Last night press representatives of Dave Mustaine sent out a statement clarifying the Megadeth frontman’s recent supposed-by-not-really endorsement of Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
“Contrary to how some people have interpreted my words, I have not endorsed any presidential candidate,” went the statement. “What I did say was that I hope to see a Republican in the White House. I’ve seen good qualities in all the candidates but by no means have made my choice yet. I respect the fact that Santorum took time off from his campaign to be with his sick daughter, but I never used the word ‘endorse.'”
This clarification was necessitated by a recent interview Mustaine gave MusicRadar, in which graciously assessed his colleagues in the music industry. “Everybody’s got their head in the sand. Everybody in the industry is like, ‘Oh, Obama’s doing such a great job…’ I don’t think so. Not from what I see.” He went on to discuss his totally reasonable takes on Mitt Romney (“Where does a guy make that much money? There’s some questions there”) and Newt Gingrich (“he’s just gone back to being that person that everybody said he was – that angry little man”) before giving his thoughts on Pennsylvania’s frothiest homophobe. “I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum.”
Though it will probably not surprise anyone that a music writer for the Village Voice would not share his world view, I’m not here to demonize Dave Mustaine for his political opinions. It’s a free country and he can support whomever he wants, and at this point if someone thinks that President Obama is a socialist, I honestly don’t know what I could say to change their mind. (Of course, it’s easier to feel this way when you know that Santorum has a greater chance of appearing at the GAYVN Awards than the White House.)
What I take issue with is how many outlets treated the story like Mustaine was just now stepping out of the conservative closet with his “endorsement,” when the guy has approached his Republican opinions the way he’s approached everything else in his life: loudly. I’m not a big fan of the man’s music (more of a Slayer partisan, I will admit. Though I certainly won’t deny “Sweating Bullets”) and I’m usually a few minutes late to the latest heavy metal phenomenon (have you guys heard of this band Liturgy? Crazy stuff!), but you would have to have completely ignored any news source that reports on metal for the last decade to be surprised by Mustaine’s latest statements. (Seriously, if you’ve ever dropped by Blabbermouth even for a minute, none of this would news.) Of course, plenty of music journalists have spent the last decade ignoring heavy metal news sources. So it seems we are in need of a brief refresher in Highly Conservative Things Dave Mustaine Has Said, so none of us will be surprised the next time this happens.
“You see Al Jourgensen of Ministry going around saying ‘Fuck Bush.’ And I’ve always liked Ministry but I know that guy has a legendary drug problem so you can’t really take what he is saying seriously. The United States is the strongest country in the world for a reason. Now I’m gonna vote for Bush. I voted for Clinton, but I don’t give a fuck because I vote for the lesser of two evils. Kerry is a mistake. He will ruin our country. But the fact that people would vote based on who a celebrity endorses is just stupid. Don’t vote for Bush because I’m voting for him. Don’t vote for Kerry because you hate me.” –Pit Magazine, October 2004
“It seems like we’re just — like I said — sprinting towards socialism, and I don’t wanna be a socialist. I like living in a free America. The idea that if you have a chicken in a democracy is that it’s your chicken; if you’re in socialism, it’s everybody’s chicken. It’s like a communist country. And the idea of the U.S.S.R.A, it just doesn’t have a good ring to it.” -Interview with “Metal Zone” radio host Nikki Blakk, February 2011
“I know I’m not making any friends at the U.N. with this album (2007’s United Abominations.) I got saved a few years ago, and I believe the Bible says that the U.N. is going to fail. In order for the predictions in the Book of Revelations to take place, it’s gotta fail. I don’t ever expect to go there, except to look where the building used to be, you know? I hope that someone’s going to pull the chain, and that’s where the butthole of the United States is, and it just disappears!” –Revolver, May 2007
“The buck stops with the president of the United States. He’s the most powerful person in the world. He’s also the most divisive president we’ve ever had. I’ve never, in my 50 years of being alive, listened to an American president try and turn one class of people against another class of people. I’ve never — never — heard a president say, ‘Go down and join the protesters down at Wall Street,’ knowing that there are Nazis down there, knowing that there are people down there who are trust-fund babies, that are super, super wealthy and they’re going down there and pretending that they really care; they just wanna be part of the ‘movement.'” -Interview with Triple J radio host Andrew Haug, October 2011
“Yeah you’ve got Tom Morello from Audioslave walking around talking about freeing the people in South America while he is walking around in his fucking Gucci silk suits. Spare me, what do you know about that? Talk about hypocrisy. Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks said that she is ashamed to be from the state of Texas; well I’m ashamed that you are fucking from America.” –Pit Magazine, October 2004