No European country can any more afford to conduct military operations on its own. There is no alternative to a common defence policy. As well, isolation will lead to the end of our so old (and beloved) Nations. Opinions from a continental european.
Johnny Cash: a short glance on American society (1)
Some days ago, I expressed my wish to write on Johnny Cash. Firstly because I am a fan, secondly his songs, or the ones he decided to sing usually display in a very short time a very accurate picture of American society.
Today, I will comment 'The one on the right', published on Youtube by somebody named 'Bacobitsperson'.
For those who are not so to say 'fluent', here are the lyrics:
The first stanza and the refrain depict the political orientation of the American citizens: Republicans, Democrats, of course. However, 'the one on the left was in the middle' embodies all those voters who turn an election into to a defeat or an unprecedented victory. Getting those votes force the parties to orient their political orientations into more consensual concepts, so they can get a majority. The one on the back, who is a 'Methodist', reminds us that religion is a guiding principle of US politics, which does not exist anymore, or at least so explicitly, in European politics.
By the way, the Americans Johnny Cash is speaking about are clearly those average citizens, who listen to "the mountain ballads And the folk songs of our land". Well, he clearly thinks about all those average citizens, who gather around American traditional values, I mean those values linked to religion, the Stars and Stripes, family, and so on and so forth, shortly, those Americans who have only a very vague idea of the rest of the World!
Third refrain: The one on the rear, initially a Methodist decides to burn his driving license. This part refers to the opposition movements to Viet-Nam War and the Hippie generation, which tried and developed an alternative way of life, which spread as well at that time throughout Europe, but remained a minority as the song evokes it.
Now this should be a lesson if you plan to start a folk group Don't go mixin' politics with the folk songs of our land Just work on harmony and diction Play your banjo well And if you have political convictions keep them to yourself
These rhymes claim that social peace is possible only when you do not mix with politics and stick to the American traditional values, precondition for social peace. This rejection of traditional politics can be observed as well in the turnout rate during US elections. The different versions of this song illustrate this idea: on Youtube, Johnny Cash does not sing the refrain where the one on the rear burns his driving license: this political, although very realistic and humorous rhyme could have been booed by his public, mainly composed of white, religious and patriotic Americans.
For instance the usual voter turnout is rather low, considering the peculiar role of the USA in world affairs. As a comparison, the voter turnout is at 70% for German general election, while the ceiling in the USA is at about 60% for the presidential election, which is far beyond the usual rates (about 50%).
From a more philosophical point of view, one could quote the French writer and philosopher Voltaire, the author of Candide: "excellently observed," answered Candide; "but let us cultivate our garden"