Did we need more proof that conservative culture warriors have nothing intelligent to say about rock and roll?

During the ‘Concert for Valor’ event on the National Mall last night, rockers Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and Zac Brown performed the Credence Clearwater Revival classic ‘Fortunate Son’ to great applause. But Ethan Epstein, Assistant Editor of The Weekly Standard, chose to accuse the three men of being “tone deaf” in a post that is so deluded, I took a screenshot in case his neoconservative boss William Kristol deletes it from the website out of embarrassment.


Of course, ‘Fortunate Son’ is not the least bit anti-war or anti-military at all. Rather, it is a song about chickenhawks — people who delight in sending other people’s children to fight wars they would never deign to wage themselves. Remember when Mitt “47%” Romney spent the Vietnam War in Paris while cheering the bloodshed? Remember when he said that his own sons were too busy helping him run for president to go fight the war in Iraq that he cheered so enthusiastically? That’s what the song ‘Fortunate Son’ is about. Consider the actual lyrics:

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooo, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief”
Ooo, they point the cannon at you, Lord

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Where are the anti-war, anti-military, anti-American words in that stanza? How is that “taking shots” at the American flag again? The answer is that the lyrics Epstein considers “tone-deaf” only exist in his own illiberal imagination, where the concept of privileged elite young men like himself putting on uniforms and taking risks for their country is as foreign as a Kenyan birth certificate. That sort of dirty business is what God made the poors for.

Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, y’all
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Clearly, this song is making Epstein uncomfortable because it describes the sort of leaders he passionately worships and wishes to join. Rich, white men like Mitt Romney who amass billions in wealth by saddling companies with debt, foisting the costs of business onto the public wherever possible, and inventing complicated tax avoidance schemes to protect profits — all while they send other people’s children to kill and die at taxpayer expense — yes, these are the sort of people who float Epstein’s boat, and facing that fact makes him extremely uncomfortable, as it should.

Yeah, yeah
Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,
And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer “More! More! More!”, y’all

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, one
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son, no, no, no

When I saw this story trending in my Twitter feed last night, I looked up Mr. Epstein’s Twitter account and tried to tag him in a tweet about it. But by the time I posted my tweet, Epstein had deleted his account. Apparently, he’s a chickenhawk who won’t even fight to defend his own words.

5 thoughts on “Chickenhawk: Weekly Standard Asst. Editor Disses ‘Fortunate Son,’ Deletes Twitter Account”
  1. He’s just another example of how poor the education system has become. Obviously, reading comprehension was an area that his teachers failed to teach him, because if he’d read the actual lyrics, he would realize his mistake. Geesh.

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