Posted on 11.16.2020

Charlie Daniels, Politics and Presidential Encounters - Soapbox Jr.

I’ve had some criticism lately after a few political soapboxes that I have written recently, and I wanted to address that in a soapbox which is a combination of a political one, and a Charlie Daniels memories one.

After dad’s passing, I had chronicled dad’s final hours and the week that followed, along with giving some memories and little-known facts about him.

Recently I was asked by CNS News, a conservative-leaning website which frequently picked up dad’s soapboxes – and the ones I had been writing after dad’s passing – asked me if I would be interested in writing some more current events like dad often would. The vibe I got was that while they liked the memories, their primary focus is news, politics and current events, so they were wanting to see if I might continue writing the kind of commentary that dad had.

So, I’ve written a few now, and some folks seem to like them, some people have accused me of using dad’s website and social media to put forth my own political views, which some have insinuated are far removed from dad’s.

I can only imagine that most of these people were not paying attention to dad’s soapboxes over the past two decades, and didn’t realize that dad wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts on many different topics, including politics and current events.

One person on social media recently pointed out dad’s more liberal leanings of the 70s to back up this assertion.

It’s true that dad did vote for, and even campaigned for Jimmy Carter. The CDB and The Marshall Tucker Band even performed at President Carter’s inauguration.

Dad was invited to the White House by President Carter in 1980, and I was along on that trip, so I got to go to the White House for a pool party.

I was 15 years old, so to me, a pool party meant swimsuits and a diving board. Come to find out that a pool party – at least in Washington DC circles – meant a poolside cocktail party.

Needless to say, I was highly disappointed.

So, we arrived, but there was actually someone in the pool, the president’s daughter, Amy, soon to be joined by one of our group, dad’s guitar player, Tommy Crain.

Tommy was a big kid himself and had brought his swim trunks and did not hesitate to jump in the White House pool along with Amy.

Of course, I looked at my mom as Tommy jumped in and probably said something along the lines of, “See, Tommy is swimming…” and I’m pretty sure I got an elbow in the side from mom.

I also remember President Carter was asked if he was worried about going up against Republican challenger, Ronald Reagan, to which he replied, “I’ll whip his ass.”

Let me clarify something about dad and his support of President Carter. Dad used to say that he didn’t vote for the party, he voted for the individual running. After Ronald Reagan was elected, dad realized that Jimmy Carter was a good man, he also realized that he was not a good president.

A few years later, dad was asked by the Reagan administration to perform at an event and did so happily.

Dad also became friends with Gerald Ford, and the two golfed together a few times.

In 2000, dad started writing his soapbox for his website. The topics could traverse the mundane like waiting on mom while she was clothes shopping, to his thoughts on elections or other current events.

Dad was critical of the Clintons, more supportive of George W. Bush - and did meet him - and less so of Barack Obama. 

But unfortunately, by then, any criticism of the president was dismissed as racism which is when things started getting really ugly.

Social media added fuel to the flame and trolls, which had infested the CDB website message board over the years, flourished and became bolder, more active, and more vitriolic.

I know it cuts both ways, you have liberal and conservative trolls, but I’ve mostly seen the former.

I thought dad’s were bad until Sean Hannity’s producer tweeted something for us, and wow… some of it was pretty brutal.

But it goes with the territory.

But getting back on point, dad spoke his mind, and I’m following his lead. We were on the same wavelength with regards to politics, so anything I write is going through the same mindset that dad had. I may say it less eloquently, and with more sarcasm, but the opinions are in synch.

If all of a sudden, I had a change of view and did a 180º turn from dad’s values, I would find another forum to put forth my thoughts.

So, once again, I’m carrying the torch that dad lit, and keeping his legacy alive.

There was one other memorable presidential encounter I was involved with. In 2005, dad and Gretchen Wilson were part of the pregame show for Super Bowl XXXIX, along with Black Eyed Peas and Earth, Wind and Fire. After the conclusion of the pregame show, our group, along with Gretchen and some of her people were headed to the suites set aside for us at the stadium.

Our security stopped us and said that former presidents Bill Clinton and George HW Bush were coming around the tunnel, and we waited so we could be introduced. Dad had met President Bush before, but I had not, and neither of us had met Bill Clinton.

I spoke to President Bush and asked if we could get a picture, after checking the camera, we noticed the best photobomb of all time as Bill must have turned around just as we were taking it and appeared as if to say, “Y’all don’t forget about me!”

We said our goodbyes and continued on our way to the suites. I was walking near Gretchen, and I heard her let out a sound of disgust. I asked her what was wrong, and she said that she shook hands with Bill and, “He wouldn’t let go of my hand!” and I said, “And you don’t know where that hand has been…” to which she replied loudly, “I know!”

I still chuckle at that to this day.

I love my dad. I love what he stood for, and I want nothing more than to honor him and his principles with my writing.

