Bobby is a generous and funny friend, an NAACP award winner and a rough-edged buddy of Sarah Palin. He can’t be pigeonholed.

It’s been difficult to process the recent news about Kid Rock’s recent political controversy and potential Michigan Senate candidacy because to many around here, he’s our friend Bobby.

The part-time Nashville resident is accepted by the country, pop, rock and rap worlds. Indeed, he befriends cops and criminals and soldiers and sinners alike.

He’s quick to pick up the check and gladly shares the spoils of his success with his friends. He doesn’t publicize his many charitable donations.

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Called “America’s wildest red-state” rocker by Rolling Stone, he is the poster boy for being politically incorrect. And because that behavior fits his bad boy image, when he gets arrested for a Waffle House brawl, we just laugh and say, “Oh, that Kid Rock!”

So it’s confusing how this friendly Nashville neighbor has become such a political hot button. Indeed, his Detroit concert drew protesters, those for and against their native son. 

He has embraced President Trump, displayed the Confederate flag in his shows and disapproved of football players kneeling protests. To many, it’s surprising that a post-racial figure such as Kid Rock has embraced a president who has been so racially divisive. 

During a recent Detroit concert, Kid Rock criticized Obamacare, wealth redistribution and some welfare recipients. He supports gay rights, but transgendered rights? Not so much. He also strongly denounced white supremacists and hoped for unity onstage.  

While it might be expected of some country artists, it’s assumed that rock, rap and hip hop artists are liberals who often lead the way in civil rights and progressive social measures.  But he shares a common political bloodline with Southern musicians like Lynyrd Skynrd and Hank Williams Jr. Examining Kid Rock within a context of traditional Southern masculinity makes him easier to understand. He was born in Michigan, but his mindset was raised in the South.

He is driven by respect, pride heritage, patriotism, the Second Amendment and earning your own way. It’s…