October 30, 2008, - 9:48 am
By Debbie Schlussel
As readers of this site know, I’m against celebrities being involved in politics, whether on the right (which is rare) or on the left (which is all too often). What a guy who knows how to strum a guitar says shouldn’t influence you a lick.
As readers also know, I’ve been very critical of the diarrhea-of-the-mouth of lead singer of Aerosmith, liberal Steven Tyler–especially in my column, “Rock Stars, Shut Up,” in which Tyler claimed we got attacked by Al-Qaeda because we didn’t spend any money fixing up Afghanistan (we actually spent billions–and he didn’t know what he was talking about).
For the record, I am an Aerosmith fan, but I like their music only. That’s it. (My favorites are “Dream on” and “Walk This Way.”)
Still, since the Republicans have mostly an odd parade of Z-list, has-been celebrities, it’s fun to see a prominent old school rocker, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, declare that not only has he been a lifelong Republican, but because of national security issues and the economy, he’s endorsing McCain and breaking from the left-wing orthodoxy of the entertainment industry.
I’ve met Perry and the other members of Aerosmith several times–sad to say, I was once asked to be in an Aerosmith video filmed in Detroit and, even sadder to say, I agreed. And Perry is the only member of the band who does not talk endlessly about himself and his views on everything imaginable. He’s very shy and quiet. He’s also the only good-looking one and is in great shape–a 30-year-old would envy his nearly 60-year-old physique. Perry also happens to be on of the great rock guitarists–he’s in the top 50 of Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
So it is refreshing to read this:
Joe Perry says national security and economic woes have prompted him to split from the rest of the entertainment world and throw his support behind John McCain.
” . . . Seeing so many people come out for Obama, I just felt like ‘What the hell, I might as well raise my hand for this side,’” Perry said from his Duxbury home.
The Bay State rockers have done a few fund-raisers for the Kennedy family over the years, but Perry’s endorsement of McCain marks a first for the platinum-selling guitarist/songwriter. A lifelong Republican, he said he was inspired to come forward because of ringing McCain endorsements from Rudy Giuliani and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I’ve been a hardcore Republican my whole life,” he told the Herald. “My mother and father drilled into me from the very start that if you work hard and be positive, you’ll get what you’re working for. I guess I’m living proof of that.”
Of criticism about McCain’s age, Perry said: “My mother’s in her 80s and she does aerobics. My manager’s 70 and he’s right there. That doesn’t bother me.”
And despite lopsided polls, he urged his fans to get out and vote.
I always knew Perry was the gem amidst the junk in Aerosmith (Steven Tyler, while a complete idiot, is also nice, but far left and very stupid). As for the rest of the group, if you think they have the good sense of Perry, “Dream On.”
From one of my previous columns on Steven Tyler and Aerosmith:
It’s the rock stars who sound like they might really know something–but don’t–that are worse.
Like Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith. I previously wrote about his recent hypocritical, phony patriotism. But worse, he’s now sounding even less patriotic, blaming America.
“After the Cold War, we could have had Genesis in Afghanistan,” he told the Boston Globe, last week. “We could have given them some schools. We could have fed them for a couple of years until they were back on their feet. Instead, we pulled out, and Russia came in and blew them apart. Bin Laden comes in and feeds them, and gives them a couple of roads–it’s like feeding heroin to pigeons. They always come back to you.”
This is ludicrous. There’s no denying Tyler’s expertise on heroin, cocaine, and many drugs to which he was addicted for most of the last three decades. But that’s about all he knows. He’s got his timeline a little wrong. And to explain away–or in any way qualify–the wholesale murder of 5,000 innocent Americans because, in Tyler’s ill-informed opinion, we didn’t make Afghanistan the newest welfare-queen satellite state, is just plain ridiculous.
And it’s wrong.
The U.S. funded Afghanistan to the tune of billions over the last two decades. In Fiscal Year 2001, alone, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Agriculture, and other U.S. agencies provided over $117,869,525 in aid to Afghanistan. And that was only the figure through July 9, according to a USAID Information Bulletin on that date. The aid included food, educational assistance and many other things beyond what the new secretary of state (in his own mind), Steven Tyler, thinks we “should have done,” but, in fact, did.
And still, Afghanistan allowed the Taliban to take over and the terrorists to live and flourish there, anyway. Talk about feeding heroin to a pigeon, Steven.
Remember this, if Steven Tyler tries to “balance out” Joe Perry’s McCain endorsement with one for Obama. The most obnoxious Aerosmither, though, and also the most liberal is bassist Tom Hamilton, probably an Obama supporter, too.
Previous Columns on Aerosmith, Steven Tyler, and Politics:
* Keep Celebrity Airheads Away From Government
* Rock Stars’ Patriotic Rip-Off
* Rock Stars, Shut Up!