You know, celebrities have been fiddle-faddling around in politics forever. Reagan was a movie star before he became president, and so was Arnold Schwarzenegger before he became governor of California. They already let Al Franken be a senator and Sonny Bono be a U.S. rep., so superficially, I don’t really have a problem with Kid Rock making a run for the Senate.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a beef with him as both a candidate and a shameless appropriator of MY ethnic culture.
Kid Rock is a guy who has based his entire livelihood off of exploiting white trash aesthetics. Go ahead, watch the video for his breakout hit “Bawitdaba,” which features all sorts of poor white people iconography, ranging from double wide trailers and hard plastic kiddie pools to dilapidated farm equipment and gaudy pink flamingo lawn ornaments. Another video features more make-believe trailer park denizens, including a presumably pregnant woman in a rebel flag half-shirt piping on a cigarette while a dirty, shirtless child rides a rocking horse in front of a trailer with a rotting wooden porch. He was so proud of that one, I suppose, that he felt the need to isolate the clip and post it as a GIF on his own personal Twitter.
Then there’s his boasting of “overcoming” poverty in such family-friendly toe-tappers as “You Never Met a Motherfucker Quite Like Me” and “Rebel Soul.” Speaking of “rebel,” Kid Rock has also been a vocal proponent of that emblem that isn’t actually the official Confederate States of America flag, at one point telling detractors to, and I quote, “kiss his ass.”
For what may be the very first time in history, Kid Rock has apparently found a way to present the “rebel flag” in a way that’s offensive to white people. How iffy is it that Kid Rock so frequently performs in front of the Stars and Bars, when he himself not only grew up in a northern state that aided and abetted the Union during the Civil War but shares a border with freaking Canada? It’s unmistakably crass and crude pandering to the lowest common denominator, but wait … it gets worse.
The way Kid Rock keeps yammering on and on about his “tough” upbringing and rural roots, you’d think the guy grew up mired in poverty. Well, think again, as the red state rocker literally grew up on a 5.5 acre million-dollar estate.
This clod has no idea what it’s like to be a poor white person. In fact, he’s pretty much a white minstrel show character pretending to play some unenlightened, uneducated rube from meth country. He’s about as authentically Southern as New England clam chowder and about as knowledgeable about the plight of low-income white people in the sticks as the son of a millionaire car dealership baron … which, as fate would have it, is precisely what Kid Rock actually is.
Stuff like this has been going on forever. Rich, elitist New Englander Rob Zombie stocks his movies with a rich panoply of trailer trash stereotypes, while the nominally-monikered “The Learning Channel” has made beaucoup bucks trotting out white trash stock character after white trash stock character on programs like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. Maybe it’s some misguided romanticization of the lowest of the American proles or perhaps it’s a cruel and callous attempt to vicariously allow the well-offs to wallow in rural, economic misery for half an hour at a time. Either way, it’s shamelessly exploiting – and ultimately, dehumanizing – the millions of impoverished, non-urban white inhabitants of America, and for some rich-boy Michigander to come along and announce himself as an honorary poor honky who thinks he knows what’s legislatively best for the people he’s mocking, I can’t help but get a little irritated.
Look, if Kid Rock wants to be a Republican politician, I say let him. He’s a millionaire and if he wants to fight against higher taxes and more government spending, more power to him. But for him to come out and say he’s doing it for the working class is just insulting. Kid Rock doesn’t give a shit about poor white people, he’s never lived with poor white people and if they didn’t buy his records and go to his concerts, he probably wouldn’t give half a damn they even exist. The only person Kid Rock is doing anything for is Kid Rock, and no amount of pleading to the lower Caucasian classes can mask what’s obvious to every trailer-dweller in the continental U.S.
If Kid Rock truly is counting on the electoral support of Michigan’s lower class whites, he’s in for a rude awakening. Simply put, poor white people don’t vote for anybody, no matter what side of the political aisle they’re residing. REAL poor white trash didn’t vote for Trump, REAL poor white trash didn’t even leave the house on election day. They don’t aid or abet any known politician, for one very simple reason: they’re just too damned SMART to fall for all that ideological chicanery.
Yeah, that’s right, real poor white trash have TOO much gumption to participate in electoral politics. They KNOW it’s a sham and that EVERY candidate has only their own interests at heart. They KNOW the candidates don’t care about them and only need them for points on the electoral college scoreboard. They KNOW they’re going to renege on their campaign promises and make policies that behoove their business partners instead of the general public. They KNOW that all that campaign rhetoric is a bunch of hot air, no different than your standard Monday Night Raw pro ‘rasslin match.
In short, these people already know Kid Rock is a phony, a fake and nothing but a white-trash-wannabe. They might still listen to his music, but they know he ain’t going to represent them and their needs in D.C. That’s because they KNOW the only person fit to represent their interests are their damn selves, an idiosyncratic element of poor white American life that seemingly nobody in the media or the political arena has enough horse sense to comprehend.
Kid Rock’s big breakthrough album was titled Devil Without a Cause. That’s a pretty fitting namesake for his purported Senate run – because if this guy thinks he can count on the support of the people he’s been insincerely imitating and ridiculing for decades, he’s a dingus without a clue AND a douche bag without a chance.