PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The culture wars around President Trump have now brought Dr. Seuss into the fight. A school librarian in Cambridge, Massachusetts rejected a gift of Dr. Seuss books from Melania Trump claiming Seuss was out of date and used racist images to boot. However, this flare up was minor in comparison to the comments we’ve seen in the past few days around country music fans being the target of the Las Vegas shooter.
This commentary motivated me to look at country music and why it is so popular. A survey by the Country Music Association found that over 2,000 radio stations play country music and 40% of country music fans reside in the top 25 markets in America. In short, country music is incredibly popular.
It’s clear to me that a large part of the appeal is the fact that country music songs and personalities believe in traditional America. Family, patriotism, and seeing America in a very positive way are staples. Aside from the cowboy hats and boots, it’s a safe harbor that is much different than many films, songs, tv shows that often attack traditional American values and those who live in flyover country. This is the not so secret sauce of the genre.
It will be fascinating to see if the shooter targeted this group and if part of the targeting was due to the fact that many of the people at the concert were Trump supporters.
Whether or not we ever find out if the shooter targeted country music fans, this incident has really highlighted in my mind the yearning for entertainment that reinforces values that I believe in. It has motivated me to do a better job at knowing some of the key country players. You’ll be hearing me work it into my show on a more consistent basis.