Dixie Chicks and Free Speech

Natalie Maines is ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas. That sentiment wouldn’t mean much coming from your average Texan who has deep feelings against a war with Iraq but Natilie isn’t your average Texan, she’s the lead singer for The Dixie Chicks.

Now, I’m a Dixie Chicks fan and have been for several years and I’ll continue to be a fan of theirs for several more. I have tickets to one of their upcoming concerts and I’ll be sitting in my seat just enjoying myself to the fullest when they get into town. I’m also not entirely against President Bush’s foreign policy, especially regarding Iraq. A person’s politics has absolutely nothing to do with their entertainment value to me.

What really gets me about all of this, though, is that by focusing on what Natalie said rather than the songs that she sings people are saying that her political opinion matters. Well, it does, but no more than mine or yours. Natalie’s ability to entertain me is tremendous but I have nothing on which to base my respect for her opinions on politics or anything else other than music. She’s an entertainer, not a policy maker, and her comments, I’m sure, entertained the audience of the moment.

Aside from all of that there is this free speech thing. Now I understand that the bill of rights and the first amendment only applies to the government silencing its people and that the US government isn’t behind this movement to smash Dixie Chicks CDs over Natalie’s comments but I still think that Americans ought to at least follow the sentiment. I might disagree with Natalie’s opinion of the President but she has a right to express that opinion, even on foreign soil. She is a citizen of this country and not a political representative of it. She’s an entertainer, not a policy maker. She is speaking for herself and no one else.

Oh, and the same goes for Martin Sheen.