Just about everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for the Republican Party over this election cycle. It has no candidate that is actually positioned to have a solid shot to win the presidency in November, and the frontrunner candidate is tearing apart the Republican Party from the inside as he turns masses of potential establishment voters into frenzied nationalists.
The fact that this frenzy is erupting at all is showing the GOP for what it was all along, namely just a front for party bosses to exercise their wishes. And, now, to add insult to injury, recently inducted rock and roll hall of famers Cheap Trick just gave an absolutely epic smackdown to the Republican Party.
Evidently, according to the band’s frontman, Robin Zander, the Republican National Committee asked the band to play at the party’s nominating convention in July. Zander had this to say about the offer:
‘We turned it down. Then we had second thoughts. Maybe we should have accepted it – but we would all have got swastika guitars made.’
Bassist Tom Petersson added, in the interview with the Guardian, “We thought better of it.” The band has been noted for their usage of unique instruments, such as a five necked guitar. This instance was a convenient way to use the band’s strong suit to really get at the Republicans and just flat out call them Nazis, what so many thought — and some said — already.
This instance is also far from the first time that musicians have lately engaged in social activism, somewhat impromptu like in this case, or not. North Carolina recently passed their highly controversial “House Bill 2,” which limits the rights of the LGBT community on a number of levels. Musicians were soon cast to the forefront of that issue after Bruce Springsteen canceled a North Carolina show of his in protest of the bill. Other bands, like Pearl Jam and Boston, soon followed suit. Some musicians took the alternate route and staged huge LGBT pride components to their North Carolina concerts instead.
Before that, musicians had announced their support and rallied behind both candidates on the Democratic side. Some got a lot of press, such as US Senator Bernie Sanders supporter and rapper Killer Mike. The Senator, for his part, has rallied “an incredibly random list of celebrities,” and an almost startlingly high number of musicians. Sanders got musicians from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to rock legends Roger Waters and Neil Young to openly join his camp. One commentator put it like this:
‘Hillary Clinton may have locked down female superstars like Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian — but Bernie has the musicians.’
The significance of celebrity endorsements and instances like the smack down from Cheap Trick is questionable. Gut support reactions from those hearing about the measures aren’t votes, and politicians need votes to get elected. Maybe, though, the fact that support doesn’t translate into electability underscores a problem. Maybe the electoral system shuts out too many people, both through error and through design.
Maybe. One thing is for sure, though — Cheap Trick will not be performing at the RNC, and joins many others in thinking the GOP is quite Nazi-like.