If you ever wondered what Donald Trump’s America would look like, you may be unsurprised to learn that it looks like a Lynchian nightmare of cheap Americana, tacky showbiz posturing and knee-jerk patriotism with unsettling nationalistic undertones.
Meet The Freedom Girls, three children the Republican presidential hopeful enlisted to perform at a recent rally in Pensacola, Florida, and to whom we will henceforth respectfully refer as Trumpettes. It’s an unsettling sight: young girls dancing about in Stars And Stripes outfits and proclaiming: “President Donald Trump knows how to make America great!” And it hasn’t come from nowhere.
Trump has received three cease-and-desist letters from famous musicians upset that a man who has expressed racist views towards Mexicans and Muslims had played their music at his rallies. In December, The Apprentice star expressed a wish to ban followers of Islam from entering US borders and – bizarrely – requested that the internet be locked up from Jihadist terrorists ISIS: “We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them [about], maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some way.” This is both impractical and insane. Bill Gates is not The Grand Wizard Of The Internet.
Anyway, Trump was forced to stop playing ‘Dream On’ by Aerosmith and ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ by noted Democrat Neil Young at his rallies. He was also compelled to scrap ‘It’s The End Of The World As Know It (And I Feel Fine)’ by REM, who perhaps summed up the feelings of all three musicians when frontman Michael Stipe released the following statement: “Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you – you sad, attention grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”
Yet a political rally requires stirring, potentially patriotic music, so Trump tapped into his inner Simon Cowell and introduced The Freedom Girls – sorry, Trumpettes. Trump supporter Jeff Popick manages the group, which includes his daughter, and he has claimed that the Republican candidate makes the performers “feel very safe”. Will each of these children grow up Republican? For their sakes, let’s hope so.
Their timing’s actually quite impeccable – see how the lead singer make it back to the microphone for the vocal refrain after the dance interlude – but there’s nothing they can do about the lyrics, which are North Korea kinds of weird: “Cowardice? Are you serious? Apologies for freedom? I can’t handle this!” The Trumpettes continue: Enemies of freedom! Face The music! C’mon boys! Take ’em down… Deal from strength or get crushed every time!”
It’s no Super Bowl half-time show, that’s for sure, and even the crowd – who are presumably quite fond of Trump – remain largely muted in their response, though admittedly they clap at the end, but that’s perhaps because the nightmare is mercifully over.