Conservative Pop Music? The Top 40 of the Top 40
One thing you will find in your life is that demagogues will constantly attempt to frame arguments in such a way that anyone who disagrees with them will be shut out of the argument because of the way that the terms of the argument are dictated.
For instance a man named Bruce Bartlett gave a speech a few days ago in which he attempted to lay out a list of songs by various pop music performers which fit into Mr. Bartlett's definitions of Conservative. To be sure his list of songs is a nice grouping of modern pop music. Among them probably my favorite is the song "Revolution 1" by the Beatles. I have always loved that song. Mr. Bartlett even goes so far to quote the following lines (which I have corrected from the mistakes in Mr. Bartlett's transcription):
We all want to change the world
Now Mr. Bartlett claims that the song is "anti-revolution" and in paring this with conservatism he attempts to establish that his bogeyman liberalism is pro-revolution.
When you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Of course Mr. Bartlett doesn't come right out and say this in his speech. He says, as part of the set up for his disingenuous monologue, "I looked particularly for those embodying religious or patriotic themes, as these are unambiguously conservative values." By doing this he has set up a series of opposites in which values he espouses as conservative (patriotism, religion, pro-life, etc) stand in opposition to values he apparently does not espouse: liberalism (anti-patriotism, anti-religiosity, pro-choice, etc).
(It should be noted actually that this opposition Mr. Bartlett sets up may not be accurate as the duality of conservatism / liberalism is simply an empty signifier used by demagogues in political arguments. But for the sake of brevity I'm going to just swallow Mr. Bartlett's schema hook, line, & sinker.)
I know that you have studied a bit of American history so far. When you read this someday I have no doubt you will have extensively studied this topic and will have already realized the ludicrous position Mr. Bartlett has put himself in by declaring these lines from the Beatles to be conservative.
The United States was created as an act of revolution against a colonial power: England. If Mr. Bartlett's logic is to be trusted then surely it is true that the American revolution was an act of liberalism and if Mr. Bartlett's interpretation of the song in question is to be trusted the Beatles would surely be against the founding of the United States. (Of course the lads are English so who knows?)
Of course all of this is nonsense. The lyrics to the song "Revolution 1" are representative of neither conservatism or liberalism. They quite clearly stand in opposition to the tone and actions of destruction which permeated so much of political discourse in the 60's. When Mr. Bartlett expresses his surprise that Messers Lennon & McCartney would express themselves in such a fashion he shows himself to be completely devoid of any understanding of the Beatles oeuvre.
In reality patriotism is not the purvue of conservatism. Neither is opposition to abortion. Neither is having a religious life. All of this, Mr. Bartlett's best effort I am sure, amounts to a wholesale de-contextualizing of lyrics from a wide variety of musicians in order to further the ends of conservatism. This is dishonest and should be offensive to you.
Don't let a demagogue define the world for you into binary oppositions. Don't let a demagogue further their aims by defining the terms of an argument. If you can follow these simple rules your life will be richer. In fact, you will be able to see the rich nuances of lines in songs as works of artisanship and not partisanship and the world, and this great country of ours, can only be improved by that.