In praise of Jason Aldean and small town America
To seem high-minded and caring, lefties cloak themselves in self-aggrandizing outrage. The fashionable “worries” they latch onto help them virtue signal that they are better than the rest of us.
Topping their list is “global warming” or “climate change” (that way they cover both hot and cold). One thing we know for sure: “climate change” is the number one cause of documentaries in America. The second is anything racial. And now, song lyrics.
Jason Aldean’s country song “Try That in a Small Town” really got the left spun up. This is a simple song; the music video was filmed in front of our beautiful courthouse in my hometown of Columbia, Tennessee. Columbia is great, diverse town, 67 percent White, 18 percent Black and about 10 percent Hispanic. When I was growing up there, everyone got along. It is not some racist small town like the left has implied.
Getting mad about a “dog whistle” in such a song is beyond the pale. When I was a child there in the 70s, the song “Afternoon Delight” (about a couple sneaking away for a quickie) would come on the radio while the family was driving down the road. We all sang along together.
Maybe we were naïve, but you certainly cannot do that with rap songs or Cardi B’s “WAP.” Yet somehow “Try That in a Small Town” got banned by CMT? Really?
There are a lot of small towns in America. Of our nation’s 325 million people, 205 million of them (over 60 percent) live in an incorporated place. And about 75 percent of the 19,500 incorporated cities have fewer than 5,000 people. Only 4 percent (780) of all cities have more than 50,000 living in them. Thus, only about 39 percent of the U.S. population (127 million) live in those “big cities.”
Atlanta, New York and L.A. are examples of big cities gone bad. They are filled with people who moved there because they think they are too good for their small hometown. Not a one of them has refrained from showing some arrogance when joking about small towns. And notably, those very cities are falling apart from decades of one- party Democrat rule. Not only are there a lot of small towns, there are sparsely populated big states with a lot of land like Wyoming and Montana. The U.S. has deemed about 25 percent of our land as wilderness (30 percent if you count Chris Stapleton’s beard).
A lot of us live in smaller towns — for a reason. We take pride in our community, get involved and can have an impact. Jason Aldean’s song resonates with us. We do not share the values of big, decaying Democrat cities. And we are growing; they are not. The lefties know this, and it angers them. Thus, the faux outrage about a benign song.
The song is Number One now, the consequence of the same pushback Bud Light and Target got when they tried to force their values on Americans in a heavy-handed, arrogant way. But we, as consumers, have the power to push back. Our power was made clear when we knocked to its knees the top brand of beer in America and reduced it to a bar joke. This reminds us that we are the consumers with the power, not government and not some woke, Ivy League elitist in the Bud Light marketing department in New York City.
Consumers have the power to make or break a product. And a song like “Try That in a Small Town,” and a marginalized movie like “Sound of Freedom” remind us that we can overlay our value system on what we buy. Hopefully, it has just begun.
The Jason Aldean song emphasizes both the First and Second Amendments. If you try hard enough, you can find a racial slight in anything. Maybe I should start a boycott of Walmart because I’m offended by their cracker aisle.
The left keeps moving the goalpost of what is accepted or not. Let us just take history as it was and quit using it against our political enemies. They have gone after Confederate statues and vilified America’s Founding Fathers. With the left, the past changes so frequently that you never know what’s going to happen yesterday.
My dad was in law enforcement in Columbia and president of the FOP. I once asked him who was the town drunk. He said, “We all take turns.”
A libertarian op-ed humorist and award-winning author, Ron Hart is ex-Goldman Sachs, and retired as a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley.