President Donald Trump, who very recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized with the illness, held a rally on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Sanford, Florida. As usual, the Trump campaign chose music to play to pump up the Republican-based crowd. But the song that Trump choice — “Macho Man,” by the Village People, proves once again that Trump, and Republican Boomers like him, have no idea what the songs that they use as their campaign slogans mean. In fact, a mistake of this severity is nearly comical.
A clip of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper went viral on Twitter because he appeared to be having a WTF moment as he was speaking to a reporter live at the Trump rally event where Village People’s “Macho Man” blared to the crowd.
One tweet read, “Watch as Anderson Cooper stares off into the middle distance upon realizing that Trump is using gay anthem ‘YMCA’ to amp up his radically homophobic base at a mask free rally after testing positive for COVID-19 less than 2 weeks ago. Enjoy Macho Man!”
Watch as Anderson Cooper stares off into the middle distance upon realizing that Trump is using gay anthem “YMCA” to amp up his radically homophobic base at a mask free rally after testing positive for COVID-19 less than 2 weeks ago. Enjoy Macho Man! pic.twitter.com/F0XY3GhWbV
— Mix Andrist (She/Her/Sir) (@MixAndrist) October 13, 2020
The irony of the president walking to his stage to speak to his fan base while playing the super fun, gay-pride anthem was lost on a lot of people. It was seemingly lost to Trump, who has done this sort of thing on more than one occasion.
According to Consequence of Sound, while Trump was at Walter Reed Medical Center getting treatment for the coronavirus, a group of his supporters stood outside the hospital and played “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen—a song Trump has played previously at his rallies.
9am on a Sunday morning and “Born in the USA” and Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” blaring outside the hospital where the president is being treated for covid. pic.twitter.com/Elmzx2o6FB
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) October 4, 2020
““Born in the USA” is not an ode to blind patriotism,” the publication explained. “It’s a lament for a country addicted to feeding its working-class populace into pointless wars, only to leave them neglected once they return. So the fact that these people were blasting this protest song outside of a military hospital, where actual members and veterans of the military are trying to rest and be cared for, crosses irony over to actual ignorant cruelty.”
It's thievery when you exploit a song for propaganda. Republicans have no original ideas of their own, no creative artists, no music, so they must steal it from the artists (and in this case from the LGBTQ+ community that those artists largely served).
— Nathaniel Gardner (@tkdcoach) October 13, 2020
It may not seem like that big of a deal that Trump and the campaign plays songs without realizing their full context. It feels silly, but in a way, it’s not really. It shows how the campaign — whether it be the songs they use to pump up the crowd or the ads they put on television — is willing to take bits and pieces of media, and even art that criticizes the United States and the government’s treatment of working-class folks or LGBT people, out of its context to help it fit their narrative. It’s disrespectful, dishonest, and it’s not lost on the people it impacts.