President Trump walked off Air Force One in Michigan on Thursday night (Sept. 10) to the strains of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s legendary anti draft-dodger anthem “Fortunate Son” and the internet had a lot of thoughts.
Trump, who famously received five deferments at the height of the Vietnam War — four for education, a fifth for what has been described as “bone spurs” in his feet — boomed the song out as hundreds of supporters, mostly unmasked, awaited his arrival.
The 1969 protest song, written by CCR’s John Fogerty, addresses the class divide in America during the Vietnam War, with lyrics that take on a “millionaire’s son” born with a “silver spoon in hand” that allows him to avoid getting drafted into military service while others without means are sent off to die.
“Some folks inherit star spangled eyes/ Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord/ And when you ask ‘em, ‘How much should we give?’/ Ooh, they only answer ‘More! More! More!’” Fogerty urgently sings. “Y’all, It ain’t me/ It ain’t me/ I ain’t no military son, son/ It ain’t me/ It ain’t me/ I ain’t on fortunate one.”
The irony of Trump playing that song to pump up his audience was not lost on Twitter, where the jokes came fast and furious, including comments such as, “Trump using ‘Fortunate Son’ for a campaign songs is another level of when people don’t listen to lyrics of a song,” and, “Trump really played ‘Fortunate Son’ at one of his rallies? It’s about draft dodgers! He truly is an idiot!!!”
Trump’s musical selections at his rallies have angered a number of artists who object to his use of their creations to promote his re-election, including Neil Young and Eddy Grant, who have both sued the President of copyright infringement. The seemingly tone-deaf choice to blast the CCR song is, however, in keeping with other odd selections at recent packed Trump rallies held during a pandemic that has killed more than 192,000 Americans to date and infected 6.4 million.
As the President has continued to flout experts’ pleas to avoid large gatherings, maintain social distance and wear a mask, his campaign has cued up a series of confounding pump-up songs with morbid or bizarre undercurrents, including Guns N’ Roses’ cover of “Live and Let Die,” as well as Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and, for a president who has been accused or eroding LGBTQ rights, the Village People’s gay anthem, “Macho Man.”
Check out some of the reactions to Trump playing “Fortunate Son” below.