Today’s raging culture clash relates to a song by country superstar Jason Aldean called “Try That In a Small Town.” The song has been out since May, but for some reason it has recently attracted the attention of leftists. The context of the Left’s attack is that Aldean and his wife Brittany are “out” conservatives.
Following attacks by liberals, Country Music TV banned the song’s video. Here it is:
So Aldean doesn’t like criminals in general, and rioters in particular. Are those views now out of bounds? The overwhelming majority of Americans hate crime and hate riots. The problem here, of course, is that the video depicts BLM/Antifa riots, which are darlings of the Left. But most Americans agree with Aldean: regardless of their purported ideology, riots are unacceptable.
The leftist attacks on “Small Town” have been mostly ridiculous, like the claim that the song is “pro-lynching.” This is based on the assertion, which I assume to be true, that in 1927 there was a lynching at a location in Tennessee where the video was shot. It is true that the Democratic Party’s militant wing, the KKK, carried out lynchings at various locations many years ago, but there is zero reason to think that this video has anything to do with that century-old event, or that the people who made it knew anything about that incident. There is no reference to lynching in the song. There is one reference to guns, but that is a warning not to try to take them away, not a threat to shoot someone.
The song does suggest that criminals and rioters, perhaps including those who merely burn the flag or spit on a police officer, could come to regret invading small town America. Is that a bad thing? Most people don’t think so. It reminds me of when Antifa went to Sturgis. A poor idea. And how, exactly, are we supposed to respond to rioters and looters? There are two options: either let them take over your city, as happened in Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland, or take strong measures against them. Again, I think a large majority would favor the second alternative. The song’s message is that if you attack small-town America, we will fight back.
Taken as a whole, Aldean’s song is a paean to small-town values. That is how he describes it:
In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests. These references are not only meritless, but dangerous.…
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) July 18, 2023
And music fans are overwhelmingly on his side:
Today’s culture clashes generally pit ideologically fanatical leftists on one side against normals on the other. Needless to say, the normals are far more numerous. The controversy over “Small Town,” like most such conflicts, tells us more about the obsessions of the leftists than anything about us normals.
STEVE adds—it is a measure of the decay of our culture that the song lyrics on the right are widely celebrated and are a huge hit, while Aldean is said to be “controversial” (and I won’t even print here what “WAP” stands for):