Last Tuesday, Rapid City Journal columnist Frank Carroll slammed the National Rifle Association for failing to condemn rock star Ted Nugent for his inflammatory rhetoric.
“It is unacceptable that NRA leadership, including our leaders in South Dakota, have not repudiated racist remarks by Ted Nugent, a former rock star and now a member of the NRA governing board. Nugent can say whatever he wants, whenever he wants, but not as a representative of my organization,” wrote Carroll.
“It’s not OK to call the president of the United States a ‘subhuman mongrel.’ It’s not OK to compound that outrageous remark by characterizing tribal officials who are canceling his concerts as ‘unclean vermin,'” he added.
Carroll goes on to say that the nation’s gun lobby should completely disown Uncle Ted, exclaiming, “Nugent has to go.”
Carroll makes some fair points. Perhaps Nugent should have opted to use euphemistic phrases to channel his disdain for president Obama, e.g. a “shortsighted maltreater of American values,” and those who pulled the pin on his rock shows, “unkind vaccinators of rock n roll.”
Perhaps he should be more refined and sophisticated when remarking on American politics. Perhaps, overall, he should be more civil (in the wake of the “subhuman mongrel” comment, he did apologize, sort of).
Then again, perhaps he shouldn’t change one damn bit because he is, after all, a rock star (or former rock star, depending on one’s perspective)!!!
One would think people would be able to differentiate between the words of a statesman or the average prig on TV and the words of a dude who amassed his fame and fortune by shredding a six string in front of ravenous crowds of rock n rollers across America.
Yes, Ted Nugent is not politically correct nor will he ever be, nor for that matter, should one expect him to be despite the fact that he sits on the board of the NRA. Ted Nugent is Ted Nugent. He is sixty-some-odd years old and he’s not going to change his patented argot, which he refers to as his “Detroit street fighter rock ‘n’ roll stage rhetoric,” which one could argue brings levity to an often contentious and, at times, tedious subject.
Most NRA members understand that Nugent is an entertainer, and accordingly, view his comments differently than they view statements made by executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, chief lobbyist Chris Cox, and other leaders and board members of the nation’s gun lobby. Knowing the difference between the two is the sensible response to Uncle Ted being Uncle Ted.
Though, even if one is greatly offended by the words of the aging rocker, and one believes the Nuge has “got to go,” one needs to remember that the NRA is not one’s organization, as Carroll implied by saying, “my organization,” rather, the NRA belongs to 5 million individuals, with disparate political perspectives, different religious persuasions, contrasting sexual orientations, various tastes in music, etc., etc., etc. Frank Carroll may not like Ted Nugent, hell, even I may not like Ted Nugent (For the record, I find him funny at times, but I also question his claim that “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” is a great rock song), but one should be willing to recognize that a majority of NRA members embrace Nugent and believe he is fit to sit on the board, warts and all. One knows this because during the 2013 board elections, Nugent finished second in total votes, falling only behind top vote getter Oliver North.
At the end of the day, the members have spoken. And, like him or hate him, Ted Nugent doesn’t have to go anywhere.