Music appropriations, MAGA style

Frontman Dee Snider (center) of the 80s hair band Twisted Sister has pointed comments for MAGA and Qanon world. | 


Candidates and politicians using popular songs as campaign rally music is nothing new. Although they can occasionally pull it off, it is more common for the musical artist to object to its use.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan used Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA as a campaign theme, much to the Boss's chagrin. Its use was ironic because aside from the Born in The USA chant, which was the Reagan campaign's focal point, the song is about the mistreatment of Vietnam-era veterans at the hands of the government. 




There are many more examples of songs - mainly rock, appropriated by Republican candidates and met with strong objections. It includes John Mellencamp's Pink Houses used by John McCain and Donald Trump's use of Rockin' in The Free World by the famously anti-commercial-use-of-any-of-his-art, Neil Young.

One song has a unique history - We're Not Gonna Take It, by the 80s hair group Twisted Sister. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2003 gubernatorial recall campaign deployed the song extensively. 

At the time, Twister Sister frontman Dee Snider said he was fine with its use as a campaign song. The song has become an anthem for a variety of groups.

But over time, Snider has become more vocal regarding its use. As a pro-choice supporter, he objected to former Republican U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan's appropriating of his art.

Not surprisingly, the song made its way into Donald Trump's campaign. Snider, who developed a relationship with Trump after appearing on Celebrity Apprentice, reportedly asked, and Trump obliged to stop using the song. 

Of course, that has not stopped MAGA supporters from using the song, which has drawn the ire of Snider. In fact, Snider was so angry the MAGA and Qanon are using it for purposes other than intended, he posted this on Twitter a couple of weeks ago. 


Way to go, Dee - if what you say isn't the antithesis of MAGA world, what is? 

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