Some time ago, I watched a Kid Rock interview with Piers Morgan on CNN. I’ve liked some of his music and respected his talent, but never thought much of the person. I admit, I was probably pre-judging him based on his looks and tabloid stories. I mean, really, make yourself look like you took a shower and don’t have a fight with everyone you run into!
Well, I now find myself frequently quoting Kid Rock, much to my husband’s amusement. In the Piers Morgan interview, he came across as “real”, sincere, with nothing to hide. Still not somebody I’d choose to have dinner with, but I developed a whole new respect for him.
There was one conversation stream that most resonated with me. He had performed for troops in Iraq, and he was then asked whether the U.S. should have sent troops there in the first place, given what we know about how that ended up. He did not give a definitive “yes” or “no” response, but he made his point of view pretty clear when he said (and I am of course paraphrasing, because I cannot find a clip of this part anywhere), “Sometimes, you don’t need to know everything the government is doing. There are reasons you don’t know. I’m just grateful that when I wake up in my bed in the morning, I’m alive and my house hasn’t been bombed to shreds. That’s why I pay taxes.”
In other words, if you live in a democratic country, you elect a government and you entrust them to spend your tax dollars in your interest. They don’t always do that, but you have to have some faith that the democratic process will play itself out to protect you.
A couple of weeks ago, I watched a PBS “Frontline” episode called “WikiSecrets”, the story about how Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, purportedly supplied classified military documents to the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks (you can view the whole episode here).
The story raised the question: was Bradley Manning a heroic whistleblower who exposed government wrongdoing, or a national security threat and spy? Manning ended up telling a reknowned hacker – who had already been previously charged – named Adrian Lamo that he was in possession of this highly classfied material and was going to hand it over to Julian Assange at WikiLeaks. Lamo blew the whistle on Manning because he didn’t want to be an accessory to a crime. Hackers condemned Lamo. And so the story gave me pause for thought: what would I have done in Lamo’s situation?
Well, I go back to what Kid Rock said. 🙂
Sometimes you don’t need to know everything the government is doing and there are reasons you don’t know. Pay your taxes and trust the process. I don’t want to sound naive: I know we can’t just blindly accept everything an elected government does, but you have the opportunity to express your discontent by then voting that government out. At least we have that option in North America. You, as Citizen X, probably shouldn’t be reading classified military and government documents.
Kid Rock knows what he’s talking about.
If you’re interested in viewing a clip from the Piers Morgan interview with Kid Rock, click here.