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» When all fragility fails . . . from Classical Values
John Lennon a Republican? Hard to know. But Glenn Reynolds adds: I had heard stories of him breaking people's ribs, and they didn't seem very credible in light of my memories of the fragile and emaciated Yoko-era John. But looking... [Read More]

» Imagine There's No Moonbats from Three Sources
I lived through the 60s, though I was too young to "do" the 60s. I dug the Beatles, and my sister and I cried when John Lennon was killed (I was 20 at the time). I still appreciate his music... [Read More]

» Imagine There's No Moonbats from Three Sources
I lived through the 60s, though I was too young to "do" the 60s. I dug the Beatles, and my sister and I cried when John Lennon was killed (I was 20 at the time). I still appreciate his music... [Read More]

» John Lennon, Conservative? from gringoman.com
Would John Lennon have turned? Would the artist-as-working -class hero have mellowed in middle age and beyond ? Would the more fiery half of the Beatles' Lennon/McCartney team have morphed far, far from a hard day's night? Would even his [Read More]

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Comments

drbrainn

What kind of McCarthyite sliming is this?

Why is it that you insinuate only Republicans can be Patriotic or Pro-American?

This is disgusting man, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

John Lennon WAS a patriot and he was pro-America. How dare you say anything else?

Is it patriotic to out a CIA agent? Is it Pro-America to call a Marine war hero a coward?

This is some sick stuff. I'm tired of you on the right claiming a monopoly on patriotism when all you've got is a monopoly on corporate corruption, bribery, lies, and talk about hypocrisy? Your blackshirt Christo-fascists on the ground pay the price for your corporate agenda on the top. You can't really be for the little guy when you're giving government away to the highest bidder and partying with lobbyists in a race to the bottom for worker benefits.

You're a joke man. I read your site to get riled up, and it works. I'm saddened and angered by the fact that there are people like you out there, but then again, you kinda need me, because if I didn't show up every other day, you'd probably lose half your readership.

You crossed the line bro. Not cool.

Solid Surfer

What are you talking about? I never said only Republicans could be patriotic and pro-America, only that John Lennon wasn't in the early 70s. (And you can't deny that - he was completely against the US government, Vietnam, capitalism, etc. back then).

My whole argument is that I think Hunter Davies is wrong about what he thinks Lennon would be like today. That's it. Period.

Of course there are patriotic Democrats and unpatriotic Republicans too (I like most Democrats way more than I like Pat Buchanan for example), but that's not what I'm talking about here.

Perhaps Lennon could have indeed been a patriotic Democrat, but I think he would have become a Republican. And if you think that's preposterous, look at Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent; I doubt anyone back in 1975 would have seen them as Republicans either, but they are.

Solid Surfer

BTW, read Zell Miller's piece that I linked to in this post. He's one patriotic Democrat I'd probably vote for (There are actually a number of GOP things I don't like -- see a post I wrote about this a few days ago -- and I'd say I vote Republican about 75-80% of the time and Democrat 20-25%), and he has a lot of suggestions for how the Democratic party can improve.

Freedom Now

Dr Brainn is correct, but I must lay it out for you because you just dont get it. It is unfair to say that anyone is not a patriot. No matter how much they hate the US or its government. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Anyone who doesnt question the US government is unpatriotic.

On a related subject, I'm sure that you are aware that the best way to support our troops is by calling them warmongers and criminals. We do so because we love them so much and we want to bring our children home.

So how dare you question liberal values. You should not question liberals unless you have 50 years military service in Iraq and were wounded more than once.

You see, patriotism is in the eye of the revisionist.

kuhnkat

DrBrainn,

I see the openness to diversity plainly shown in your acceptance of thought different from your own.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Me thinks he took out his DrBrainn and played with it one too many times.

Wake up and smell the fossil fool fuel!!

McCarthy was right and was hounded to death by his communist enemies in the gubmint and press. Shame on you for defaming his name with your puling whine about someone speaking his thoughts without malice or accusations.

Solidsurfer,

I haven't been able to get to Madz or the Autonomist for hours. Any thoughts??

