Rock, or country? This artistic preference could be used as a surrogate for the difference between urban blue culture and rural red culture. Others are out there. Truck or Tesla. Oil or solar. Many others can probably come to mind.
A man with experience of both wrote lyrics to a song called “We Just Disagree.” His name was Jim Krueger. He is from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, but spent a majority of his time songwriting here in the L.A. area, before he moved back to Manitowoc because he found L.A. “just too aggravating.”
The lyrics were made famous in a song that two artists have taken to the heights of both Billboard’s rock and country charts.
First, while Jim Krueger was in the Dave Mason band, in 1977, “We Just Disagree” rose to No. 12 in the Hot 100. Dave Mason himself was one of our neighbors, since he lived in nearby Ojai for 16 years. The song features Krueger’s distinctive 12-string sequence that is instantly recognizable.
Later, in 1993, the same year Krueger died of pancreatitis, “We Just Disagree” went to No. 9 on the Hot Country list when covered by Billy Dean. You might recall Billy to have gotten his break when he won Best Male Vocalist on “Star Search” in 1988. Billy still tours and has had a splendid career over the past 30 years.
The lyrics to the song poetically appeal to “leave it alone,” asking that both sides of the disagreement find peace through abandoning the fight, an opening to détente.
Détente is relaxation of political strife through verbal dialogue. We seem to need that.
Yogi Berra famously said, “You have to give 100% in the first half of the game. If that isn’t enough, in the second half, you have to give what’s left.” Sportsmen like to use the Yogi Berra attitude of “giving 110%.”
Above all, we Americans need to take our 50/50 nature and use it to our advantage. We need to find a way to suspend our competitive nature and cooperate in order to be great as a team; to leverage our freedoms, and temper our urges to foster the benefits that each of the halves offer; suspend the search for competitive political advantage and achieve the full greatness that comes from our team effort.
Rock or country? No matter, we are on the same side here. We cannot abandon this fight over our shared future.
Greatness is achieved only at a 100% commitment, or more. Do you have the stamina?