Lennon, Kerouac, Ramone, Rotten: Conservatives all?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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John Lennon was a closet Republican. That is, according to Fred Seaman, Lennon’s personal aide from 1979-80 (when Lennon was killed). This may or may not be true, though it wouldn’t surprise me. After all, it was high taxes that broke up the Beatles (and who could forget their song “Taxman?”)

Assuming Lennon’s views did evolve over time, he joins a small, but prominent, group of counter-culture artists who dabbled in conservatism.

According to The American Museum of Beat Art (which may exist): “Despite the ‘beatnik’ stereotype, “[Jack] Kerouac was a political conservative, especially when under the influence of his Catholic mother. As the beatniks of the 1950’s began to yield their spotlight to the hippies of the 1960’s, Jack took pleasure in standing against everything the hippies stood for. He supported the Vietnam War and became friendly with William F. Buckley.”

Interestingly, the world of punk-rock also spawned some unlikely conservatives, including Johnny Ramone. And though one would probably not label The Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten a full-fledged conservative, he is decidedly pro-Israel and anti-abortion.

To be sure, the left still dominates the entertainment world. Still, these are big names. And who knows what else we might learn in the future. Hey, maybe Jim Morrisson was secretly a Randian?

Matt K. Lewis