Disclaimer: This post is about a book, not the politics discussed in the book.
Full disclosure: I didn’t read this book. I listened to it on audiobook with my Scribd membership. I think there’s a review of this service coming soon, but for now, just know that I love it.
If you’re not familiar with Trae Crowder, he’s a comedian with a YouTube channel; he does quick little rant videos about politics and current events. It’s called the Liberal Redneck. If you’re not into being liberal or politics, his channel and this book probably won’t appeal to you. I find him hilarious. Along with his two buddies, Corey and Drew, Trae records the WellRed podcast where they talk about their upbringing in the Deep South and politics and make dumb jokes at each others expense. They also tour and do standup comedy. From this podcast and the tour, The Liberal Redneck Manifesto was born.
In this book, they talk about everything: the opioid epidemic and how it’s affected them personally. Growing up in poverty. Religion. Music. Race relations. Southern women. Their grandparents. Seriously, the range of topics is staggering, but somehow the book manages to stay cohesive. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this book as much had I not been listening to the authors’ words being read in their own voices. I imagine it gets confusing since there are multiple perspectives in each chapter.
The thing that surprised me the most was the reverence these dudes have for the region they were born in. They see it for what is it and love it unconditionally, flaws and all. They’re not interested in ragging on or disavowing the South, but they do want to make it better. They want to let the world know that all of the negative Dukes of Hazzard stereotypes aren’t necessarily true, and they want to find a way to affect positive change in areas like poverty, education, and employment.
I know that there are good people in the South because I started spending time there when I was a little kid, and it’s still one of my favorite regions to visit. On my most recent trip, I stayed overnight in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and it was one of the most adorable places I’ve ever seen. The Post Office was also an ice cream shop, I kid you not. They didn’t accept debit cards, and the old man running the place was so sweet and spent like 15 minutes talking to me about New York and the best things to see while I was in the area. I really wish I’d had more time there.
I can imagine living somewhere like Fayetteville, or Asheville where my dad and stepmom live, or even somewhere in Georgia. Every time I cross the state line into Georgia I get this weird feeling like I could be at home there. It doesn’t happen in other states so it must mean something, right?
So anyway, I enjoyed the hell out of this book, and it kept me awake through many hours of driving through the region these boys love so much. Thanks for keeping me awake and engaged gentlemen.