Republicans are always telling liberal actors and singers to shut up and stop talking politics. But they don't seem to have that same problem when conservative actors and singers speak publicly about their politics. In fact, they embrace those celebrities and point to them as great examples of conservative thought. Funny how that works.
And it's funny how it works when those conservative celebrities fuck up. Currently, Republicans are backing away from Ted Nugent, who called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel."Richard Whittaker at the Austin Chronicle wrote a great article (brilliantly headlined "No Nugent Is Good Nugent") about the whole deal:
Gov. Rick Perry (who has previously called himself a fan of the Motor City Madman) initially tried to brush it all off by saying that "the idea that Ted Nugent said something that’s outrageous shouldn’t surprise anyone." However, he soon showed moral fortitude and said his comments were "inappropriate" and that "I got a problem calling the president a mongrel."
With Perry opening the gate, other Republicans slowly joined the chorus. Congressman Rand Paul said that Nugent should apologize, and that his "derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics."
There was a more equivocal response from Sen. Ted Cruz, who praised Nugent for his hardline opposition to gun control, but did go so far as to semi-criticize the "mongrel" comment. "You’ve never heard me say such a thing and nor would I."
Whittaker goes on to wonder why Republicans are quiet about every other offensive thing Nugent ever said, including his support of apartheid in the 1990s. At the Huffington Post, Larry Womack writes about Nugent's "Jailbait Problem," explaining that Nugent "wrote, recorded and released a semi-autobiographical pedophile joke."
Unlike Republicans, I'm not arguing that every celebrity should be stopped from sharing their political beliefs. Every citizen in American can speak their mind. That's what America is all about. But I do believe that Democrats need to be better about standing up against vocally liberal celebrities who are terrible people. And I believe that Republicans need to do the same thing. Why do these politicians not subject celebrity spokespeople to the same background checks that they perform on themselves and other politicians? Is the allure of borrowed fame so great that they simply can't resist celebrating the endorsement of the guy who recorded "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" back in 1977? We can't control who agrees with us, but we can decide which person shares the microphone with us.