As we contemplate what has become of our political scene in 2017, with a President who used to be a reality TV host, dubious billionaires seeking to dip their toe in the water, and a superPAC supporting a 2020 candidacy from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief: Kid Rock is not running to be the Senator from Michigan in 2018.
In an interview with Howard Stern today, when the famous shock-jock asked the Michigan native about his rumored candidacy, the singer replied, “Fuck no, I’m not running for Senate. Are you kidding me? Who couldn’t figure that out?”
Rock revealed that the whole thing, campaign website and all, was a stunt to promote his newest album, Sweet Southern Sugar, to be released November 3rd.
“It’s been the most creative thing I’ve ever done,” Rock said of his fake campaign. “And I’ve gotten to see everyone’s true colors…As soon as I said, ‘I don’t know, maybe (I’ll run), everyone goes: ‘He’s the Klan wizard, he’s homophobic, he’s Islamophobic’…I’m like, this is kind of fun — might as well be!”
While no one assumes Rock is a “Klan wizard,” he is racist, as his recent statements directed against the NFL have proven. During a concert in Iowa last August, he said, apropos of nothing, “Football’s about ready to start…You know what? Fuck Colin Kaepernick!” In September, during a concert in Detroit, he blasted the national anthem protests, saying, “If you wanna take a knee or sit during our ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ call me a racist ’cause I’m not [politically correct], and think you have to remind me that Black Lives Matter.”
Civil Rights activists in Detroit called for Rock’s concerts to be boycotted for remarks like these, along with his use of the Confederate Flag in his shows. Even post-Charlottesville, Rock has defended his appropriation of this symbol, most prominently in a lengthy Facebook post from September 11th which can be read below.
With sentiments like this, it may come as a shock to learn that, in 2011, Rock received an award for his charitable giving from, of all people, the NAACP.
Rock, one of the first celebrities to back Donald Trump, may not have taken his rumored candidacy seriously, but those with the power to finance it did. According to this article from Real Clear Politics last week, Steve Bannon had been in contact with Rock as part of his “war” against the Republican Party. Rock also learned in the interview that he had received an endorsement from former New York governor George Pataki, which he called “fucking sweet.” Even Mitch McConnell’s superPAC, Senate Leadership Fund, said it would support Rock if he decided to run.
If this was always intended to be a prank, kudos to Rock for tricking the Republican Party into revealing what suckers they all are for pledging to throw their support behind a know-nothing with no business playing this game.
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Jeremy Fassler is a writer and journalist living in Brooklyn, New York.