It’s always a little jarring to see a pop culture wild child, complete with rap sheet and sex tape, talking up civic responsibility.
But Monday night as Kid Rock introduced GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan -- “a fellow hunter, a fellow fan of rock and roll” -- at Oakland University in suburban Detroit, he offered a slightly unexpected, mellow take on the election, at a moment when the political discourse is particularly poisonous.
The suburban Detroit-born rocker whose song “Born Free” has become Romney’s anthem, wore his trademark hat, brim pulled low, and was down-to-earth as he spoke for roughly five minutes, first urging people to vote (no matter whom they support) and lauding the country’s troops, whom he regularly entertains overseas in combat zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It is a little difficult to put myself in this position, knowing that it may alienate a few fans,” said Rock, 41, whose real name is Robert Ritchie. “But you know what, I really believe strongly that it's OK to disagree on politics -- and the direction of our country -- without hating one another.