Former President Donald Trump took a moment to bask in the brief success of his song “Justice For All” featuring him and incarcerated Jan. 6 rioters, the “J6 Prison Choir,” during his rally in Houston. The former president couldn’t resist mentioning the track’s chart-topping status and its rivalry with artists Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.
A Trump-Backed Chart-Topper
Trump proudly recounted the song’s short-lived rise to the top of Billboard’s Digital Songs Sales chart during his Houston rally. “Justice For All” quickly debuted at No. 1 in its first week, according to MeidasTouch Network, with proceeds reportedly directed to families of those incarcerated in connection with the Capitol attack. The song featured Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance while approximately 20 Jan. 6 rioters sang the national anthem.
Trump enthusiastically shared, “When that came out, it went to the number one song. It was beating everybody. It beat Taylor Swift, it beat Miley Cyrus, who was number one and two. We knocked them off for a long time.”
Despite the initial success, “Justice For All” couldn’t maintain its position at the top. It soon slipped down the charts, yielding its No. 1 spot to other artists. In the following weeks, the song was surpassed by tracks from BTS’ Jimin, a collaboration between Tom MacDonald and John Rich, four Taylor Swift songs, one from Miley Cyrus, and another by Morgan Wallen. Ultimately, it fell below the top 50 songs on the chart.
“J6 Hostages” Reference
During the same rally, Trump referred to the J6 Prison Choir as the “J6 Hostages.” He expressed his concern for those involved, saying, “Not prisoners, I call them the hostages, what’s happened and it’s a shame,” to the Houston crowd.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, a frequent critic of Trump, didn’t mince words when reacting to the former president’s comments. In an interview with CNN’s Abby Phillip, Sununu quipped, “So it shouldn’t surprise anybody when he says or does something stupid.” He went on to humorously suggest that Trump might be “a few fries short of a Happy Meal.”
Trump’s rally in Houston was marked by this rare moment of musical glory and his controversial remarks about the incarcerated Jan. 6 rioters, stirring mixed reactions from both his supporters and critics.
Trump v. Taylor
During the 2018 midterm elections Swift publicly endorsed Democratic candidates in Tennessee. She encouraged her fans to participate in the electoral process and vote for candidates who aligned with her values. This was seen as a departure from her previous apolitical stance.
In response, Donald Trump quipped that he liked her music “about 25% less” as a result of her political statement.
Why Celebrities Matter to Politicians
Celebrities often have a significant level of influence and visibility due to their fame and large fan bases. When they engage in political activities, such as endorsing candidates or advocating for specific policies, they can reach a broad audience and mobilize their followers to take action.
They have long played a crucial role in political fundraising efforts, hosting lucrative fundraisers, donating money, or using their platforms to encourage others to contribute to political campaigns.
Some individuals may view celebrities as credible sources of information and trust their opinions on political matters, whether or not this might be the case. Celebrities can use their credibility to endorse candidates or advocate for policies, potentially influencing public opinion.
The involvement of celebrities in politics is not without limitations and potential controversies. Some people may be skeptical of celebrities’ qualifications or may view their political statements as shallow or uninformed. In some cases, celebrity involvement can even be polarizing.
In conclusion, celebrities can be influential and important figures in politics due to their reach, financial support, and ability to engage the public. However, the extent of their impact can vary, and their involvement is not universally embraced.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.
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