Conservative Populism on the March

Printer-friendly versionSend to friendThe passage of the health care bill by the United States Senate is evoking strong reactions in the Evangelical Epicenters. One of the loudest protests comes in the form of a YouTube video by former Branson performer Ray Stevens. Entitled "We the People," the video features Stevens in a variety of costumes, including a Revolutionary War uniform, complete with a wig and tricorner hat (no doubt inspired by the tea party movement). Drawing heavily on the "death panel" scenario popularized by Sarah Palin, it begins with an innocent grandmother being denied a pacemaker.  As Stevens sings "we've heard from Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh, what you've got in mind for Grandma," the video shows a blonde nurse snuffing out a man in a gray wig. The climax of the video mixes highfalutin rhetoric with barnyard populism, declaring that "we're harboring feelings of extreme alienation, due to copious amounts of horse manure that have been shoveled out of the White House AND the Capitol Building, and we sense that we are being royally defecated upon." Promising to throw the rascals out, the video abounds in lowbrow comedy, including at least one Bronx cheer.  Nationally, the lyrics are available on several conservative blogs, one of which proclaims, "America is in the midst of a raging cultural and spiritual war. Forces of Good, Light, Conservatism and a Judeo-Christian Worldview daily battle the forces of Evil, Darkness, Socialism and False Religions and Philosophies. A Good Choice is on the frontlines exposing evil across America’s political and social spectrum." Here in the Evangelical Ozarks, the video has become a conservative answer to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.  Noting he has been a Ray Stevens fan "since the Shriner's Convention and the Mississippi Squirrel Revival," local blogger Bungalow Bill pronounces this latest contribution "really good," urging readers to "listen to the lyrics." Even as "We the People" makes the rounds on Facebook and YouTube, Ozarks conservatives are saying  goodbye to Vincent David Jericho, a fixture on FOX affiliate KSGF.  While some liberals are celebrating Jericho's departure, they appear to know little about his replacement, Heartland Nation host Bruce DeLay, a proponent of "religiously-incorrect talk radio."  Recounting a divine vision to reach the heartland with conservative radio, DeLay recalls God showing him a geographical area within the Southern, Midwestern, and Western United States.  Noting that "it was the basic Red State/Blue State Map we are all familiar with now," he said "the Map God had shown me is a combination of the 2000 and 2004 election Maps." While watching the Bush/Gore returns on FOX News in November 2000, he shouted to his wife, "Cindy--Come here!  My map is on TV!" His web site includes maps of these two elections, as well as the map he saw in his vision (which has a dark red line around most of the Republican states). A fan of the Minutemen, Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin, the tea party movement, and WorldNet Daily, DeLay promises to be at least as conservative as the departing Jericho.  In November he participated in a so-called Black Robed Regiment rally in Tulsa, named for the robed preachers of America's First Great Awakening. According to the Tulsa Beacon, the rally focused on the following topics:  • The right and duty of self defense • Should a Christian carry a gun? • How can Christians protect themselves? • Should Christians arm themselves in church? A veteran pastor with training in the martial arts, DeLay promises to pick up the culture war where Jericho left off.

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P.S.: So far DeLay appears to

P.S.: So far DeLay appears to be broadcasting from Tulsa. There is no local drive-time replacement in the KSGF studio. DeLay is listed as this week's 6-9 a.m. host, not a permanent voice on Springfield radio. See www.ksgf.com for more information.