For most progressives, liberal Democrats, and voters with brains, the weeks after the election were a fog of stunned disbelief and self-care (watching cooking shows and Downton Abbey reruns instead of the news). But now we are girding our loins to fight back against Trump, and I’m encouraged by all the ways people are finding to combat this new, admittedly distressing reality.
Leaders I admire like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Cecile Richards are organizing protests, making strong statements about Trump’s hideous cabinet picks, and reaffirming the value of their organizations. Many of my friends are preparing to go to Women’s Marches in DC and other cities, or donating to groups fighting climate change & voter suppression. But with no spare time or money, what’s a musical satirist like me supposed to do?
Fortunately, here’s where the value of a liberal arts education shows through (despite right winger claims that I was indoctrinated by an elite conspiracy): As a history major, I was particularly impressed by how the country came together during World War Two.
Everyone did what they could, from buying war bonds to planting victory gardens to entertaining the troops, and any type of contribution made a difference and was valued. And one of the most noteworthy entertainment efforts was Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”, mocking Hitler as early as 1940, and helping to persuade Americans that he wasn’t just horrifying, he could be defeated because he could be mocked.
I’m not claiming that my songs about the Herr Gropenfuhrer Trump will single-handedly defeat him, but satire can be an incredibly potent weapon, so I really do consider it an act of patriotism to make fun of him. (And of course it helps me feel less guilty about not being able to donate more to Planned Parenthood, etc.)
So here’s my mission statement for the year – and to paraphrase Bette Davis from “All About Eve,” – “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy 4 years (or less, if I have anything to say about it!)”
And now for my latest video!