Dave Mustaine's Latest Comments and The First Amendment
The exchange went like this:
"[I have] a lot of questions about him, but certainly not where he was born," Mustaine said on "The Hour" Monday night. "I know he was born somewhere else than America."
"Well, then you're a birther if you say that," host George Stroumboulopoulos replied.
"No I'm not calling a question to it. I just, you know, what's the point?" Mustaine said.
Mustaine has come a long way since he wrote the anti-George H.W. Bush song "Foreclosure of a Dream," and reported from the 1992 Democratic National Convention for MTV. He's kicked drugs and alcohol, became a born-again Christian, and subsequently a Republican. He's been vocal about his support for Sen. Rick Santorum's presidential bid due to his high moral character.
Yes, this is zany. And yes, it is incomprehensible that a year after the president released his birth certificate to put this asinine debate to rest once and for all, and as ridiculous as his comments are, Mustaine can say whatever the hell he wants. Right or wrong, that's the point of the First Amendment.
At time they may not act like it, but our favorite rock stars are people. Like everyone else, they're entitled to have their own opinions. Although this is blatantly obvious and something we learn in kindergarten, it has to be said because in election years when many are speaking for or against a particular candidate, people need to be well informed and can't take anyone's word for granted.
Since the '60s, popular musicians have been throwing their hats behind their favored candidates. Sometimes they've been right, but that doesn't mean we can count on seeing any performer appearing on any of the news channels unless they have anything of substance to say. There's been too many times where our favorite acts have endorsed a candidate because it's the thing to do or because they want to stay in the limelight.
In light of Mustaine's latest comments, it's up to us to decide what we ultimately believe and stand for. Ninety-seven percent of the time, musicians are known to talk for the sake of being heard--and that's his or her right. Whether or not you agree or think they're idiots is up to you. Just don't blindly buy what they're selling or else you'd be as misinformed as they are.