Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Here's to You, Oliver Anthony!

At this point, everyone and their mother has opined on the precocious Oliver Anthony and his out-of-the-blue new single, "Rich Men North of Richmond." Who knew that there were so many accredited music critics out there! Same as the Barbie movie and Oppenheimer, most people are disinterested in what the editorial staff at whichever publication thinks of Anthony's song. 

And yet here I go throwing my two cents in! Ha! 

For what it's worth, I thought it was great. He tapped into some very real feelings of blue-collar disenfranchisement. We ought not forget that there are tens of millions of folks out there in the heartland that feel totally abandoned by our unfortunate elite. Are these feelings invalid? Of course not! But some - and I won't name names - feel as though these grievances are unfounded. And need I mind you that much of Anthony's burgeoning fanbase is composed of ardent Trump voters? Trump, like Anthony, also tapped into these same populist sympathies. 

What are we to make of these people? Are they just misguided, illiterate rubes? Some people actually think this way...

Remember this from Lincoln Project co-founder, Rick Wilson?:


Or what about this from Jonah Goldberg, who apparently sees small donors as a threat to Democracy?:

These people make by blood boil...

They hate you. And they think you are stupid. 

Anyway, Anthony appears very genuine. And his message is, ultimately, very Communitarian. In a video he recorded in his car yesterday, Anthony reiterates that the song has created a positive and unifying energy. "What are the next steps to make life better for people?", asks Anthony. "What can you do for your neighbor? There used to be such a strong sense of community in this country, and you still see it a lot in small-town America, but even there it's dying out." Anthony, make no mistake about it, is a dyed-in-the-wool Communitarian. His goal, beyond anything else, it seems to me, it to restore Americas civic culture through his music. Amen to that!

We want more!


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