Ted Nugent is a rock 'n' roll legend and conservative activist. Known throughout the world as the Motor City Madman, Uncle Ted has sold more than 40 million albums and performed well over 6,000 concerts. A long-serving board member of the National Rifle Association, he is a prominent advocate for hunting and one of America's foremost defenders of the Second Amendment. Mr. Nugent, a Washington Times columnist, is the bestselling author of numerous books such as "Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto" (Regnery, 2008), "God, Guns & Rock 'N' Roll" (Regnery, 2000) and -- with his wife Shemane -- "Kill It and Grill It: A Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish" (Regnery, 2002). You can find out more about the Nuge's music, television programs, concerts and causes at tednugent.com.
Decker: Every time there is a tragedy and some lowlife shoots a bunch of people, the left goes on its own rampage to try to force arms control on everyone. Why does this gun-grabber reaction put Americans in more danger?
Nugent: The God-given, individual, U.S. Constitution-guaranteed right to keep and bear arms -- like the natural, instinctive right to self-defense -- is by any and all considerations a self-evident truth. The depth of mindless denial necessary to avoid these truisms is an inescapable indictment to the soullessness of liberal gun haters. Much worse than this horrid curse is the dazzling fact that all evidence concludes that their dream of "gun-free zones" is the environment where the most innocent lives are slaughtered every time. How in God's good name anyone could possibly want more of these slaughter zones cannot be explained with a scintilla of decency, logic or common sense. Those in favor of banning guns and increasing the "gun-free zone" murderers' dream are willfully complicit in each and every murder that takes place as a result of such insanity. In order to save the most lives, all we need to do is ban gun-free zones, the insane politicians that want them and the thugs who commit violent crimes. Instinct deniers are the real problem, not guns.
Decker: Through hard work, discipline and killer riffs, you have built a business empire on being a guitar player. Such entrepreneurism is at the heart of what made America great. Today, the U.S. national debt has surpassed $16.2 trillion because too many people expect government to give them goodies. Do you worry that Americans have gotten too lazy, complacent or just lost the character it will take to turn this mess around? What needs to be done to put the cycle of dependency in reverse?
Nugent: All the Americans I hang out with are powerful, positive, productive forces to reckon with. My family, my band, management, crew, Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild TV production team, our Sunrize Safaris guides and outfitters, the U.S. military and law-enforcement warriors I work and train with, my hunting buddies, musician friends -- literally everybody in my extensive world -- are driven to be the absolute best that we can be in everything we do in order to be an asset to America. Being that as it may, we are all heartbroken that the Herculean work ethic that dominated The Last Best Place and made America The Last Best Place has dwindled considerably since the big lies of The New Deal and The Great Society succeeded in brainwashing a segment of our country to believe Fedzilla would provide for anyone who decided, for whatever reason, to not be productive. In Mao Tse Tung's Communism, the term "leaning on the hoe" came about as more and more people learned that laziness would be rewarded and blood could be sucked from the producers when government power was ultimately corrupted.
President Obama fanned the flames of this brainwashing, but thankfully a brilliant businessman like Mitt Romney has all the right ideas to put an end to this economic death wish. With a united effort by all caring Americans to be the best of the best again, we can reverse this curse by demanding productivity from everyone we know and refusing to reward such indecency ever again.
Decker: Other than your own records, whose music do you enjoy listening to? Are there any new bands you like in recent years? Anything interesting out of Detroit?
Nugent: The soul-stirring, grinding, defiant soul music by the original black masters will remain inspiring and timeless for eternity to real music lovers everywhere. Howling Wolf, Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, all things Motown, James Brown, Wilson Picket, Otis Redding, and all the gifted musicians since who celebrate that musical authority will always make me dance and squirm. Detroit continues to produce masterful musical talent like Kid Rock, Eminem, Jack White, Chad Smith, drummer for the Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot, and others that always deliver that original soul with their own style and touch. I just wrapped up the most exciting, high-energy, ferocious tour of my life in 2012, and the best, most intense music of my life was propelled by Mick Brown on drums, Greg Smith on bass and Derek St. Holmes on guitar and vocals and record-setting gung-ho audiences who crave such excellence and passion just like we do.
Decker: You and I are Motown soul brothers, as you've put it before. When outsiders visit our hometown today, the reaction is always the same: This place looks like some post-apocalyptical disaster area. Once one of America's richest, most dynamic business centers, how did the Motor City fall so far and what lessons can be learned from the demise of Detroit?
Nugent: It is so very true that my birth city of Detroit was the cleanest, most neighborly, positive-energy, work-ethic epicenter of planet earth when I was born there in 1948, right on through to the 1960s. Enter the liberal death wish of Mayor Coleman Young and a tsunami of negative, anti-productivity policies by liberal Democrats that put a voodoo curse on our beloved Motor City. When you train and reward people to scam, cheat and refuse to be productive, there is only one direction that society can go: straight down the toilet. It is truly a heartbreaker. Some wonderful people are still to be found back home, but they are outnumbered by the pimps, whores and welfare brats that have made bloodsucking a lifestyle. And now we have a president who is doing everything he can to take the whole country down that same path. Truly amazing.
Decker: What do you think is the most imminent threat facing America today, and what should be done to address the problem?
Nugent: Even with all the horrific negatives as manifested by the Obama/leftist administration gagging the life out of America, none is worse than the self-inflicted curse of apathy. In a feeble effort to not hurt anyone's feelings, otherwise great Americans backed off from critiquing, prodding and straightening out those around us to be better, try harder, do the right thing and be the best and most productive that they can be. In the absence of this time-honored tradition of sincere encouragement and loving discipline, even when creating a confrontational situation, America got softer and learned to get away with mediocrity and outright slovenliness. Americans must once again get tough and demand excellence from our families, friends, co-workers and everyone in our lives. By condemning this current negativity, we can force our way back to that shining city on the hill. I believe we will get there.
Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book "Bowing to Beijing" (Regnery, 2011).
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