Legendary fiddle-playing singer Charlie Daniels hasn’t been one to keep his conservative opinions quiet.
He went off on fellow musicians who demanded more gun control after the Orlando mass killing, calling it the “biggest farce going on.” Daniels also sent a blistering message to the “ayatollahs of Iran and every terrorist [they enable]” on behalf of the National Rifle Association and raked Congress over the coals for the controversial Iran nuclear deal.
And the country music icon this week turned his attention toward fellow Americans, specifically those rioting over the policies of Republican President Donald Trump.
Daniels, in an op-ed for CNS News, compared much of what’s happening today to the Civil War’s sociopolitical climate. He called that conflict’s hot-button issue of slavery “a devilish practice that never should have been allowed in the first place” but noted other topics flared tempers as well:
One – in my opinion – was just plain stubbornness and pride and the dogged determination that the South would not let itself be told what to do by the other half of the country, but trade, tariffs and different attitudes and beliefs about just how far a federal government could go in setting the tone and making laws to be obeyed by all the states were also involved.
The point I’m trying to make is that the feelings festered so long and ran so deep that men whose fathers had stood shoulder to shoulder in the war for independence faced off across fields of battle and killed each other.
And Daniels said he sees a similar climate now.
“I see young people interviewed on television who can’t even articulate the reason they are protesting,” he wrote, adding that he’s watched “hysterical protestors screaming about First Amendment rights which they seem to think only protect them and those who think like them and that the opposition has no First Amendment protection and should be shouted down at all costs.”
He added: “The pot is boiling and it’s only a matter of time before there will be blood on the streets.”
“Americans have the right to civil disobedience, a right to gather and demonstrate against some policy they feel is unfair or harmful to the country at large,” Daniels continued, “but they do not have the right to interrupt commerce, break windows, burn cars or do bodily harm to those who disagree with them.”
He also warned that those bent on destruction now need to realize that “there is an element of violence on the other side as well, a side that, thankfully, so far has not yet come forth.”
“But, should these conditions continue, someday soon the violent elements of both persuasions will find themselves on the same streets, and what will ensue will not be pretty,” Daniels said, adding that we need to “learn from history, or repeat it.”