Touré: Prince Was a 'Conservative,' a 'Republican'

Will this stem the MSM's flood of deserved praise for PrinceIt turns out that Touré--better known in these parts as a former spoke in MSNBC's since-cancelled Cycle--is also a Prince biographer, his book  published in 2013.

Appearing on With All Due Respect today, Touré cited two sources: Prince's former sound engineer, and a member of his band, for the proposition that Prince was a "conservative" and a "Republican." Touré embraced the notion himself, but, being a liberal, described what it means to be a conservative in pejorative terms: "I am making money, I'm successful, I want this money and this success protected .  . . When you are rich, you want status quo." 

Note: after saying that "when you are rich, you want status quo," Touré continued: "it's when you don't have money that you need a revolution." Right. Because socialist/communist revolutions brought death, destruction and deprivation, whereas capitalism has been history's greatest engine for lifting people out of poverty.

Note Dos: while depicting Prince as a conservative, Touré began by describing Prince as progressive on issues of race and sexuality. Touré even managed to work the trendy academic term "intersectionality" into his remarks. 

JOHN HEILEMANN: So let me ask you this question. Yesterday, as we were scrambling to deal with this yesterday as everybody was, you know, this is a political show, we thought, Prince's politics, is Prince a political artist or not? In what ways? I can find some song lyrics. I know the lyrics pretty well. I know his, the gender stuff, social politics. The gender stuff. Some spirituality stuff. But if I said to you, Prince: political artist? What are Prince's politics? You would say what?

TOURE: Yeah, absolutely. In terms of some of the progressive stuff, it's absolutely there in terms of the intersectionality, the embracing of racial difference and racial nuance, the embracing of gender difference in gender nuance. He was intersectional before that was a term in academia. So all those sorts of things that progressives love, he was cutting edge with that sort of stuff. But Susan Rogers, his engineer on Purple Rain told me: he was a conservative. And Eric Leeds, who played saxophone, told me too, like his final argument with Prince was like: "I finally figured out what you are: you're a Republican!"

You think about songs like Ronnie Talk to Russia. He was a conservative, Susan said, in the mold of: I am making money, I'm successful, I want this money and this success protected. I don't want civil war or nuclear annihilation or any upheaval --

HEILEMANN: -- or internet thieves.

TOURE: Exactly! When you're rich, you want status quo so you can maintain being rich. It's when you don't have money that you need a revolution. 


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