(Fred Weinberg) – I’ll admit that when I wrote on July 16 of 2015 about Donald Trump:
“He represents the frustration of the average guy who doesn’t think his vote counts for very much and appreciates a man who is willing to put his mouth where his money is and say what he thinks,”
I didn’t expect to be watching Toby Keith sing Courtesy of the Red White and Blue on the national mall the day before the inauguration 16 months later.
Let me be clear. I suspected he would win. That took a couple of months after his announcement.
I just never thought we’d have a President who would understand the deep, powerful connection that a Toby Keith and a Lee Greenwood have with the average guy who voted for him.
Initially, I just thought it was time to blow up Washington—the Washington we have come to detest. The Washington where it didn’t matter, for the most part, whether you were an R or a D; the name of the game was getting re-elected. And I thought, who better than the guy who a) helped build it, b) appeared to understand the need to blow it up, and, c) didn’t need the job so he couldn’t be bought.
As time has gone on, something special has happened.
The much-ignored backbone of this nation stood up and said, “no more”. Folks whose parents always told them what mine always told me—that, indeed, any little boy or girl could grow up to be President—good, hard working folks who were largely ignored by the elites on the coasts, amazingly, saw a billionaire as their voice.
Pollsters had no effective way of measuring those folks—it was a movement, not a campaign—and, since pollsters, too, were part of the media elite neither they nor the media could see this coming.
And, so it came to pass, that Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America.
It was probably poetic justice that Keith’s anthem, written in 20 minutes of anger after 9-11, was performed the night before the inauguration. Including the favorite line of the troops, “we’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way”.
The irony of the song is that much of elite Washington didn’t like it. Hell, they hated it.
Keith actually wasn’t going to record it until then Commandant of the Marine Corps James L. Jones told him it was his duty as an American citizen to record the song. “It’s your job as an entertainer to lift the morale of the troops,” Jones said to Keith. “If you want to serve, that is what you can do.”
Some 16 years later, it seemed an entirely appropriate song, given the circumstances.
So did Whiskey for My Men, Beer for My Horses, a song we’ve referenced in this space before.
It also seemed appropriate that the Chorale of Missouri State University sang for the inauguration ceremony itself. There are very few places more born of Middle America than Springfield, Missouri which is the home to three institutions of higher learning.
And, finally, Salt Lake City’s Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed America immediately prior to Trump taking the oath of office.
Trump then took the platform and, in the words of CBS’ Bob Schieffer, “took the hide off of everybody on the platform.”
He went after the same Washington establishment which once hated Courtesy of the Red White and Blue. He laid down a marker making it clear that America is owned by its citizens, not its government.
He greatly offended the media elite. They howled on all of the networks in real time.
In Trump’s immortal words—made famous by a Hillary Clinton TV commercial— “tell them to go f**k themselves”!
He said what needed to be said, both to his supporters and everyone else. If official Washington wants to fight over it, they’ll be fighting a large portion of Middle America which, it appears, is up for the fight and will follow its new leader over the wall.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.