This Randy Newman Song from 1972 Is Startlingly Relevant for the Trump Era

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tags: nuclear weapons, nuclear war, Trump, Randy Newman



Greg Bailey is the author of the not so quite forthcoming “The Herrin Massacre” (explanation here).


Randy Newman has a well deserved reputation as one of America’s best singer-songwriters and the Oscar winning composer of movie soundtracks. But a new talent has revealed itself: his power as a political prophet able to see a dark future. He may not have known it at the time but many of his songs predicted the rise of Donald Trump and his threat to the country and the world.

During the 2016 campaign Trump virtually channeled Randy Newman’s hit song “Short People” by attacking “Little Marco” Rubio. The entire foundation of Trump’s support was set out in the song “Rednecks.”

We’re rednecks

We’re rednecks

We don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground

We’re rednecks

We’re rednecks

And we’re keeping the niggers down

The alt right could not come up with a better musical manifesto.

But the Prophet was dead on perfect in his 1972 tune warning about a sociopath in charge of nuclear weapons. The modern day Delphi oracle warned of a world threatened by a madman putting America first above all other considerations. The prophecy was called “Political Science.” It began with the grievances dwelling in the mind of the madman.

No one likes us, I don't know why
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
But all around even our old friends put us down
Let’s drop the big one and see what happens

We give them money, but are they grateful?
No, they're spiteful and they're hateful
They don't respect us, so let's surprise them
We'll drop the big one and pulverize them

In his tweets and his speeches Trump constantly expresses resentment against our NATO allies and most recently Pakistan. No aspect of the international order that America built and lead for seventy years is immune from his resentful rantings.

But the sociopath in chief has taken it to a new level with his threats of “fire and fury” against North Korea and his recent overcompensation for his shortcomings as a man with his clumsy allusion to the size of his “nuclear button.” The next logical step to prove himself was predicted by Newman.

Asia's crowded and Europe's too old
Africa is far too hot and Canada's too cold
And South America stole our name
Let's drop the big one
There'll be no one left to blame us

One small detail Newman got wrong was Trump’s attitude towards Australia, one of America’s closest allies. In the song Randy Newman wrote.

We'll save Australia
Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo
We'll build an All American amusement park there
They got surfin too

In fact Trump began his time in the White House by getting into a shouting match with the prime minister of Australia over the entry of a few refugees.

But the prophecy redeems itself in the final expression of the America First ideal then only confined to the fringyest of fringe groups at a time when presidents of both parties took their responsibility over the unthinkable use of nuclear weapons seriously.

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town
Oh how peaceful it will be
We'll set everybody free
You'll wear a Japanese kimono
And there'll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let’s drop the big one now
Let's drop the big one now

Randy Newman once said in an interview about “Political Science”: “I think I got into a character, this sort of jingoistic type of fellow.” In another interview he described it as “a pinhead’s view of China.”

“A lot of my stuff makes me a little nervous because I don’t like controversy, but I can’t help the way that I write,” he said in an interview. Intended or not, he warned us of the danger we now endure every day, at least until we do something about it.


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