• Trump’s Campaign Song Is Actually An Attack On Jeb’s Dad

    During Donald Trump’s announcement that he is running for president, a loudspeaker blasted Trump’s chosen campaign song: Neil Young’s famous 1989 rock anthem “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

    Trump directed a good deal of venom at Jeb Bush in his speech, saying that his support of immigration and Common Core make him totally unacceptable as a nominee. His song choice, then, is very fitting, as “Rockin’ in the Free World” is a direct attack on Jeb’s father, George H. W. Bush.

    “We got a thousand points of light/For the homeless man/We got a kinder, gentler/Machine gun hand,” Young croons in the song’s third verse. This line references Bush’s 1988 presidential convention speech, in which he praised America’s volunteer organizations as a “thousand points of light” doing good across the nation, and called for a “kinder, gentler nation.”

    Young’s message in the song is that the policies of Reagan and Bush had, despite their rhetoric, actually abandoned America’s downtrodden and left them to rot, while embracing a culture of consumerism. Even when he isn’t directly quoting Bush, the song has a very bitter tone, grimly portraying lives destroyed by drugs:

    I see a woman in the night
    With a baby in her hand
    Under an old street light
    Near a garbage can
    Now she puts the kid away,
    and she’s gone to get a hit
    She hates her life,
    and what she’s done to it
    There’s one more kid
    that will never go to school
    Never get to fall in love,
    never get to be cool.

    Ironically, despite bashing Reagan and Bush, the song’s title was inspired by a planned trip to the USSR which fell through, leading one of Young’s bandmates to comment “I guess we’ll have to keep on rockin’ in the free world.” The song also became popularly identified with the fall of Communism, which Reagan and Bush played an integral role in.

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