Outspoken conservative rocker Ted Nugent has blasted governors and mayors across the U.S. for ratcheting up COVID-19 restrictions amid the record-shattering resurgence of the virus. Governors in several states, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and North Carolina have placed a 10-person limit on the number of people Americans can invite into their homes for the holiday.
Nugent addressed the controversial issue several days after it was reported that many law enforcement officials are refusing to enforce New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order limiting the number of people at Thanksgiving gatherings.
During Thursday's (November 19) episode of his "Ted Nugent Spirit Campfire" Internet show, Ted said: "There are dirty, rotten, soulless bastards in positions of power that are trying to tell us how we can celebrate Thanksgiving with our families. We need to escape that ugliness — not turn our back on it, because we need to raise hell and let our mayors and our governors and our senators and congressmen know: you can't tell me how many people I have at Thanksgiving. Just shut the [expletive]. You're not in charge of my Thanksgiving. We are in charge of our Thanksgiving. You've got to express that to those people.
"If everybody out there in America wants to be the ultimate 'we the people' and experiment the ultimate self-government, express yourself firmly," he continued. "You don't scream; you don't swear at 'em. I'm tempted to, but I don't. But I make sure they answer my questions. And if they don't, I tell 'em I'll call 'em back later. 'It's two o'clock on Monday. You can't answer this question now. How about if I call you on Wednesday at two o'clock? Because I'm not gonna let you off the hook. You're gonna answer these questions or I'm gonna spread the word that you're a power abuser and we're gonna fire you.'
"When I say stuff like that, people think I'm radical," Ted added. "That is standard operating procedure in an experiment in self-government. So I hope this vitality and this adamancy and this demand of independence — not just declaration of independence; demanding of independence — I hope it's contagious on the 'Spirit Campfire', and I hope people are running this up their individual family flagpoles like their mean it."
Governors of several other states across the country have issued severe coronavirus restrictions, including Oregon, which banned indoor gatherings larger than six people from more than two households and Michigan limited gatherings, including Thanksgiving, to just two households. Kentucky, Minnesota and Kansas also issued new restrictions, some of which would also severely alter many families' Thanksgiving traditions. In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz urged people not to celebrate Thanksgiving together or to have friends or family come to their homes.
A board member of the National Rifle Association, Nugent has drawn intense criticism for his controversial past remarks, including telling then-president Barack Obama to "suck on my machine gun." He also made inflammatory remarks about Hillary Clinton, calling her a "devilbitch" who "hates everything good about America."
In a lengthy Facebook post in 2016, Nugent said Obama and Clinton should be tried for treason and hanged over their handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Last year, Nugent defended Donald Trump after the U.S. president was accused of making racist remarks about Democratic congresswomen from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.