Kiss' iconic "Demon" Gene Simmons is a member of the 1 percent, and he makes no apologies.
In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, the founder and bassist for the legendary hard rock band proudly proclaimed himself a member of the richest 1 percent in America and went on to say that America would "be in chaos" without the rich:
The 1 percent pays 80 percent of all taxes. Fifty percent of the population of the U.S. pays no taxes. The 1 percent provides all the jobs for everybody else. If the 1 percent didn’t exist, there would be chaos and the American economy would drop dead. Try being nice to rich people. I don’t remember the last poor person who gave me a job.
Sounding like a conservative Republican candidate for president, the man who made a fortune spitting blood, breathing fire, and proclaiming his desire to "rock and roll all night and party every day," went on to discuss immigration, assimilation, and the need for English as the nation's common language:
America is astonishing, because it welcomes immigrants and gives them all the rights that native sons and daughters have … all the opportunities someone who was here for generations has had. For that, I’ll be forever grateful.
There’s no question there’s cultural pressure to assimilate, and that’s good. Because the better you speak English, the more money you’ll make. It’s such a simple idea. Even though I come from Israel and can speak a few languages, when I call IBM, I don’t want somebody who answers the phone who I can’t understand. Everybody has to speak a common language.
In 2011, Simmons visited Israel and unlike some of his colleagues in the movie business, he waxed poetic about the Middle East's only legitimate democracy. As the Jerusalem Post reported at the time, Simmons made a strong case for America's obligation to support and protect our ally:
“As an American, there’s no choice but to be supportive of Israel,” he said. “This is the Holy Land, and it’s no secret that everybody in America perceives Israel as it’s only real friend in the Middle East—who else are you going to rely on?”
Simmons also had some no-nonsense straight-talk for people who complain about America and look for excuses to explain their inability to succeed:
Every day, people complain about the Kardashians, or about having a bad hair day—which, in my case, is every day—or the Republicans, or the Democrats. Well, you have to shut the (expletive) up! You have nothing to complain about. In America, you have the right to say and do as you please. You can demonstrate and do anything you want, and you have (more) opportunities than anyone in the history of this planet has had.
Who wouldn't love to see Simmons square off against Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden in a presidential debate? Unfortunately, it will have to remain a dream as Simmons was born in Israel and is constitutionally ineligible for the Oval Office.
I guess we'll have to settle for a senator or a governor. Pity.