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Peace and Prosperity

Merle Haggard’s Peace Song 'America First'


Merle Haggard, who died today, will be remembered with appreciation by many people for his songs over the decades. Among those songs is “America First.” Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Chairman Ron Paul included “America First” in a list of peace songs in his book Swords into Plowshares.

In an answer to the classic question of guns versus butter, Haggard says in the song, “There’s things to be done all over the world, but let’s rebuild America first.”

Making it clear where he stands on American foreign policy, Haggard goes on to sing in the 2005 song, “Let’s get out of Iraq, get back on the track, and let’s rebuild America first.” In Haggard’s music video for the song, his singing of these lyrics is followed by a photo of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton together that helps show that war is a bipartisan US government venture, as well as a close-up of a Veterans for Peace logo communicating that people who fought in the US military are among the people who oppose wars.

Watch Haggard’s music video for “America First” here:


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