Hey Freedom Now, you are too good. I didn't read your full post and almost posted a sarcastic defense of Solidsurfer to you. WAY TO GO!!!

Solid Surfer

Kuhnkat - both MZ and Autonomist's websites are up at the moment. Both of them are hosted by Blogspot, so my guess is that Blogspot was down for a while.

drbrainn

Don't call me unpatriotic, just because I hate America!

kuhnkat

Uhhh, drbrainn,

do you hate all of it or just the conservative parts??

If it is the Conservative parts you are an UNPATRIOTIC LIBERAL MORON who loves to murder babies and other defenseless people and things.

There, I didn't accuse you of being unpatriotic for hating America.

neoconservative inch nails

Great piece, and the speculation about Lennon's potential evolution to neoconservatism is intriguing and likely spot on. He would have led this process, I would think.

brasshopper

Hmmmm. It occurs to me that there is one more benefit to Lennon becoming conservative. Yoko Ono would probably have left him. :-)

Actually, that is probably the main reason that he would not have - I don't see Lennon as being a deep thinker - he was more likely to simply absorb his politics from those around him.

I think that it is unlikely that Yoko would ever have the clarity required to see the essential corruption inherent in today's liberal positions - and that means that John would never have seen them either - he probably would have stayed liberal.

BTW: There have been plenty of patriotic Democrats and non-Patriotic Republicans in the past. The fact that today's Democrats seem to be unable to understand that dissent for dissent's sake, right or wrong, is not patriotic and, at a certain point, gives aid and comfort should not be a negative reflection on them - only on those who vote for them.

It is interesting that most classes of people believe that the war in Iraq cannot be won, well, except for the Military, and the average MITS is odd to me.

Al Gibson

This is garbage. John Lennon would have turned into the most anti-Republican crank imaginable during the Reagan and Bush years.

If John Lennon were alive today he'd probably have a column on Huffington Post and would be competing with Alec Baldwin, Barbra Streisand, and Kurt Vonnegut for Biggest Lefty Crank Ever.

Get Back

Remember that when George dragged the rest of the Beatles to India to meet with the lefty icon of what they thought was all that was right in the world at that time, it was John who saw through it and viewed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a complete hypocrite who was more interested in chasing Mia Farrow than seeking Nirvana through prayer and meditation. He (and Ringo) left early.

The Fop

Lennon had no appreciation for his best work...the stuff he did with The Beatles between 1963-66. This was his most romantic, most emotional music. Songs like "This Boy", "No Reply", "If I Fell", and "Nowhere Man" convey the scars of his troubled childhood far more than the pretentious "music as psycho therapy" of his overrated "Plastic Ono Band" album (which was still the only decent thing he did as a solo artist). I'm sure glad The Beatles broke up before Lennon's Marxist totalitarian anthem "Imagine" had a chance to become a Beatles song.

I have to agree with brasshopper. I read a recent piece by Ray Davies of "The Kinks" talking about hurricane Katrina. He was shot in the leg last year in New Orleans. Ray's obviously a bright guy, but these aging British lefties never seem to change their political views and left wing art school values.

In the early 70's Lennon and Yoko were giving interviews to Commie rags, talking about "the workers", blah, blah, blah. The fact that a few years later they were living the life of reclusive millionaires, buying a pad in Palm Beach and investing in cows, leads me to believe that they were self absorbed elitists who would never stray from the "do as I say, not as I do" liberal hypocrisy of the likes of Barbra Streisand.

paul

http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/the_beatles/taxman.html

"Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman
...
And you're working for no one but me
Taxman!"


Yep. Lennon would have hated the Republicans. I'm sure he was embarrassed to have written the song...I mean taxes are all good now, aren't they?

George

"Taxman" was written by George Harrison. John Lennon had little to do with it.

paul

http://www.aboutthebeatles.com/song-taxman.html

"Song background
After George was placed in the 'super tax bracket', he composed "Taxman" - a song thoroughly ridiculing the dreaded tax system. John later claimed to have (reluctantly) helped with the lyric and was bitter about not receiving credit in any form for it."

Ok, Lennon didn't write it...maybe...

