Tags: townsend | who | neocon | politics

‘Who’ Knew? Rock Legend Pete Townshend Is a 'Neocon'

Tuesday, 04 Dec 2012 12:36 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Pete Townshend has found himself in a bit of a rock ‘n roll stew after the legendary leader of The Who made a stunning political confession, revealing he is “a bit of a neocon.’’

Townshend — writer of such rock classics as “Won’t Get Fooled Again’’ and “Pinball Wizard’’ — told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl that he was sure Mitt Romney had the presidential election wrapped up.

"I thought he was throwing the money in such buckets. And I thought Obama looked tired — because the hurricane must have come like a sock in the chops,’’ said the 67-year-old musician said.

“I mean, the actual detail of having to deal with all of that stuff in the middle of a campaign."

Townshend added: "I try to stay away from American politics, I'm a bit of a neocon. I like the idea of America as the world’s police force, and then we don’t have to do it.’’

“Neocon’’ is short for neoconservative, which has been defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and United States national interest in international affairs including through military means.’’

Rock fans were quick to comment on Townshend’s revelation — some with praise, some with disgust.

“Who’da thunk it?’’ wrote Andrew Kirell, a columnist for mediaite.com “Apparently The Who’s legendary guitarist … is kindred spirits with the likes of [Weekly Standard founder] Bill Kristol and the rest of the Weekly Standard types …’’

One commenter at NationReview.com said: “Good for Pete, but he seems unaware that [President Barack] Obama outspent Romney during the campaign.’’

In the interview for “Spinners & Winners,’’ an online news show produced by ABC and Yahoo! News, Townshend also spoke of his early political leanings.

"When we first started in 1967, a lot of our buddies were acid-heads who were trying to escape the draft,’’ he said.

“I felt denied the right in a sense to have a role in the future of the world as a soldier, as a mover, a shaker. When I found music, and I found a new way to speak and to express myself particularly to those young teenagers that we entertained when we started out, that became my politics.

The rocker also called his song “Won’t Get Fooled Again’’ — which contains the famous, oft-quoted line “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss’’ — “an anti-politics song.’’

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