Everybody Hurts

R.E.M. Burns Presidential Candidates

“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” and R.E.M. does not feel fine, especially after finding out that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used the band’s 1987 hit alongside fellow candidate,Sen. Ted Cruz. The two teamed up to campaign against President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal on Sept. 9.

Lead singer Michael Stipe quickly took to Twitter, calling Trump and Cruz “attention-grabbing, power hungry little men,” and warned them: “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.” Following Stipe’s statements, which the band thought attracted too much attention, the band collectively posted to Facebook, saying: “There are things of greater importance at stake here,” and encouraged American voters and the media to “focus on the bigger picture.” (The Wake did not listen to this statement, clearly).

This isn’t the first example of a politician being asked to pull the plug on their music choice by the musicians themselves. Just earlier this summer, legendary folk-rocker Neil Young asked Trump to stop playing his hit “Rockin in the Free World.” But we can sympathize with Donald, everything is free for him with a net worth of $8.74 billion.

Neil Young asked Trump to stop playing his hit ‘Rockin in the Free World.’ But we can sympathize with Donald, everything is free for him with a net worth of $8.74 billion.

Many candidates enjoy using “patriotic” American rock anthems to get their crowds riled up. A “patriotic” rock anthem popular among the campaigns of politicians such as Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan is Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” A politician or your average listener might hear the song as patriotic, but listen closer and you’ll hear a song full of anti-war sentiments, painting a much darker yet realistic portrayal of the United States. And how about Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan? He couldn’t resist blasting Rage Against the Machine at his rallies, even though “The Machine” represents the government.

He couldn’t resist blasting Rage Against the Machine at his rallies, even though ‘The Machine’ represents the government.

Most music-stealing offenders are Republicans. But have any Democrats been asked to turn down the music? The answer is yes. President Barack Obama was asked to stop playing Sam and Dave’s “Hold on I’m Comin” during his 2008 campaign. To avoid politicians making more music choice missteps, maybe they could pick songs without lyrics, like a groovy jazz number. As for Trump, I suggest he hire Weird Al Yankovic to write songs for him. Songs about money, walls, his towers, and toupees.