Posts Tagged Michael W. Smith
Rick Santorum has been on the offensive lately, but his target has not been Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney or even President Barack Obama. For the past week, Santorum has been using his campaign to take aim at an issue he feels to be the single most dangerous force in America today: Satanism in heavy metal. “If you listen to the radio today, many of these brand new, so-called heavy metal music bands like Black Sabbath, Venom, The WASP and Iron Maiden use satanic imagery to corrupt the minds of young people,” announced Santorum at a 10,000 dollar a plate sock-hop in Valdosta, Georgia on Thursday.
Santorum’s popularity in the polls has grown substantially since he began speaking out against metal and its assault on traditional values. He has spent much of the past week in the Midwest encouraging young people to stay away from metal artists and listen to performers like Michael W. Smith and Pat Boone. In a recent Gallup Poll, 87 percent of Republican voters think that the biggest problem in America today is “the demented bloodlust of teenagers caused entirely by heavy metal music.”
In the past, Santorum has accused heavy metal of being the cause of some of the worst crimes in American history including the attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan in 1981, 9/11 and the passage of Obama’s Health Care Bill. He stepped up his rhetoric in a speech on Wednesday when he implied that heavy metal is the cause of many forms of mental illness as well as lactose intolerance.
It’s probably not a coincidence that since he began his crusade against metal that his poll numbers have been surging upwards. Picking out a small and unique group, singling them out as “other” and using them to frighten the masses is a proud tradition in American politics. However, many commentators believe that his call for metal internment camps goes too far. Santorum has openly advocated the forced re-education of metalheads. They would be forced to endure 30 days of non-stop “values based” music that promotes the American way of life as well as the free market. In order to leave, they will have to sing the chorus to at least one Celine Dion song.
In response to Santorum’s metal onslaught, Mitt Romney officially denounced his earlier position of “tolerance towards all fans of extreme music”. This, in spite of the fact that GWAR played his inauguration as governor of Massachusetts back in 2003. But things have changed since 2003 and embracing heavy metal music is about as popular selling baby organs on Ebay or clubbing seals. Romney will need to begin pretending to be something else if he plans on facing Obama in the general election in November.