As I’ve said before, I can’t fill his shoes, but I’m going to follow in his footsteps and carry on in his place as best I can.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police, the peace of Jerusalem, and for the United States of America.

God Bless America Again!


—  Charlie Daniels, Jr.


Feel free to comment on soapboxes, but please refrain from profanity and anonymous posts are not allowed, we need a name and you MUST provide a valid email address. If you provide an email address, but leave the name as "Anonymous" we will pick a name for you based on your email address. No one other than website administrators will see your email address, not other posters. If you post without a valid email address, your comment (whether positive or negative) will be deleted. — TeamCDB/BW



Check out "Geechi Geechi Ya Ya Blues" from Beau Weevils - 'Songs in the Key of E'




Clinton hand shaking
I loved your Dad and his music. I had to laugh when you mentioned you don't know where Clinton's hand had been. I was in the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in March 2000 and Clinton was there. One of the passengers went to see Clinton and came back so happy, she had shook his hand. I said no, do you know where that hand has been!! She looked so embarrassed but it was a great line and all the ladies loved it. God bless you and bring you peace.
Posted by Sybil
Bring It On
Amen, Amen & Amen Charlie Jr you are doing an excellence job of carry on Charlies legacy. remember that Ronald Reagan started out as a democrat, I tend to think it has something to do with the ideology of youth. We must not forget that the democrat party of today is not the party of our grandparents. Your dad was true to his political opinions such as term limits, which helps stop the formation of the swamp and would have probably kept Harry Reid playing the piano in a Nevada brothel instead of ascending to the height of crookedness comparable to Nancy Pelosi . It is obvious the Will Rogers never met Harry for Will's famous quote "I never met a man I didn't like." could not have applied. My personal opinion of Bush is that he is not much different than slick Willy. I can only encourage you sir to carry the torch of your dad.....nuff said God Bless Plowboy
Posted by Plowboy
Excelent commentary
You have a good background on things. True, Jimmy Carter won ove many evangelicals on his song and dance (pardon the expression) but he wasn't what they hoped or wanted.. I think that is obvious. Enjoy your recollections. But the people you refer to are only looking for wedge influence. And I know your dad always stuck to his guns. (Also over the years CNS has drifted a tad - probably attracting more of that type) But they always want to try to force you to defend something, as a rule, and I think you have been clear in what you wrote. I appreciate it. ~ NIMOC
Posted by Jeff
Charlie Daniels, Politics and Presidential Encounters
Thanks for keeping up the Soapbox, Charlie! (Don't know whether I should call you Junior?) Happy that your Dad is with the angels and enjoying his reward - but awfully sad that he's not here with us today. I actually had tickets to see his show in August, here in Birmingham at the Verizon Amphitheater, but he left us 2 weeks to the day before my chance. I followed Charlie and the band ever since Uneasy Rider on the Honey in the Rock album, because I'm always late to the party. But God blessed me to see him several times through the mid-70s and into the 80s, when I left the live scene. But I listened to his music all through that time, till now, and I'li always love him and his tunes and his musicianship and his stories. I hope you and your family stay well, and I will join millions of others in remembering your Dad throughout the years. While I am selfishly sad that Charlie is in Heaven, I'll see him there after a while longer. Thanks again, younger Charlie, for keeping the Soapbox going.
Posted by Mark
Keep It Going
As a father who is also an author, I have made it very clear to my son that, after I'm gone, not only is it okay for him to use my accomplishments as a stepping stone to his own successes, but I want him to. I'm sure your father would be very proud that you are carrying on his traditions. There is no greater honor for a father than for his son to pick up his mantel and carry it forward until it becomes his own.
Posted by Carl
I clearly remember all of the times you mentioned, Charlie Jr. Of the CDB performing at the White House for Jimmy Carter, and I've seen the picture of Y'all and Bill Clinton looking lost as if thinking, "doesn't anyone want my pic?". Anyway, loved your Dad's Soapboxes and yours also. I lean very conservative so we're on the same wavelength. That's funny about Tommy Crain jumping in the pool! Always loved Tommy's playing and singing, left us way too soon also. I did get to meet him once at a CDB FanClub party and tell him how much I enjoyed his music. I'm going to miss those FanClub June get-togethers ..... have you thought of somehow reviving them? Keep the torch lit my friend and keep telling it like it is! Mark from Shelbyville
Posted by Mark
Responding to Plowboy
I think the ideology of youth leads to a more palatable conservatism years later. Certain ideas are supported by mostly liberals at first. As time goes by, more and more of society accepts them. Even conservatives eventually accept them. It’s not just the person that changes, it’s the ideology, too. Here’s an example: Conservatives used to believe that it was wrong for women to raise kids and have a job at the same time. Most people, including many of those with a lot of other conservative opinions, disagreed. But now, people are more comfortable joining conservative ideology, since it no longer has this outdated idea. -- Tru Cola
Posted by Tru