he mocked the Republican primary candidates using his song during their disastrous first debate. The song, he said, was about them and others. This hostility is extremely reasonable. Having watched the debate, I completely understand wanting nothing to do with any of those people. However, later video he made a number of claims that are much less reasonable.
It was funny kind of seeing the response to it, like, that song has nothing to do with Brandon. It’s a lot bigger than Brandon. That song was written about the people written on that [debate] stage and a lot more, too, not just them, but definitely them.
If you watch the response videos on Youtube, it’s not conservative people responding to the song. It’s not even necessarily Americans responding to the song. I don’t know that I’ve seen anything get such a positive response from such a diverse group of people, and I think that terrifies the people that I sing about in that song.
Finally, after these statements made headlines, he tweeted:
I. Don’t. Support. Either. Side. Politically. Not the left, not the right. Im about supporting people and restoring local communities. Now, go breath some fresh air and relax. Please? 🙂 I’m not worth obsessing over, I promise. Go spend time with your loved ones.
I’m sorry, guys. This fucking sucks. Anthony is making $40,000 a day off his music. It’s really not hard to just admit that it’s overwhelmingly conservatives who are listening to it and that it was written with conservatives in mind. His song mentions things that only conservatives care about. It’s almost a laundry list of topics that specifically pander to conservatives. Liberals are overtly hostile to him (though perhaps they’ll be less so in the future) and are calling him an antisemite fascist whatever. They’re running television panels telling people to not listen to the song.
I don’t know if Anthony is actually in denial over this. It’s just too dumb. Yes, of course a song that mentions inflation is about current Present Brandon more so than it is about the useless clowns (most of whom haven’t been in office for years) who were on the Republican primary debate stage. I think, more likely, he just doesn’t want to be associated with the taboos (and obnoxious people) that follow anything tied with conservatism these days.
He said in a previous video that his politics were “pretty dead center” and that both sides “serve the same master,” which is fine, I guess, but this sort of lazy centrism ignores the fact that there really are sides in America. There’s one side in power now, they’ve made everything worse (including the issues he mentions in the song). The other side was in power in recent memory and conditions were much better.
It really is fucking stupid at this point to say that they’re the same. Trump dramatically reduced immigration. Brandon has allowed 8 million new illegal immigrants (along with who knows how many legal immigrants) in just 2 years. One side wants to ban irreversible surgeries on children spurred by a social fad, another side thinks that the government should take you kids away if you oppose these procedures. There was a period in recent memory when one side was proposing that you shouldn’t be able to go in public places (and perhaps should be arrested) if you weren’t willing to get the latest vaccines shit out by our scientific community with no long-term testing. For several months one side conducted multi-state rioting that did billions in damages and led to dozens of deaths.
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