Donald Trump: Make Punk Rock Great Again
Let me preface this by saying that in no way would I ever consider voting for Donald Trump, unless he were to start his GOP Convention speech by speaking of Hillary Clinton, saying “I made that bitch famous”. Then I would only briefly consider it, and subsequently slap myself back into reality.
I’m usually never one to get political, and frankly, I don’t care who you’re voting for in the upcoming general election (but you should vote!). However, with the impending announcement of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president, the punk rock world should be licking their collective chops. Why? Because Trump could make punk “yuuuuge!”. Seriously. Let me play devil’s advocate.
Think about it this way; punk rock is a music that was created out of frustration and rebellion. The Ramones ditched the glam rock and pop of the mid 70s for four chords, leather jackets, and songs about being a cretin. UK punks made it political, using punk as a means of worldwide awareness for conditions in their home countries. The presidency of Ronald Reagan was a golden era for punks, and gave bands everywhere a person of interest to rally against. It’s clear that when punk rock actually stands for (or against) something, the genre puts out it’s strongest material.
Let’s look at the last Republican president, George W. Bush. Conveniently coinciding with the rise of “safer” pop punk bands that would fill up the Warped Tour lineups and the MTV airwaves, Bush was in office from 2001-2009. During this time, punk rock thrived, with Fat Wreck Chords leading the charge. Flagship band NOFX put out “The War On Errorism”, which to this day is my favorite record from the band, and one that they’ve considered some of their best work. The label also put out two volumes of the “Rock Against Bush” compilations, which featured bands from all over the punk rock gamut, coming together around one central figure. Bands also wore shirts with Bush’s image, declaring “Not My Fucking President” onstage. Punk rock overall felt very alive again.
It should be noted, however, that great punk music isn’t a direct correlation to a Republican president of the United States. In fact, the internet age has created enough awareness to world injustices that could fill decades of solid albums, if people were charged up enough to write songs about them. But if by some virtue, somehow, Donald Trump were to be elected president in November, there’s at the very minimum a central figure for punk rock to rebel against once more. During the eras of Reagan and both Bushs, the punk world put out arguably some of it’s highest quality material. With a figure as polarizing as Trump, it would only be fitting if Fat Wreck Chords were putting the preparations on “Rock Against Trump, Volume One” into motion.