With “Justice for All” Trump makes populist stunt.
Trump released a new version of the US national anthem on Friday. Branding and self-promotion are his hallmarks, but the fact that the single contains an attack on democracy and the judiciary is a matter that is lost in the single’s roaring ending: »U-S-A!, U-S-A!, U-S-A !« writes Desiree Ohrbeck.
They are standing under a huge American flag, slightly overwhelmed by the situation, sharing a microphone. Three girls, about eight years old with small, high-pitched voices. Out of tune, they sing the American national anthem – I’ve never understood why the country chose lyrics and a tune so difficult to sing along to. Meanwhile, parents raise from their seats, remove caps and hats and place a hand over their hearts.
I associate the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, with sporting events. At my children’s neighborhood swim team, the youngest swimmers take turns at home meet to sing before the competition. For me, the most beautiful version is Whitney Houston’s interpretation at the Super Bowl in 1991.
“Trump has repeatedly expressed support for the convicted rioters and has promised to overturn their convictions if he is elected the next president of the United States.
Much different is the disturbing emotions I am left with when listening to the single Trump released on Friday. If you click on the single, the video consists of a dark, still image of the American flag. Deep male voices roar-sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The choir is made up of prisoners, convicted after the attempted coup on January 6, 2020, and the profits goes to the prisoners’ families.
A few seconds into the single, Donald Trump’s characteristic voice is heard reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance.” All students, from Kindergarten through High School recite The Pledge of Allegiance every morning with one hand over their heart as they pledge allegiance to the American flag and America.
It is an honor to be invited to the school superintendent’s office to recite “The Pledge” for the whole school. The ritual represents a loyalty oath and an expression of pride in living in the United States.
Mixing the American National Anthem with the patriotic “Pledge of Allegiance” is a genius move. You have to hand it to him, Trump, that he knows how to play his cards to maximum effect. If one has aspirations towards populist national conservatism of the patriotic, not fact-based kind, it strikes a chord with those who think that convicted “freedom fighters” have not been treated with fairness in the justice system. Branding and self-promotion are Trump’s hallmarks. That there is an underlying, decidedly dangerous attack on democracy and the judiciary is a matter that is lost in the single’s roaring ending: “U-S-A!, U-S-A!, U-S-A!”
The single is called “Justice for All,” and is performed by the J6 Prison choir Choir. Trump has repeatedly expressed support for the convicted rioters and has promised to overturn their convictions if he is elected the next president of the United States.
In collaboration with the ultra-right and conspiracy theorists, Trump is the banner-bearer of a trend that views the convictions of the January 6, 2020 attempted coup on Congress as politically motivated and as an orchestrated persecution and an attack by the state on constitutional supporters.
Two minutes and twenty seconds. That’s how long the single is. After this, what does it feel like for parents and sports fans at thousands of sporting events across the country when the national anthem is sung by ordinary democratic-minded Americans who love their country? Will they see themselves as chess pieces in a game they have no desire to play in? I wonder if this summer, as I stand cheering on the side of the pool, ready with my camera, as my kids compete against a neighborhood swim team, I will be able to not let it affect me that yet another unifying American icon has fallen into the hands of those who would rather divide the country than unite it?
Trump udgiver single i samarbejde med fængslede kupmagere
Med singlen “Justice for All” har Trump lavet endnu et populistisk stunt.