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Wayne Lutz

Mr. Lutz is the editor-in chief of The Tocquevillian magazine. He is also a freelance journalist and editor, and has written extensively on health and fitness topics, and on men's issues.

He is a member of the NRA, the Home School Legal Defense Association, the Heritage Foundation, and Judicial Watch. In his spare time he helps old ladies cross the street and is kind to children and puppies - habits which, admittedly, belie his unusual appearance.

Mr. Lutz is available to conservative organizations for speaking engagements, and may be reached at

    Dixie Defenders of a Ditzie Democracy
    by Wayne Lutz
    October 22, 2003

    I haven't read the book yet I'm embarrassed to say, but just the title of Laura Ingram's latest, "Shut Up and Sing," immediately brings the Dixie Chicks to this censorious, right-wing, reactionary mind. These girls are their own worst enemy, they are, and they would do themselves (and all of us) a world of good if they would just shut up and sing. But no such luck...the Chicks are jawin' again.

    I'm a one-man "chill wind," I know, blowing a dark and dastardly fog of fascist censorship across this great land by daring to suggest that the Dixie Chicks don't have the right to flap their gums.

    I'm suggesting no such thing, of course, nor is anyone else. One of the wonderful things about this country of ours is the freedom that her citizens have to make fools of themselves. If Americans were anywhere near as "intolerant" of "dissent" as the leftists make us out to be, Al Franken would have vanished into a re-education camp years ago, and the New York Times would be a one-page tract issued from some secret underground printing press. As it is, the Chicks keep blubbering, and they do it in front of a much larger audience than that which most idiots enjoy - an unavoidable side effect of celebrity.

    The part of all this that the Chicks and other malcontents just don't get is that their freedom to spout is the same freedom that allows those who disagree with their bleatings to express that disagreement - with their free voices, and in the case of someone with a product or service to sell, with their wallets. It's a simple concept, really. Quintessentially American - not at all hard to understand.

    Not hard to understand, that is, unless you happen to be a spoiled, pouting Chick from Dixie. Or a Hollyweird actor who suddenly finds himself a liability to movie producers. Or an organization with a leftist, anti-American agenda - an organization like, oh, I don't know...the People for the American Way.

    The response of the American public in general and the American consumer in particular to the Dixie Chicks was entirely predictable, if any one of them had just taken a moment to think before spouting off. The Chicks' audience are country music fans, for crying out loud. It would be hard to imagine a class of folks who could be better characterized as no-nonsense patriots. Actions have consequences, and the consequence of making anti-Bush remarks on foreign soil is outrage from a pro-Bush public. This is not rocket science.

    But rather than accepting the consequences of their actions like a grownup might, the Chicks seek solace in victimhood. It's much easier (and more cowardly) to portray one's self as the target of fascist "censorship" than it is to simply stand up for one's beliefs (misguided though they may be) and take the hits as they come. Now, aiding the Chicks in their attempt to paint their blunders as something noble is the grossly misnamed People for the American Way.

    People for the American Way is a radically leftist organization hiding ineffectually behind a pro-American name. On October 14 that organization hosted "The Spirit of Liberty Awards" in Los Angeles, and presented the Dixie Chicks with a "Defenders of Democracy" award. (Another honoree was Ben Affleck, and presenters included Paul Begala, Norman Lear, Harrison Ford and Bill Maher. 'nough said.) In the other-dimensional world of leftist whiners, the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over the predictable negative response to anti-American sentiment is an inherent "defense" of democracy.

    In a further illustration of the Chicks' inability to comprehend the minds of their own audience, rather than distance themselves from an organization whose members wouldn't last two minutes in Toby Keith's Bar, they instead trumpet the "award" on the front page of their website:

    "The Dixie Chicks were awarded the Defenders of Democracy award by the People for the American Way. Way to go Chicks!"

    "Way to go," indeed. Way for country music stars to go straight into the unemployment line.

    Which is just where the Chicks are headed, it seems, unless...unless maybe they can kiss the country scene goodbye and reinvent themselves as...rock stars?

    The October 28 issue of "Country Weekly" tells the sordid tale. It seems that Chick Martie Maguire gave an interview to a German newspaper (what is it with these people and foreign media?) in which she said that the Dixie Chicks now consider themselves "part of the rock 'n' roll family." Makes perfect sense to me. If you disaffect your audience, why, just claim a new (and more liberal) audience! Problem solved!

    Or not. Natalie claims that something was lost in the translation. In fact, she says that what was reported were "things [Martie] absolutely did not say in any shape, form or fashion."

    Well that takes all the fun out of it. (And I'm in no position to verify or refute that claim, since I haven't seen the original German text of the interview - which is a shame since I'm fluent in German and could get to the bottom of it quickly.)

    No matter, the Chicks were so upset over the report that they dispelled any question of their mouthiness by making fools of themselves on their own website, in a long and huffy statement from Natalie. (Natalie was even infantile enough to post a copy of the letter in German, so that "if you don't like what I really said you can just translate it into what suits your agenda." )

    In the shape of petulance, form of pique and fashion of snotty sarcasm, Natalie says that the Chicks don't intend to suddenly turn in to a rock band. Besides, says the injured Chick, they can't "leave" country music, because they've already been kicked out.

    "How can you leave a party now when the hosts had shown you to the door six months ago?"

    Now, Natalie. How can you blame the host for showing you to the door when you've just hurled all over his guests?

    The Chicks' mouthointestinal problems aren't showing signs of improvement, either. Natalie managed to work a couple more slaps at the Bush administration into her tantrum, and even added a shot at Arnold Schwarzenegger, just in case there was still a country mustic fan out there somewhere whom she hadn't yet alienated.

    As the "Country Weekly" article points out, regardless of the public's perception of the Chicks - country, rock or rap, "that may not be as important as radio's reaction to this latest round of mouthing off. Country stations - and their corporate owners - could decide they've had enough of the Chick's chirping. And if country stations back away - again - from the group's music, it could effectively spell the end of the Chicks' run on radio."

    "So whether Martie did or didn't say the group is 'leaving country,' that scenario could, indeed, be the outcome."

    Somehow I don't think the Chicks will be missed if they move from Country country to Rock world. They'll undoubtedly be made to feel right at home in the land of pierced navels and exposed thongs.

    On the other hand, I wonder if anyone's asked Ted Nugent how he feels about these new neighbors?

    © 2003 Tocqevillian Magazine