9/11 Changed What Music Ted Cruz Listens To, Because Country’s Patriotic Themes “Resonated” With Him More Than Rock & Roll

Isn't it exciting to finally have a bonafide Republican headline-grabber officially running for President? Sure, there are almost-certain-to-run establishment darlings like Jeb Bush, and your typical non-politician also-rans like Ben Carson, but you can keep all of them. What really lets the American public know that the campaign cycle is underway is when the full-throated, primary-season firebrands start spitting their hardline rhetoric. And with Texas Senator Ted Cruz now in the mix, things will never be boring, if nothing else — Ted Cruz loves country music thanks to 9/11, as he revealed in an interview with CBS This Morning on Tuesday.

Here's the idea: After the largest terrorist attack ever carried out on American soil back in 2001, a young(er) Cruz found his musical tastes swayed by what you might call inter-genre politics. His pro-America sentiments apparently steeled by the violence and trauma of the day, he apparently arrived at the conclusion that the rock music he'd lived his life with — classic rock, he said — was no longer patriotic enough for him, so he decided to pass it up in favor of America's number one export genre for overtly patriotic tunes. That's right, he turned to country music.

I grew up listening to classic rock, and I'll tell you sort of an odd story. My music tastes changed on 9/11. It's very strange — I actually intellectually find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn't like how rock music responded. And country music, collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me. And I have to say, just as a gut level, I had an emotional reaction that said, 'these are my people.' So ever since 2001, I listen to country music. For the record, Ted Cruz isn't the only American who was taken by patriotic country anthems in the weeks and months after 9/11, not by a long shot. I'll never forget having to swim laps outside in the winter while my high school gym teacher blared Alan Jackson's "Where Were You" over the PA. I still maintain that a high school is a bad place to boast that you can't tell the difference between Iraq and Iran, but there you go.

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Cruz didn't go into any detail about which songs he loved back in the day that he couldn't after the towers fell, nor what country music he now finds so compelling. This makes it easier for people to assume this may just be that oldest trick in the campaign book — turning a question about personal taste into a chance to politically pander. Although he gave a seemingly quite honest answer to the first question, saying that he'd just finished the third season of House of Cards, which makes him cooler than Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, at least. In any event, this might give us all a preview of what to expect if Cruz wins the White House in 2016. I mean, not the stuff that'll really matter, like health care, reproductive health access, foreign policy, terrorism, income inequality, all of that. I mean what sort of playlist he'll have at his inauguration. A little Lee Greenwood while he slaps his hand on the Bible, maybe? Image: Getty Images (1)