ELVIS PRESLEY, CONSERVATIVE: That’s what the Opinion Journal says, adding:
The critics who gleefully zero in on the glaring gap between the Nixon-deputized antidrug crusader and the addict whose prescription drugs ended up killing him miss the point. Elvis may have been a sinner, but he and his music were too much steeped in a Pentecostal upbringing ever to deny the reality of sin itself. In short, he was a nice Southern boy who got in way over his head.
In a recent interview about his novel “Elvis in the Morning,” William F. Buckley noted that Elvis might even be thought conservative today, ironically opposing a 1960s culture of liberation that in some senses he helped create and that ended up killing him. Which only tells us that American culture changed far more than Elvis ever did.
It’s a good article, and I completely agree–in retrospect Elvis was very much a conservative, and “a nice Southern boy who got in way over his head”.
By the mid-70s, when I was a young suburbanite first listening to rock music, Elvis was fat, bloated and headed towards the abyss. Which is why he was never a teenage hero of mine–but I can’t help wondering what I’d think about him if I was growing up in the 1950s–like the musicians he influenced: The Beatles, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Albert Lee, and a zillion others.