Remember a few months ago, when presidential hopeful Ben Carson’s campaign tapped a young Republican rapper named Aspiring Mogul to write a Ben Carson-themed rap? (That sick flute riff! How could you forget?)
Never one to be outdone, it seems Donald Trump also felt he needed a snappy, “see-I’m-hip-with-the-youngs” kind of theme song, and this, ladies and gentlemen — this unholy stew of innocent children, pageant outfits and propaganda — is the result.
Give yourself some time for this one. Take a few deep breaths.
Here’s what we know:
- These are three members of “The USA Freedom Kids.”
- They performed this ditty yesterday, Jan. 13, at a Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida.
- They are lip-syncing (or, as my esteemed colleague Emmanuel just put it, Ashlee Simpson-ing) the hell out of this thing
- “Deal from strength or get crushed every time” is a lyric the writer of this song, 53-year-old businessman Jeff Popick, thought would be a cool thing to hear coming out of the mouths of young children
- One of those children is his own 8-year-old daughter
- Judging by the crowd behind the kids, audience reactions ranged from “this is cute” to “not feelin’ it” to “I’m just going to take this opportunity to send a lot of text messages” (good work, dude in the front left).
TIME has an interview with the brains behind the catchy little tune, in which one can learn that the elder Popick, a huge Trump supporter, originally wrote the song “in honor of Lt. General George Patton, who led the U.S. Army when it liberated Italy in World War II, but tweaked it to focus on Trump.”
Popick, who seems to be a sort of self-styled, freedom-loving Lou Perlman, held tryouts in order to put the group together about six months ago. Since that time, the USA Freedom Kids have performed the National Anthem at Miami Dolphins and Marlins games, but this song about destroying enemies of freedom has understandably garnered the girls the most attention thus far.
Now, it’s tempting to suggest Popick deserves a visit from Child Protective Services, but you know what? This country is about freedom. Freedom to write terrible songs. Freedom to purchase terrible outfits. Freedom to exploit your own children, who are far too young to form educated political views of their own, not to mention comprehend the ramifications of stumping for a racist billionaire demagogue, thereby deftly showing the world you believe five minutes of viral fame and maybe a few hundred dollars are definitely worth the fact that you’re screwing said children up royally for the rest of their lives.
But hey, maybe we’re just being cynical here! Sometimes former child stars who hit the bigtime following band tryouts in Florida turn out just fine.