On this 43rd anniversary of the Watergate break-in, I thought of politics and irony.
President Nixon was on his way to a landslide re-election victory in 1972, in part because of such tactics as exemplified by the Watergate fiasco, but also because Nixon had made a lot of what today would be called progressive moves (like creating the EPA) although simultaneously prolonging direct United States military involvement in Vietnam so he could make a grandstand peace deal as the 1972 election campaign came to a close.
Yesterday, Donald Trump annunced his candidacy for President of the United States—and took the stage to the tune of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
As someone pointed out, that probably was not a good song for Trump to choose.
Young’s song is about how then-President George H.W. Bush’s minions do not care about the poor and the disadvantaged. Neil issued a statement, through his publicist, that the Donald lacked Young’s permission to use his song. Young, by the way, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President. Also, the video for the tune portrays images rather counter to Trump’s lifestyle and beliefs.
John Mellencamp had a similar experience with one of his songs and ohn McCain’s (2008), and Scott Walker’s campaign most recently for using “Small Town.” Other rock artists have taken umbrage with Republican candidates for use of the rockers’ works to promote campaigns the philosophies of which are counter to those artists’ beliefs.
There is one solution (besides to obey the law and respect copyrighted work)—Republicans can use all the Ted Nugent hits they want. I am confident Nugent would be happy to oblige. The campaigns can advance various rallies by cuing up and playing the tunes of—all one-and-a-half hits?
And tonight, celebrate Watergate, the duct tape that was wrapped the wrong away across the lock of the door to Larry O’Brien’s office so guards could see it, and “The Sounds of Silence”—the 18 ½ minutes of blank tape on President Nixon’s tape system.