Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lovable 'Madman'

Ted Nugent's music, admittedly an acquired taste, assaults the senses and seems to defy sense -- mercilessly blunt and yet expressed with undeniable precision. The same can be said of his views on politics, society and life.

Here in the KintlaLake household, we're quite fond of the ageless "Motor City Madman." We've traveled to see his live performances, and when we heard that Piers Morgan's interview with Nugent would air on CNN last night, well, we made a date to watch it.

Now we don't embrace all things Ted (he swings uncomfortably close to Caribou Barbie, for example), and we cringe when he squibs an easy shot (which happened more than once during his interview with Morgan). Still, we appreciate his unapologetic patriotism and love of liberty -- take this clip from last night's show:

Ok, so he's a passionate defender of an individual citizen's right to keep and bear arms. But for those who think he's a one-issue, suck-on-my-machine-gun guy, check out this segment from AC360° in January:

Notice, especially in that brief debate with Paul Begala, that "Terrible Ted" isn't so terrible. He articulates his views with intelligence and good humor -- always the entertainer, sure, but one who's not allergic to facts or common cordiality.
"I'm 63. I've been clean and sober my whole life. I was raised in a hard-core disciplined environment. To be the best that I can be. And not guess at things but to study evidence. Study conditions. Be aware of my cause and effect.

"And make a decision not based on what felt good or what was comfortable for me but rather what lessons of life taught me. So when I put forth what people call an opinion...I don't project opinions as much as I do share observations of life's realities and the evidence that brings either a quality of life when adhered [to] and learned from, or [destroys] life when ignored and not learned."
In that way he distinguishes himself from the demagogues dominating talk radio and populating our politics. He knows the difference between populism and principle, and he holds fast to the latter -- and that's why, around here, we like Ted Nugent.