Trump Channels, What Else, But QAnon For His Weird Campaign
The Nazis had “Horst-Wessel-Lied” also known as “Die Fahne hoch” (“Raise the Flag”), the Hitler Youth marched to “Vorwärts! Vorwärts! schmettern die hellen Fanfaren” (Forward! Forward! Blare the Bright Fanfares”), the Italian National Fascist Party celebrated with their anthem, “Giovinezza” and for the fascist Spanish Falange, it was “Cara al Sol.”
Following a long line of fascists, trump too has his anthem, “Wwg1wga,” which happens also to be the popular song of the QAnon conspiracy movement.
Wwg1wga stands for “Where We Go One, We Go All,” and it’s also a common phrase a shepherd yells when leading a flock of sheep. The song was heard in the background at a recent trump rally and was recorded by someone who calls himself Richard Feelgood, also known as Frank Richard Pasman. Country western songwriter LaLa Deaton wrote another version and the opening stanza goes:
“There’s a storm on the rise
It’s comin for our freedom
Disguised in the lies, the powers of the dark
Secrets so deep played out like Hollywood movies
But it’s time, hold the line
On your mark, get set, start.”
The music was playing in the background at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, while trump blathered about the “fake news” over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Hunter Biden’s laptop. Alex Kaplan, a senior researcher for Media Matters, tweeted on Saturday that QAnon followers see the use of the song as a nod and affirmation of the movement.
Last month, Trump posted a video on his social media platform “Truth Social,” using the same soundtrack. A trump spokesperson said it was not a QAnon song but rather, it was un-QAnon related music by the composer Will Van de Crommert. Of course, the trump camp is known for its honesty.
If ever there was a MAGA song, it is “Wwg1wga.” And it is eerily appropriate at a time when trump again threw gasoline on the far right fire when he told a conservative radio host lat week that if he were indicted, there would be “problems in the country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before.” The man who egged on his followers to attack the capitol and may one day hear the jail door slam behind him, never seems to learn his lessons.
Trump has been increasingly espousing the wild conspiracy claims of QAnon, that start with the belief that Democratic leaders have been running an international sex trafficking ring for pedophiles. The FBI has declared QAnon a domestic terror threat.
On Tuesday, trump reposted an image on Truth Social of himself wearing a Q pin on his jacket with an overlay of the words “The Storm is Coming,” a nod to LaLa Deaton. In QAnon beliefs, the “storm” refers to a day of violent retribution when trump’s enemies will face televised mass executions.
The Associated Press reported that nearly a third of the 75 accounts trump has reposted on his Truth Social profile in the past month have promoted QAnon. Since the summer, more than a dozen QAnon-supporting Republican candidates have won their primaries.
Trump’s throngs also were seen saluting their leader at the Youngstown, Ohio, rally with upraised arms and a one-finger salute, creepily like the “Heil Hitler” or “Seig Heil” salute. The Hitler salute was adopted in the 1930s by the Nazi Party to signal obedience to the party’s leader, Adolf Hitler, not unlike the latest obeisance promises undying loyalty to trump.
At the Youngstown rally, supporters, some with heads bowed, stood quietly in the audience with a single finger raised above their heads. Some speculated the salute referred to the nationalist “America first” slogan, but others said it was the QAnon symbol. The salute also has been described as a modified white supremacy “OK” hate sign with only the index finger extended. Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant flashed the symbol during his March 2019 courtroom appearance soon after his arrest for allegedly murdering 50 people in mosques in Christchurch.
Trump has supported groups and individuals with anti-Semitic and white supremacist beliefs. In a recent trump rally, a keynote speaker bemoaned the allegedly unfair treatment of a prisoner arrested at the Jan. 20, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, who has posed as Adolf Hitler. In a new book, trump is quoted as complaining that his generals weren’t loyal like Hitler’s generals.
It’s common for political candidates to have a song that they hope will energize their supporters and quickly identify the candidate. Until trump, the candidate songs have had a positive message.
In 2016, candidate trump rallied his supporters and channeled their anger to the tune of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” a heavy metal song written and performed by the 1980s hair band, Twister Sister.
In contrast to trump’s message of gloom and doom, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton ran a positive and uplifting campaign that used the song “Believers” by the American Authors on the campaign trail in 2016.
During the 2020 campaign, then Democratic nominee Joe Biden had an uplifting, multi-racial campaign playlist by such white artists as David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, and Black artists like Bill Withers, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder. Biden’s most frequent walk-on song was “We the People” by The Staple Singers, with words that call for unity and for people to help each other.
In his 1992 race for the presidency, then-candidate Bill Clinton adopted the 1977 Fleetwood Mac hit “Don’t Stop” for his campaign. The band reunited in 1993 to play the song at the inaugural ball for Clinton.
Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, chose the song “Born Free” by rapper/rocker Kid Rock, who is currently an outspoken trump supporter and has headlined trump rallies. “Born Free” has a decidedly aggressive tone, with the stanza:
“You can knock me down and watch me bleed,
But you can’t keep no chains on me.
I was born free!”
Some candidates ran into problems for using songs without the artist’s approval.
Former Texas Gov. George W. Bush picked Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down” for his successful 2000 campaign for president. Petty had not authorized use of the tune and after threatening to sue Bush, the candidate stopped using the music.
In 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin played the 1970s hit “Barracuda” by Heart at campaign events as a play on Palin’s high school nickname. Heart objected and got the campaign to stop playing it after band members said, “Sarah Palin’s views and values in no way represent us as American women.”
Billionaire, Independent Ross Perot, underscored his unconventional campaign by using Patsy Cline’s 1961 love song, “Crazy” during the campaign. Perot apparently took the lyrics to heart, that went:
“Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely
I’m crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you’d love me as long as you wanted
And then someday you’d leave me for somebody new.”
Democrat Barack Obama chose Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own” to play following his acceptance speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Like Obama’s speech, the Springsteen tune deals with the issue of social responsibility.
John Kerry was a former Democratic senator from Massachusetts and one of the wealthiest presidential candidates in history when he ran for president in 2004 and chose as his campaign song, the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic “Fortunate Son.” The song takes a swipe at how rich people and politically connected Americans were able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.
“Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes.”
In 1996, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole slightly changed the classic Sam and Dave song “Soul Man” to read, “Dole Man.” One half of the duo, Sam Moore, rerecorded the 1967 hit and used the words “Dole Man.” Dole, a rich, white southern politician, did not exactly fit the definition of soul man.
The bland, Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, adopted Neil Diamond’s bland “America” for the 1988 campaign.
In the 1984 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan’s staff asked if the campaign could use Springsteen’s classic anti-Vietnam tome, “Born in the USA.” The singer politely shut the door to using his song. Not willing to take no for an answer, at a 1984 campaign stop in Hammonton, Reagan told his supporters that “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts; it rests in the message of hope in songs so many young Americans admire: New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen. And helping you make those dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about.”
Springsteen responded during a Sept. 21 concert in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he introduced “Johnny 99,” a song about an unemployed auto worker who turns to murder.
“The President was mentioning my name the other day, and I kinda got to wondering what his favorite album musta been. I don’t think it was the Nebraska album. I don’t think he’s been listening to this one,” Springsteen said.
“Born in the USA” also was heard at trump presidential rallies and outside the hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19 in October 2020. No trumper, Springsteen had called the President “a flagrant, toxic narcissist,” a “moron” and a “threat to our democracy.”