Sunday, November 20, 2016

Steve Van Zandt and the Hatred of the Left

So, Steve Van Zandt, Guitarist Extraordinaire, incredible songwriter, and actor, stood against the cast of "Hamilton!" and their boorish behavior toward VP-Elect Mike Pence last week. For this, Van Zandt has been ripped by his own kind. 
I've been a Steve Van Zandt fan since he was in the Asbury Jukes. I don't think anything I've ever heard is as beautiful as his arrangements on "Little Girl So Fine" or "Without Love." He built a better Wall of Sound than Phil Spector himself, in his work with Darlene Love. His first solo album, "Men Without Women" is among my personal top ten for my lifetime. 
He's also a very very smart man. 
I was 22 when I bought "Freedom, No Compromise" and among the liner notes was a reading list that Steve felt important enough to share with his listeners. It's this list that led me to find a copy of Vine DeLoria's brilliant "Beneath the Trail of Broken Treaties" and learn a new perspective on an old problem. Little Steven is a brilliant musician with a liberal bent that apparently other liberals aren't aware of. But he's not a liberal for the sake of liberalism. He's an educated man who knows why he believes what he believes and this sets him apart -and apparently against- other liberals. This guy is as left as it gets, and yet, as much as he disagrees with Trump / Pence politics, he took a stand on PRINCIPLE. 
Still, liberals are posting attacks, having no idea what a voice for their side he actually is. He's a smart, well-versed man. ( I disagree entirely with his politics but I respect his knowledge) He unwittingly exposed the truth behind liberalism in today's society: the very second one of your own breaks step with you, you gnash on his flesh. It's funny to me, because liberalism is based on nothing but emotion and this proves it perfectly. Stevie Van Zandt is your hero when he won't play North Carolina, but he stands up for proper behavior from other artists and he's vilified. This is because liberals have no basis in anything except what they feel in any given moment. Facts, honor, integrity, character, propriety, respect...these words have no place in their lexicon. There are few on the left that I can maintain my admiration for despite our disagreements and Steve Van Zandt is one of them. Solely because Steve is not a guy who will allow himself to merely spout rhetoric. He has to know what he thinks about a given topic and he has to know why. This sets him apart in today's world. What is ironic to me, as a conservative, is that I have long maintained that it's the left, and all their screaming about tolerance and inclusiveness that are actually the least tolerant of all. Case in point with Steve Van Zandt. I am as opposed to him politically as I could be, yet I respect and admire him because he puts in the time to know the "why" of his beliefs. Silencing him would never occur to me. Meanwhile, literally hundreds of left-leaners took to Twitter to castigate him because he didn't shout the party line. And sadly I'm guessing none of those who did this were even aware of the depth of his investment in their ideology, or the amount of real intellectual work he's put into his position. This sets him apart...and against the others of similar view. 

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