NoYoko

One of Yoko's greatest. You could use this to torture people at Gitmo. It will strip paint off of the floor, drive out the cockroaches, and crack the sidewalk in front of your house if played at volume.

http://media.putfile.com/Yoko-Ono

Yehudit

". . . but if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow . . . ."

Kermi7

The fact is, no one knows what Lennon would be, but I suspect he would've been outraged by 9/11, and like McCartney has to some degree, recognized the enemy.

I don't think he liked labels. Whether he could have transcended the political groupthink (on the Left or Right) since that time is an open question. I like to think he could have. One thing I always respected him for was that it seemed that he came to his opinions through honest exploration.

the snob

A very conservative friend of mine said to me in college that you had to leave politics out of women and music, or else you'd end up listening to Sousa marches by yourself on Friday nights. The fact that a political Useful Idiot like Lennon could on occasion write some very good music serves to remind us that there is mroe to the world than Red vs. Blue, an idea which is presently anything but in vogue.

Pablo Snooze

I think this is a bit of wishful thinking filtered through a very myopic lens. Maybe he would have become a republican, but I kinda doubt it. Most importantly, I don't think anything in your column proves anything. Doesn't do much good to even theorize in this speculative way if you can't back it up. You gotta do better.

I have to say - the prospect of losing the respect of Yoko Ono - that does sound like a hidden benefit!

Oh, and I agree that there are patriotic pro-freedom democrats out there. Somewhere. Where? I have no idea. But there must be some of them. I wish you guys would start speaking up and talking sense - rather than just beating the "Bush lied" drum.

Hmm

This is perhaps the most pointless, navel-gazing thing ever written in the history of written symbolic representation of phonic speech.

You've nicely drawn together a number of issues (music, politics, history) and woven them into a rich tapestry of your own ignorance and petulant self-delusion.

Kudos!

cosmo

Arguing over Lennon's likely political evolution reminds me a lot of the wrangling over Orwell's.

J.L.

Congrats; stupidest thing I've read in some time.

Dr. Winston O'Boogie

Here is the fairest comment I can put together about this idea, and the comments that followed it:

First of all, everyone who's been using the terms "patriotic" or "unpatriotic" in this thread is off-base, since Lennon was British (hello?), and thus "patriotism" would not be the issue regarding his views on American politcs. Even if he had become an American citizen, which is a possibility, his worldview would still have been global, rather than "America yay" or "America nay."

Anyway, it's impossible that he would have supported the Republicans. I'm an enormous Beatles fan, and I voted against Bush twice, but neither of these things is the issue. I don't get bogged down in the pro or anti cult-of-personality stuff regarding Bush as a person, since he is not the point; the issues are the point. As a college professor, I agree with the idea that the academic liberal leadership can be short-sighted and hypocritical, and agree than Lennon might have thought so too--but I do not confuse this minor issue with the fact that I'm still pro-choice, pro-gun-control (I'm guessing Lennon's ghost supports gun-control, by the way), and agree with the Democratic position on all the mainstream issues; I don't see what Barbra Streisand being an annoying phony has to do with this, and I don't think Lennon would have been influenced by these things either. You guys have annoying phonies on your side too, but you just ignore those people, as we do ours. I'm sure he would have made fun of other liberal celebrities when they deserved it, which they frequently do, but this would not have made his core principles change.

Many of you have also been oversimplifying his lyrics in terms of the points you're trying to make with them. "Imagine" was utopian, but not "communist," since Lennon's focus was emotional, not economic; the "no possessions" line was more of a Zen thought experiment. Even "Working Class Hero" was more about posers who try to co-opt street cred than economics. "Taxman," which George wrote, was about British taxation at the time, which was way higher than American taxation of the wealthy ever was under any Democrat.

The "carrying pictures of Chairman Mao" line was a well-deserved jab at hippies who oversimplified things, but those people are not the entire left any more than Christian fundamentalists are the entire right. Lennon might have eventually calmed down enough to try and work peacefully with conservatives on non-controversial global issues, a la Bono (who I'm assuming you respect even though you dsiagree with him, since he behaves respectfully toward you), but that's not the same thing as actually switching sides.

Peace.

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