Lessons To Be Learned From The Dixie Chicks

In my new column at Townhall I look at the Dixie Chicks’ recent statements and how their disrespect for their fans presents an example politicians should not want to follow.

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When Maines made her now famous comment about being ashamed of the president I thought she was out of line. I thought so because she was on foreign soil and we were on the eve of war. That is her right, though, and if that was all she said, it would have most likely blown over eventually. Willie Nelson and some other country music stars are vocal Democrats who have spoken out against the war. What the Dixie Chicks did that was different from other country music singers is disrespect their fans.

Recently Dixie Chick Marti Maguire said “I’d rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith,” Maguire said. “We don’t want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do.”

The example of the Dixie Chicks’ rejection by many country music fans is one that carries a lesson those marketing any product would do well to heed. It easily translates from musicians and fans to politicians and voters, too. When politicians treat voters as ignorant and backward for not accepting their position on an issue, the voters are likely to go elsewhere.

When a politician accuses the president of being an idiot or a liar for believing or espousing a particular point of view, voters who hold that same view are likewise going to feel assaulted. Those wondering why so many voters in the red states have rejected the Democratic Party could learn a lesson from the Dixie Chicks’ example.

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