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A Tale of Two Countries – Garth vs. Ricky and Toby

Only when it fits their narrative will the liberal establishment praise a country entertainer, and when Garth Brooks performed at President Biden’s inauguration, that’s exactly what happened. Jimmy Kimmel even had the nerve to tweet “hats off to Garth Brooks for putting our country first.” The DJs on contemporary country radio chimed in, parroting how beautiful and awesome Garth’s performance was.

Garth Brooks performs "Good Ride Cowboy" during The 39th Annual CMA Awards - Garth Brooks Performs in Times Square at Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by J. Kempin/FilmMagic)
Garth Brooks performs “Good Ride Cowboy” during The 39th Annual CMA Awards – Garth Brooks Performs in Times Square at Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by J. Kempin/FilmMagic)

I don’t remember the entertainment world voicing such lavish adulation when Lee Greenwood, The Firstmen of Country and Toby Keith, among others, performed at President Trump’s 2017 inauguration, a gig for which Brooks, ironically or not declined, claiming he had a previous commitment and didn’t want to disappoint his fans.

Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs

Speaking of Toby Keith, one week before Brooks’ PR stunt he and fellow patriot Ricky Skaggs privately attended a White House ceremony where President Trump awarded both with the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor given to artists. Not surprisingly, partisan critics tweeted their displeasure. Keith, of course, is no stranger to controversy. Remember when Natalie Maines of the group then known as the Dixie Chicks slammed Keith’s patriotic anthem “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)? Well, we know that the Dixie Chicks, who changed their name to the so-called anti-racist “Chicks”, got themselves in hot water among their traditional country fans. Maybe a better name for the group would be the “Red Hens.”

Toby Keith
Toby Keith

After his performance at the inauguration, Brooks, who claims to be a Republican, appeared to relish his interactions with Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama and former First Ladies Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

Like his choice of musical genre (what was that Jekyll and Hyde Chris Gaines stuff all about?), Brooks’ political preferences seem at best to be ambivalent. When Brooks accepted the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award in 1991, he remarked how he loved his Georges (meaning Jones and Strait), and then with a deer in the headlight look realizing another George was there, quipped, “and you too Mr. President” at Bush 41 sitting in the front row. Brooks might be a Republican, but so are RINOs Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey.

Unless he sincerely clarifies his reasons for shunning one inauguration and performing at another, Garth Brooks’ music is currently off my playlist. As of this moment, I’m enjoying a video of Ricky Skaggs’ “Highway 40 Blues.” Now I just need to get hold of the official video of the Toby Keith and Cledus T. Judd duet “I Love NASCAR.”

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Cynthia Guenthner

Cynthia Guenthner is a freelance writer and political blogger who has been a lifelong conservative Republican. She was a columnist for the Bush Country.org website from 2002-2005. She was Vice-Chair of her local Reagan-Bush re-election committee in 1984. Since then, she has held other offices in her county GOP organization. She is an enthusiastic supporter of President Trump and the MAGA movement. Besides politics, her interests include animal welfare, traditional country music and NASCAR.

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  1. Just as I gave up the NFL, I am giving up on buying or going to see anything with Brooks or his wife in it or on it.
    Too bad, I actually did thing that Brooks was an okay person. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you. 🙂

  2. Let’s take this a bit further, I don’t remember ANY of the country stars, when I say country I mean George Strait, Reba, Alan Jackson…. you get my point.
    I saw none of them standing up for what was going on with this possibly corrupt election.
    I say possibly because not all of any evidence was heard, you heard one side or the other, as a result you end up with what we have now, a people who REALLY does not trust they’re government.
    Where were these selfsame stars when all the rioting, burning, looting and outright murdering was going on ?
    I am VERY disillusioned with these people, I love country (not today’s type though) and these people rode our system of capitalism to the top, yet will not stand up to defend it,
    Very disappointing.

  3. I used to think country music was as American as apple pie but they are too afraid to stand up for our country. Money over America!

  4. Boo hoo….and this is article is why this country will not unite. Boo hoo “conservative” republicans crying about country singers not supporting the trump movement of lies. Perhaps Brooks was trying to get a different message out there….like maybe saying we can unite as a country whether republican or democrat. Again, boo hoo, Cynthia, and grow up.

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