I am not a Trump-ite and I believe that we should muzzle the man. You may recall a performance this past March at a Trump political rally in Pensacola Florida? Take a peak…
I think about my Nonno’s shared memories of his boyhood in Trieste Italy, in the late 20s and 30s whereby Mussolini’s celebratory songs were sung by my Nonno, his siblings and his friends – with bravado (because if you didn’t you were the enemy and consequences were quite dire). I couldn’t shake dark thoughts. Was Trump’s Freedom Kid’s performance just an endearing performance – an innocent media stunt? No. I don’t think so. To me, the performance appears on its surface to be one of innocence, purporting a unifying goal of national strength – a celebration of Trump’s idealistic America. However, dig a bit deeper and there are connotations to the song and performance that we are remiss to ignore.
Using children and especially young girls to spread political propaganda is not a new concept. It may seem harmless, like a soft sell but there is often a dichotomous relationship that exists – females are seen as the friend and foe of the state, a tactic used to supposedly unite and prop up the state in times of strife.
In the case of Trump’s Freedom Kids, I literally stopped in my tracks, for I was running on the treadmill at the gym when the rally came on the TV. I watched in awe, quickly drawing parallels between Trump’s USA Freedom Kids and songs of the past. Namely, the songs used by dictator regimes that were meant to unite a nation in times of political upheaval and war. I wondered if anyone else was bothered by the all American girls cute voices that sing intense lyrics about enemies of the state and support violence.
Did you listen?
I mean, did you actively listen?
The lyrics are: “Enemies of freedom, face the music. Come on boys, TAKE THEM DOWN! President Donald Trump knows how to make America great. Deal from strength or get crushed every time”.
To me, there is nothing cute about this performance. The all American girls sing about hate, the ‘enemy’ and militaristic revenge – all of which exist outside the apparent empire of the United States of America. The little girls’ also make gestures as part of the routine (Do you see the arm raised? Is that reminiscent of any one regime?)
Did anyone else get past the ‘cuteness’ of the girls and associate some not-so-nice parallels to a time whereby many Americans would sooner like to ignore than acknowledge– Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin… or even today, Kim Jong. The list goes on.
Why should we dig a bit deeper?
Hate is rampant in American society today; the mass media reports are proof of this statement. One cannot deny that the trajectory of Trump’s campaign and his hate-speech song lose all of its supposed innocence. The song’s agenda runs deeper and darker. Equally disturbing is the fact that proponents of the song describe it as “Fun music that inspires freedom”. To statements such as these, I reply “I don’t think so!!” Trump plays on the extreme terrorist rhetoric that is rampant in the US, whereby everyone who does not share the same culturally acceptable American values become the enemy of the state. If you have been following Trump, you’ll realize that much of his focus is pointing out the enemies whom exist outside of the empire but his campaign and this song apply to the hate rhetoric within their own borders. It is not enough to be born an American citizen – one has to fit within the prescribed checklist as to what defines a true American. The prescription’s soft underbelly however is sneaky…. it shifts and moves in time but its tactics are always the same, often striking upon one’s religion, colour, sexuality, gender and class in less tangible ways – through music, poetry, mass-media etc.
History is important – is history repeating itself?
Do you think I’m too extreme? It turns out that I am not far off in my thinking.