Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer Has No Idea What An Anarchist Is
*carves Anarchy symbol into my pocket Constitution*
Iced Earth leader Jon Schaffer is always one to speak his mind. He probably should not. In a recent interview with Zombitrol Productions, Schaffer tried to hit us with FACTS(tm) and LOGIC(tm) about his music, his political views, and how he’s “…about as close to an anarchist as you can be.” Wait, what?
“If somebody cares enough about the facts, they would look deep enough into what I actually stand for, which is really ultimate freedom. I’m about as close to an anarchist as you can be. I’m not a fan of government, I’m not a fan of the left — they’re just as ridiculous as the extreme right. You follow the circle and you end up meeting. Both ends of the spectrum will end up at the same point at some point, when you go extreme either way. So I don’t really care.”
Webster’s defines an anarchist as
1: a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power
2: a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy especially : one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order
By that definition, is Jon Schaffer an anarchist? If we take the first version in the broadest sense, then I suppose we’re all anarchists in one way or another. No one is ever completely happy with their government or rulers all the time. The second definition is where Schaffer is way off. He’s not out smashing Starbucks windows, planning to bring down Congress, or even blocking people from charging up their Teslas. He’s a well-off guitarist that loves freedom, liberty, Founding Fathers, and being in a shit–rock band that appeals to boring white guys that read a few chapters of Atlas Shrugged and cosplay as Thomas Jefferson on the weekends. Unless being an anarchist means doing an interview with a conspiracy theory crackpot whose empire is crumbling as we speak, he’s not an anarchist.
“I’m not a right-wing extremist, and I’m not a left-wing… I don’t play the Republican-Democrat game — I don’t do it; I have no interest in it,” he said. “It’s shallow, it’s stupid, it’s divisive, and it’s a game that’s played by the establishment to keep people fighting. I’m an American first — that’s where I was born, that’s my country, and I’m loyal to the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights. And, really, if you dig into that, those documents and the people who wrote them are not perfect and they weren’t perfect, but they were pretty fucking amazing, and they understood history and they understood tyranny.”
Anyone else get the dry heaves when reading “I’m loyal to the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights”? He’s not a fan of the government, but is “loyal” to documents created by, maintained by, and enforced by…wait for it…the government. Does the loyalty count to all the amendments that had to be added later? Just curious. When he’s not wearing an American flag bandanna or a Confederate battle flag bandanna, he’s wearing an Oath Keepers hat. Here’s a nice primer from the Southern Poverty Law Center on who the Oath Keepers are. They’re anti-government, thanks in large part to conspiracy theories, but love the Constitution. In other words, down with government, but only the parts we don’t like. So yeah, still not an anarchist.
This sounds like it’s a “freedom for me and not for thee” situation for Schaffer. He likes his rights, but any sort of rule or law that helps the disenfranchised is “tyranny”. That’s not overthrowing exactly the “overthrowing the government” portion of being an anarchist. That’s just selfishness.
It sounds like Schaffer is the type of guy who wakes up before dawn to raise the American flag in his front yard and chokes up while saying the Pledge of Allegiance. His “Don’t Tread On Me” sticker has a smaller “Don’t Tread On Me” sticker on it. He bathes in nothing but bald eagle tears. He shouts “How dare you, sir?” at the Arby’s Drive Thru. He still thinks Ron Paul has a chance to become President.
I can’t wait for the newest Sons Of Liberty album “I’m Making A Citizen’s Arrest!”