‘Only In America’ indeed. If an artist from any other country in the world wrote a song like this the entire nation would cringe first and escort the band out of the country second.
The American Dream is alive and well for a section of the population (multi-million selling country artists like Brooks and Dunn for one), and that is something the US can be proud of. The Right’s constant selling of the Dream to those who lack the the very good fortune and / or privilege to exploit it is disgraceful however, and it is a tragedy when the poor buy it.
But yet there is something truly beautiful about the song. What is it that I like about music like this? It is mawkish to a level that is hard to imagine let alone believe. The artists are clearly focussed on their careers and bank balances above anything else (nothing wrong with this per se, but I often prefer music that pays little attention to financial reward) – it is bland and obvious. But somehow they get across the pride they feel for their country – and I don’t have to buy that to enjoy the song – I just have to buy into the underlying emotion that they get across.