Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign organized a rally this afternoon in front of the jail where anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was being held in the custody of U.S. Marshals after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
As fate would have it, Davis was released from custody just hours before Huckabee’s rally, so she came out to speak alongside Huckabee, Staver and her husband, taking the stage to Survivor's “Eye of the Tiger.”
Obviously, "Eye of the Tiger" is a fist-pumping anthem about defiant toughness. But it's also about a 98 on a 100-point scale of meat-and-potatoes arena-rock whiteness. The guitars, the drums, the chord changes, the song structure -- in a changing world, they all sound like home to suburban white people (even, I suppose, suburban white people who like country music -- after all, a lot of the attributes of classic rock have made their way into modern country).
There's no rap here. There's no disco or dance music. (Disco was the first style of music to pose a threat to rock's hegemony, a few years before "Eye" and other guitar anthems reestablished rock's primacy in the Reagan/MTV early '80s.) There's certainly nothing ethnic here, nothing weird, nothing alt-rocky or arty or gay.
A phrase from a recent Thomas Edsall essay in The New York Times seems relevant. Edsall's subject is Donald Trump:
Trump is going directly after those Republican voters who seek to protect what some scholars call “compositional amenities” -- the comfort of a common religion and language, mutually shared traditions, and the minimization of cultural conflict.That's what conservatives want -- more than they want a Christian nation or a politically conservative nation, they want everything to be just the way it was when people like them seemed to control everything and people they didn't like were relegated to the margins. This song is that feeling, with guitars.