“The reaction was as if Natalie had said ‘Death to the President’ or something,” says violinist and vocalist Maguire.
“It was the bullying and the scare factor,” shudders banjo and guitar player Robison. “It was like the McCarthy days, and it was almost like the country was unrecognisable.”
The level of debate can be gauged from the way Maines was compared to “Hanoi Jane” Fonda, who was photographed manning a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun at the height of the Vietnam war.
The Chicks can’t hide their disgust at the lack of support they received from other country performers. “A lot of artists cashed in on being against what we said or what we stood for because that was promoting their career, which was a horrible thing to do,” says Robison.
“A lot of pandering started going on, and you’d see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism.”
“The entire country may disagree with me, but I don’t understand the necessity for patriotism,” Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. “Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country? I don’t see why people care about patriotism.”