"Hot New Country is, simply stated, bad 1970s rock."
Touche'. Except that it gives too much credence to bad 1970's rock. At least some of it was palatable.
There are some wonderful country artists still performing, but they are uniformly dismissed and disdained by the new Nashville mob. Randy Travis is, for my money, one of the truly great country singers to ever perform. Listening to him and his modest but adequate band is pure nectar from the gods compared to the drivel that clogs the airways today.
Sooner or later the pendulum will start to swing back the other direction, or if not there will be a "break away" of young artists who will discover that what made Charlie Pride, Tanya Tucker, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, The Statler Bros., and other similar female, male and groups popular was their VOICE and not their hokey clothes. At least we can hope.