To my understanding, country music had some of its origins in the protest, gospel, and survival music of agricultural and mining labor of the great depression. The mainstream aspects of that genre were kind of explicitly hijacked for commercialism and right-wing propaganda.
Mainstream country has been in the business of selling the American Dream of a house, a truck, a girl in tight jeans, and an endless supply of beer. If you look back beyond that, there's a lot of country music about people who worked themselves to death and still ended up poor and homeless.
Commercial country: Hard work and patriotism will get you the good life.
Traditional country: I worked hard under brutal conditions and the bank took it all away for shareholder profit.
@cbrachyrhynchos I have heard compelling arguments that traditional country is legitimately punk.
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