@nd3141 said:Don't Tread On Me is nigh unforgivable. You can't go from a song based on Johnny Got His Gun to run of the mill patriotic platitudes and remain credible. To secure peace is to prepare for war? No thanks. To present both sides of the coin is admitting you are fine either way, and if so, why write songs about something you don't actually care about? Because it's a safe and commercial choice.I've only engaged with Metallica by proxy and osmosis (because I personally can't stand them) but if I were a fan and cared about Justice's message and then that song came out, I would could see myself becoming a hater of this album for that alone. And I'm glad they brought it up.BUT, the more I dig in, I'm coming around to the argument that they have always been head empty flakes and Don't Tread on Me was just the proof. According to this Rolling Stone article from 1991, they basically said Lars and James would watch CNN and go "ooh that's a political issue, let's write a song" for Justice. That doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence in their approach to politics.And then there's this whole bit that spells it out:Critics who praised Hetfield for his unflinching psychological portrayal of the horribly maimed war veteran in “One” have turned around and nailed him for the alleged feel-good Yankee patriotism and crass post-gulf-war flag-waving of “Don’t Tread on Me.”The band has been baffled by the reaction. “We got people calling us jingoistic – that was definitely a word we had to look up,” Hammett says, laughing. Hetfield actually wrote the song in August 1990, before the invasion of Kuwait, and the flag at issue is not the Stars and Stripes but the coiled-snake banner with the legend DON’T TREAD ON ME carried by Culpeper’s Minutemen of Virginia during the revolutionary war. A replica of the flag was hung in the studios for the length of the Metallica sessions, and the snake itself appears on the album cover.Frankly, if Hetfield is guilty of anything, it’s woefully bad timing and a muddied point of view. He contends that “Don’t Tread on Me” is really a reaction to what he now feels was the overzealous anti-American tone of Justice.These dorks hoisting the don't tread on me flag in the studio during The Black Album and being baffled at the negative connotation is maybe who these guys have always been. Or maybe the riches really did just warp their brains in the all-too-expected way.