Millennial Country Music Bodes Ill for Civic Virtue

As John McGinnis explained in his recent series of posts regarding the Constitution’s design for creating civic virtue (here, here, and here), a free society depends on a responsible citizenry, strong families, and thriving civic associations that foster social cohesion.  According to McGinnis, the success of the Republic depends, not necessarily on religion per se, but on the presence of informal discipline (self-control, deferred gratification, thrift, etc.) and a “morality of self-restraint.”

That, of course, leads to the subject of country music (or it does if you live where I do—Austin, Texas, with one of the nation’s most vibrant music scenes, where I moved after I retired as a lawyer). Country music is a diverse genre, but generally groups aspiring to commercial success celebrate the same type of values that McGinnis identifies—small town community, romance and marriage, patriotism, piety, hard work, and similar bourgeois ideals.  Recall Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee” (1969) or “The Fightin’ Side of Me” (1970), or the more recent hits by Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, and Garth Brooks. This makes sense because country music is thought to appeal to “Middle America”—rural and/or southern audiences, living in or near the Bible Belt, who are not estranged from our traditional culture.

Read More at Law & Liberty

  • “Mark Pulliam is one of the few truly fearless, devastatingly incisive, original and yet deeply learned commentators on the contemporary legal scene.  His new blog is a welcome addition and a splendid and provocative resource.”
    Professor Stephen B. Presser
    Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus, Northwestern University School of Law
  • “Mark Pulliam is the Walt Longmire of legal conservatism. You don't want to be on the wrong end of his pen. His commentary on law, politics, and policy is not to be missed.”
    Richard Reinsch II
    Director of Law and Liberty, Liberty Fund, Inc.
  • “Mark's blistering criticism of the foibles of the lawyering class and crackpot judges is a worthy penance for a recovering attorney. And it is our gain.”
    Michael Thompson
    Shareholder, Wright & Greenhill, P.C.
  • “Maybe this man’s degree is written in crayon."
  • "Mark Pulliam fancies himself a Paul Revere of the right."
    Froma Harrop
    Syndicated columnist
  • “With the flourish of a pen, Mark Pulliam makes bad guys rhetorically bleed and weak guys physically cringe. It's awesome.”
    Michael Quinn Sullivan
    President & CEO, Empower Texans
  • "Mark Pulliam, writer and thinker extraordinaire, has a new blog. Make sure to visit and register. Mark Pulliam's new blog is a thing of wit and intelligence."
    Bradley J. Birzer
    Professor of History, Hillsdale College, President of the American Ideas Institute, and editor at large of The Imaginative Conservative
Featured In

Sign up for updates

Get the latest updates, news, and alerts directly from the source.
We promise, we don't spam.

Featured Tweets