As dreary as all that sounds, country's current state may be the best thing that ever happened to it. Much like the GOP and its recent state-of-the-party symposiums, it's easy to imagine a slew of Nashville professionals gathering in a hotel conference room to discuss the future of the music. Some would want to see the music go more pop, a la Swift; others may want to see the music return to its core identity with just a bit of modernization, since country is no longer the music of the middle for many Americans. (Consider it the equivalent of New York Times columnist David Brooks' "traditionalists" vs. "reformers" thesis.) In both cases, let's hope the traditionalists, the ones who can balance the past and the present without severe compromises, win out.