Clay Travis: Cancel Culture Made Aldean’s ‘Small Town’ Even Bigger

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Author Clay Travis includes a “Letter to the Editor” he wrote during his college days in “American Playbook.”

No, it’s not an egotistical flex.

The college-age Travis defended free speech at the time, and he’s doing the same now via his nationally syndicated radio show and book.

The latter’s message?

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Republicans better follow his “Playbook” if they want the White House in 2024.

Travis’ “American Playbook: A Guide to Winning Back the Country from the Democrats” offers sane solutions for a GOP resurgence. It starts with free speech and includes a hearty embrace of comedy along the way.

Yes, comedy.

“You’re not gonna love every joke a comedian tells… but what the Republican party needs to lean into is the First Amendment, free speech and the marketplace of ideas,” Travis told The Hollywood in Toto Podcast.

That position should align the GOP with Hollywood, Inc., but that’s hardly the case. Tinsel Town is aggressively liberal, but the chasm goes beyond politics.

“Hollywood has become a stultified arena where free speech is not what it used to be,” the co-host of “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” said. Travis recalled a conversation with a friend about Hollywood’s past and problematic present.

Hollywood once attracted “eccentrics,” people who thought differently from their peers. They gathered in La La Land to share their views and, along the way, sparked unbridled creativity.

That Hollywood is long gone, said Travis, founder of (full disclosure: this reporter contributes to the site)

“What you see now are people worried about what words they use, people worried about what jokes they say … that’s the antithesis of creativity,” he said of the current woke atmosphere.

“American Playbook” breaks down political positions, like the need to embrace platforms with broad appeal. Cancel Culture, for example, speaks to a small, angry part of the voting bloc despite its oversized presence.

That’s one reason Travis stands up to the woke mob, most notably when he wouldn’t apologize for a playful joke he told on CNN in 2017. The far-Left network banned him from its airwaves.

Never say you’re sorry, especially if you’ve done nothing wrong.

“The idea that you would ever apologize if you’re wealthy is laughably absurd … the people with resources have to set the standard of what is and isn’t permissible,” he said, which will indirectly protect everyday Americans from potential cancellation.

It’s something superstars like Stephen King and Scarlett Johansson failed to do when targeted by the mob.

Travis has another secret against Cancel Culture. He doesn’t care what anyone says about him online. In fact, his “haters” often provide the best advertising for his work.

And he’s far from alone.

He points to Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town,” a battle cry against “mostly peaceful” protests that ravaged cities nationwide.

The media aligned with the far-Left (again) to shred the song as bigoted and hateful. That gave it tremendous exposure, allowing consumers to make up their minds about the track and its meaning.

“It’s legitimately the biggest radio hit … of his entire career,” Travis said. “Even [Aldean] would say, ‘this is nowhere near the best song I’ve ever written’ … but the negative attention from the Cancel Culture community is so powerful … a ton of people who would have never heard that song heard it.”

“American Playbook” allows Travis to share his political awakening. He once leaned to the Left, but several factors nudged him into the GOP camp, including conservatives’ faith in free speech.

That belief never wavered within him.

“I stayed consistent. What disappoints me is that the Howard Sterns of the world have not. It’s important to stand on principles, not politics,” he says. “I haven’t changed hardly at all. The world has spun insanely around me.”

You can hear the full interview with “American Playbook” author Clay Travis at The Hollywood in Toto Podcast.

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