First they came for Jose Feliciano, and I did not speak out, because I hate Christmas music. Then they came for Kanye West, and I did not speak out, because I don’t listen to anything that’s not on vinyl. And now they’re doing this..
Josh Riddle, of Denver, and David Rufful, a former Bishop Hendricken star from Warwick, are basketball players at Dartmouth College who have a rap act on the side, calling themselves The Young Cons and aim to spread the words of Jesus Christ, Ronald Reagan and “Atlas Shrugged” through music.
On ProJo.com is a picture of young conservative David Rufful with his arms in the air like a worshipper at a Holiness revival. Maybe in a sense he is speaking in tongues. Or maybe he always talks like this…
“I hate when government dictatin’ / makin’ statements for how to be a merchant / how to run a restaurant / how to lay the pavement / bail out a business but can’t protect an infant,” goes one line in the “Anthem.”
He’s hep to the beat, like us old-timers like to say. We remember when this new thing called ‘rap’ came on the scene. It was about ten years before these guys were born and they used these things called ‘turntables’. It’s complicated.
But if Riddle and Rufful (good name for a band, by the way) are into protecting infants I’m with them. Let’s have a Peter, Paul and Mary chorus of Kumbaya. We have RiteCare in Rhode Island, which provides health insurance to low-income children and families and needs more support. Farmers Markets in the center of the city accept food stamps, helping both families and farmers. Affordable housing– safe, lead-free apartments are a necessity for infants and children. Safe streets, clean air, good schools. I’ll even listen to The Young Cons sing if they can do some community organizing for these causes. I have to say it’s refreshing to find some conservatives whose concern for life doesn’t begin at conception and end at birth. You know, because it’s the born that are a lot of work and worry.
I’m curious about their philosophy. I wonder what Jesus, Ayn Rand, and Ronald Reagan talk about when they find themselves in a hotel lobby somewhere at a conference. Jesus had problems with authority, and a pattern of altruism. Ronald Reagan wasn’t particularly religious, and made up folksy anecdotes about the undeserving poor, whereas Jesus made up parables about the undeserving rich. Ayn Rand was good at laying up treasure where the rust and moth can get at it. I don’t know who collects her royalties now. Do they have cigarettes in Heaven? At least in the other place you can always find a light.
And what is the soul music of conservatism? It’s not rap. More likely country, though the sin and the whiskey and the pain of being down to your last dollar and a thousand miles from home, well, it just makes better music than smug satisfaction. Why are sad songs always the ones we want to hear? Maybe life doesn’t always make sense. Maybe we all need someone someday.