Monday, March 21, 2016

If the 2016 Presidential Candidates Were Musicians ...

Posted By on Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge Screen grab of Donald Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (plus doodles)
  • Screen grab of Donald Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (plus doodles)
Are you as wrapped up in this presidential race as we are, or what? Have you been watching the debates? And do these candidates remind you of anybody? Because certain personality traits exhibited by our presidential candidates keep reminding us of some of the more famous acts in pop culture musical history.

Politics and music have long been entwined, but it’s still kind of a curse to see everything in the world through a musical filter. Sometimes you just want to watch a candidate give a speech but you can’t help but imagine them standing behind the podium with stage blood pouring from their mouths, scolding brutes in a mosh pit or asking Pat Smear to bring them a bottle of water.

Check out our thoughts below on this phenomenon below. We think we’re onto something here.

If our presidential candidates were musicians ....
Donald Trump would be Gene Simmons of Kiss.

Both Trump and Simmons are misogynistic megalomaniacs who are extremely obsessed with wealth. And though they might be certifiable narcissists, they both have a knack for capturing attention in a way that feeds their ultimate goals. They’re both natural entertainers who back their boastfulness with their exemplary branding techniques and willingness to stamp their (Americanized) names onto anything and sell it. They also say vaguely racist things without fully committing to open hatred. And though the public thought Simmons took it all to the farthest possible limit when started selling KISS Kaskets, Trump has outdone him by moving from real estate to a Presidential campaign. They’re both reality television stars, they’re both married to foreign-born models, they both have ridiculous hair, they both never shut the hell up, they both have tiny “hands” and they’re both The Demon.

If our presidential candidates were musicians ...
Hillary Clinton would be Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters.

Clinton and Grohl are very good at their jobs and they both have found great success in their respective fields through decades of hard work. They're also such professionals that most doubts about them and their intentions are easily brushed aside — both Clinton and Grohl are just so damn smooth that we can’t help but respect their hustle. And though neither of them might be your first choice as our official ultimate representative (of the U.S.A. or rock and roll), they surely don't bungle their jobs as badly as many of their peers. Their careers have even followed similar trajectories, from undeniable street cred (Clinton’s activism during her college years / Grohl’s days in Scream) to the times in the '90s when they both literally stood behind handsome blue-eyed men who ultimately let them down (Bill Clinton / Kurt Cobain). Now they’ve moved to the foreground and are striking out on their own. In their own ways, both Clinton and Grohl have clearly been aiming to take over the world for years — Clinton is just a little more transparent about her goals.

If our presidential candidates were musicians ...
Bernie Sanders would be Ian MacKaye of Fugazi.

Both are respected long-standing figures in the underground D.C. scene. Both have been in the public eye since the early 1980s, MacKaye with Minor Threat and Sanders as a mayor in Vermont. Both have built careers on being politically active and both choose caffeine as their main drug. Both use their microphones to demand change, promote women's rights and speak up on behalf of the poor. Both are seen as unwavering and adorably idealistic. Neither are interested in corporate sponsorship and neither would never make you pay more than a nominal cover charge for their events. Both MacKaye and Sanders have clashed with cops over righteous causes, and they both also jam econo— Sanders takes the train and MacKaye has been rocking that hat for ages. And just like MacKaye, Sanders has been saying the exact same things over and over for the last 35 years.

If our presidential candidates were musicians ...
Ted Cruz would be Alanis Morissette.

Aside from having very punchable faces, at first glance it would seem that Ted Cruz and Alanis Morissette don’t have much in common. But: They do! First of all, both were born in Canada. And though we have no confirmation that he also goes down on people in theaters, there is a disturbing amount of fan-penned Ted Cruz erotica out there. (Yes, just one instance is enough to be considered disturbing. O'Canada!) They were both minor stars before their current careers: Morissette was a regular on the teeny-bopper singing circuit, and before he got into politics Cruz played the grandpa on The Munsters. (Kidding, kidding.) But seriously, we’d bet that like Morissette, Cruz might have one hand in his pocket and that he also doesn’t understand the definition of the word “ironic.”

If our presidential candidates were musicians ...
John Kasich would be the guy in Wham! who was not George Michael.

Because, seriously, who the fuck are both of these guys?

If our presidential candidates were musicians ...
those people listed on your Democratic primary ballot that you’ve never heard of before?

Those are various members of the Polyphonic Spree, of course.

What do you think? Do you think our comparisons are appropriate? Some of these were hard to pin down. For example, Trump could've just as easily been Kanye West because of his epic tantrums and Twitter freak-outs. (Which would make Megyn Kelly into Taylor Swift.) John Kasich is a bit of a Kelly Rowland. And the Clintons could totally be the political version of Beyoncé and Jay Z. And his new role as the voice of the people might make Bernie Sanders the presidential version of Kendrick Lamar.

But what about other famous politicians? Is President Obama a Paul McCartney? And Sarah Palin is totally as incoherent as Axl Rose, right? So many difficult trivial decisions to make and unimportant details to obsess about over here. Send us your feedback and help us out in the comments section.

(Note: This story was already completed before the world figured out last week that Ted Cruz might or might not actually be Michael Sweet from Stryper. Our sincere apologies to Alanis Morissette.)

click to enlarge Thanks for the much-needed levity, Internets.
  • Thanks for the much-needed levity, Internets.



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