Unlike many comment writers responding to Superdork’s story T he Dixie Chicks Got Exactly What They Deserved , I agree with his article. However, I believe that a few additional issues need to be mentioned. Unfortunately, I believe that the feud between the Dixie Chicks and Toby Keith represent a larger division within American society.
When the Dixie Chicks first ostracized their country music fans by Miss Natalie opening her big mouth, Toby Keith didn’t react at all. It was only when they attacked his song “Angry American” (or “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue”) and Natalie wore the infamous “FYTK” t-shirt that he even took notice of them. In essence, he was being attacked for simply stating his beliefs via his song writing.
What I don’t understand is this: Why do you go attacking exactly what your core fan base believes in when they made you a success in the first place? By attacking not only President Bush, but the actual OFFICE of the President of the United States (Natalie apologized earlier this year for attacking the Office of the President – comments she made in 2006 – but then retracted her apology), she disrespected her country. National pride (as exemplified in much of Toby Keith’s music) is something that ALL country music fans share in common – Democrats or Republicans. By going over the top in her comments, Miss Natalie alienated the Chicks original fan base.
If Natalie had let everything go after making her infamous “I’m ashamed that President Bush is a Texan” speech, all would have been well – with or without an apology. No. She just kept adding fuel to the fire, making herself and the Chicks as a whole look foolish. In essence, there is a very good reason why they had to cancel several concerts in the US this past summer due to poor sales, rescheduling concerts in Canada. In continuing to betray her country, Natalie has shown herself to be incredibly immature and not a very good business woman. She and the Chicks deserve exactly what they got. An invisible fan base.
I expect that the their country music fans will not soon forget. There may be many Democrats among the ranks of country music fans, but the secular progressive views of people like Ms. Natalie do not represent the view of many Democrats in middle America. This segment, which I call old-school Democrats, has lost its voice within today’s Democratic Party, election aside. Unfortunately, many secular progressives, as exemplified by Miss Natalie, don’t realize that they are alienating the very people who they claim to represent. Many Democratic country music fans identify with the old-school segment of the Democratic Party due to a variety of geo-political reasons. As a result, in making her controversial and mis-informed (if just purely from a business perspective) statements, she alienated most of her fan base, not just Republicans. Not only did she alienate most of the Dixie Chicks original fan base, but she alienated Toby Keith’s fan base as well as a result of her childish display of rebellion against one of his patriotic songs.
Unfortunately, her actions, statements, and the response of country music fans represents a deep division within American society today between secular progressives and traditionalists within both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Many secular progressives simply refuse to acknowledge the other point of view. In her refusal to keep her political views civil, Miss Natalie ruined the future of the Dixie Chicks music, which serves no one. One should never bite the hand that feeds him.