The Presidential candidate recently admitted that his musical taste changed after the attacks.
Shortly after becoming the first to officially throw a hat in the 2016 presidential ring, Ted Cruz revealed that he began listening to country after 9/11. “Music is interesting. I grew up listening to classic rock, and I’ll tell you sort of an odd story,” said Cruz. “My music tastes changed on 9/11,” he continued, speaking to CBS This Morning.
“On 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded, and country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me, and I have to say, it just is a gut-level — I had an emotional reaction that says, ‘these are my people.'”
Country music certainly garnered a reputation for its responses to the infamous day. Toby Keith and Darryl Worely both landed in some hot water with their bombastic responses, while Alan Jackson took a more contemplative route. Since then, several country artists have released songs in support of the troops fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Given that politicians on both sides of the aisle have a penchant for acting and embellishing, Cruz’ answer is an interesting insight into who he’s trying to appeal to. To recap his neocon platform: he still denies climate change, opposes gay marriage and net neutrality, and was one of the anti-Obamacare leaders who shut down the government in 2013. To appeal to the Iowa caucus goers who would help win him the nomination, it would seem Ted wants to play up his down-home side (to be fair, he is from Texas.)
But despite his conservative Texan credentials, invoking 9/11 for such a trivial question strikes as exploitative. Even if it’s the truth, his delivery is exaggerated and drawn out – he knows he’s got an audience, because the mere mention of the attacks are a surefire attention grabber. Not that I’m a political consultant, but he may want to steer clear of superfluously mentioning 9/11. If he doesn’t, he’s sure to draw comparisons to former Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who politicized his role in rebuilding the city so much that he attained self-parody.
Interestingly, what’s NOT being analyzed is the fact that Cruz also confessed to liking popular political drama House of Cards, which is perhaps concerning given its main character’s tendencies toward murderous sociopathy. (Yes, we ALL love House of Cards, but wouldn’t you keep that on the hush-hush if you were running for president?!)