WTF?! Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine Endorses Rick Santorum For President

We're all for artists speaking their mind, but shouldn't they actually think before they do? 

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

 

We don't talk much about Megadeth around here, mostly because Dave Mustaine's 80s big-hair holdovers have about as much musical relevance in 2012 as Robert Palmer and his "Simply Irresistible" girls. But when Dave recently let his batshit light shine in an interview with Music Radar, we couldn't help but take notice.

The 2012 Republican presidential candidate field been a hilarious circus of hyperbolic lunacy from the get-go, with every far-right xenophobic corporate shill getting their time on the dancefloor with the GOP diehards. Hell, even Ron Paul's anti-government fundamentalist fervor seemed like a feasible option for a moment. It seems that the core right-wing establishment is deeply unsatisfied with the most-eligible Mitt Romney as a candidate, however, and in their urgency to replace the gladhanding venture capitalist Mormon without a single consistent policy belief (outside the corporate interest), the collective have turned their sights on Rick Santorum.

Santorum, the Republican presidential candidate and avowed Christian crusader known for his 19th-century attitudes on personal freedom, staunch refusal of climate change and desire to bomb Iran, is a figure seemingly right out of Idiocracy. Yet, somehow, Santorum, a massively influential tool in the far-right's quest to wipe out America's idealogical middle, is the man to pin your hopes on in 2012 – at least according to Megadeth's ginger nucleus.

Mustaine’s recent conversion to Christianity may be impacting his choice for the big job, but the former senator from Pennsylvania caught the rocker’s attention when he stepped off the campaign trail to put family first: “When the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable,” the metaller said.

Santorum left the campaign trail briefly last month after his daughter, Bella, who became ill and had to be admitted to a Virginia hospital. He cares about his kid? Yep, let's let that guy lead the free world. That's all the criteria we need. Nevermind the stone-age rights-stripping and war-hungry policies the guy wants to enact.

Mustaine further explained his endorsement in the interview, saying “You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum.”

Engaging in political discourse is one thing, and it's perfectly respectable to use one's artistic platform as a means by which of informing the public of their findings and researched beliefs. But to so casually support a candidate whose core idealism is based on repression of American rights is tragically ignorant, misinformed and – worst of all – influential over legions of impressionable young music fans. Santorum believes premarital sex should be outlawed, that sexually active women have no right to accessible medical care, and that contraceptives should be illegal. Let's also not forget his statements that homosexual intercourse is akin to bestiality. To him, United States government serves merely as the means to an end for legislating a rigid set of moral codes in line with his personal faith – a fact Santorum makes no effort to conceal.

Yet this is the man Dave Mustaine believes can best lead and represent the American people in 2012. In the Music Radar piece, the frontman also shared his thoughts on the rest of the Republican field, in case you're into vague talking points about personality and calculated candidate character.

Ron Paul:“I like the guy because he knows how to excite the youth of America and fill them in on some things. But when he says that we’re like the Taliban… I’m sorry, Congressman Paul, but I’m nothing like the Taliban.”

Newt Gingrich: “I was pretty excited for a while, but now he’s just gone back to being that person that everybody said he was—that angry little man. I still like him, but I don’t think I’d vote for him.”

Mitt Romney: “I was floored the other day to see that Mitt Romney’s five boys have a $100 million trust fund. Where does a guy make that much money? So there [are] some questions there.”

Interestingly, Mustaine's first foray into politics was far on the other side of the idea that supporting personal rights is a good thing. In 1992, the rocker was a correspondent for MTV's "Choose or Lose" campaign. Here he is at the Democratic Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City – when Bill Clinton and Al Gore accepted their party's nomination – talking to a wide swath of Democratic supporters, protesters and delegates.

Even if he was late to the candidate game, the rocker's recent lyrics make his leanings pretty obvious, and they don't sound anything like his positions from two decades ago. "We the People," the fourth track off Megadeth's most recent album, last year's Thirt3en, is full of Tea Party patriotism hyperbolics that Santorum has made his calling card. "Violate your rights, no more equality / Surrender freedom, your Social Security / We, the people face unconstitutional lies / In greed we trust, in revolution we die," Mustaine sings.

 

Update – Mustaine has released a statement clarifying his remarks about Santorum:

“Contrary to how some people have interpreted my words, I have not endorsed any presidential candidate.  What I did say was that I hope to see a Republican in the White House.  I’ve seen good qualities in all the candidates but by no means have made my choice yet.  I respect the fact that Santorum took time off from his campaign to be with his sick daughter, but I never used the word ‘endorse.’”