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Oct-08-2007 12:53TweetFollow @OregonNews
Ted Nugent: A Terrorist Threat From Within (VIDEO)Op-Ed by Tim King Salem-News.com
The "Wildman of Rock and Roll" has gone off the deep end, making threats against Democratic Presidential candidates.
(SALEM, Ore.) - "Ted Nugent Threatens to Kill Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton During Vicious Onstage Rant!" That was the Rolling Stone headline.
He's been spouting right wing politics for years, ever since facing the loss of his daughter over drug use decades ago. Long before he became an outspoken gun advocate, Ted Nugent was an outspoken anti-drug crusader.
But Nugent may have seriously crossed the line during a performance in Oroville, California, when he waved a rifle around and made threatening statements toward Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and other Democratic politicians.
In the video clip capturing the rocker's antics, you see Nugent standing onstage with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles in each hand. He references the weapons as "machine guns." My first thought was that such an outspoken gun advocate should know that the AR-15 IS NOT a machine gun. Sorry, good try Ted. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 and it does not fire fully automatic.
Nugent screams about a recent visit to Chicago,where he claims to have told Senator Barack Obama, "Hey, Obama! You might want to suck on one of these you punk!" Nugent adds, "Obama, he's a piece of s---, and I told him to suck on my machine gun. Let's hear it for him!"
In his remarks toward Clinton, Nugent told the audience that he addressed her by saying, "Hey, Hillary! You might want to ride one of these [guns]into the sunset, you worthless b----!"
Even the right wing itself has come down on Nugent for this one. A guest host for "The O'Reilly Factor" on FOX News, former Congressman John Kasich, reportedly told Nugent his comments were out of bounds. Kasich says the problem with politics today, is that it's "being ruined because people are being polarized because of the personal attacks and innuendos being labeled at people."
Apparently his audience in Oroville was, or at lease seemed, highly accepting of the sentiments. That would be a radical departure from the days of old. I first saw Nugent as a young lad in 1977, during the "Double Live Gonzo" tour. It was a thrill and memorable. But the rock generation of the 1970's, which Nugent evolved from, didn't go to a rock concert to hear about gun advocacy. Times have changed, enter the hardcore Republican rockers.
Nugent's problems with the people he attacks from the stage, Obama, Clinton, Feinstein and Boxer, probably centers around their positions with what he considers a critically important right to keep and bear arms.
Obama has made statements about getting guns out of Chicago, and some speculate that is what Nugent is basing his seething hatred on. He had no scathing remarks for one of the biggest anti-gun warriors of modern time; former New York Mayor and Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. He after all, is from Nugent's political party.
As Kasich suggests, the polarization in this country is largely spurred by attacks like Nugent's that happen in a public forum. I suspect that his fans all over are less than happy to hear about this. I admit that there was a time when I hung on every word this wildman sang, we loved his music.
He sang about "The Great White Buffalo" with lyrics like:
"But then came the white man, with his thick and empty head. He couldn't see past the billfold, he wanted all the buffalo dead. It was sad...It was sad."
And we, the post-Vietnam era rockers, ate it like candy. The Nugent of the late 70's sang for the common man. We, unlike Nugent, thought it was all about music, seeing an icon achieve and live the rock and roll dream. Most of us have hung on, always knowing the politics are a secondary matter. But sometimes people cross lines and show us that they represent only a small, tortured view of the world.
If an Islamic extremist were on stage in front of that many people, ranting and swinging around "machine guns," the world would take notice and he would be considered a threat if nothing else. How many people at that show were young and impressionable? What is the impact from Nugent's hateful rantings?
Too bad that 1970's candy seems to have spoiled.
HERE IS THE VIDEO CLIP SHOWING TED NUGENT IN ACTION AT THE RECENT SHOW IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. WATCH FOR BAD LANGUAGE, MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN.
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