Steve Earle Lashes Out at ‘Fascist’ President Trump
Steve Earle speaks out about President Trump in a no-holds-barred new interview, calling him a "fascist" and saying he doubts he will finish his first term.
"I don't see how he does it," the outspoken singer-songwriter tells Rolling Stone Country. "Although it's hard to predict what this guy's gonna do. We've never had an orangutan in the White House before. There's a lot of 'What does this button do?' going on. It's scary. He really is a fascist. Whether he intended to be or not, he's a real live fascist."
Trump has been one of the most controversial presidents in modern American history since taking office in January of 2017, repeatedly clashing with the media, the court system and even Republican lawmakers over a wide range of issues that includes a proposed Muslim travel ban, building a wall between the United States and Mexico, a transgender ban in the military that he abruptly announced via Twitter and more. His approval ratings stand at historical lows after a week that included what many have characterized as a tepid response to neo-Nazis and white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville, Va., where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when a man ran his car into a crowd of counter-protesters.
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Trump received widespread condemnation after a press conference in which he appeared to assign equal blame to the white supremacists and the counter-protesters, including pushback from fellow Republicans. He also drew a parallel between removing Confederate monuments and taking down statues to honor George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
But the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter says the real danger is that Republicans "are OK with him being there. While we're paying attention to all the stupid s--t he's doing, they're methodically seeing to their agenda and they're getting a lot of s--t done under the radar." He points to stacking the Supreme Court and overturning Roe v. Wade as two items on the Republican agenda.
"They don't really care about Roe v. Wade, they care about getting elected," Earle asserts, adding, "the Republican Party is about the wealthiest people paying as few taxes as possible and letting go of as little of their wealth as possible and making an environment for them to be able to make more. We've gotten to the point where we're almost unapologetic about it."
Earle believes Trump's election speaks to a more fundamental problem in "the way we value talent and undervalue education ... I hope it becomes obvious to people that reality television has a cost. You have to think that Fox News and reality television is real for Donald Trump to be possible. Neither thing is true."
And while he thinks it's unlikely Trump will remain in office, Earles doesn't feel Vice President Pence is that much better an alternative.
"I think it's going to be the same one way or the other, with either one of those guys in office," he muses. "Trump's scary because he has the button. My guess is that there's been something built around him to get between him and the button. There was when Nixon was in office. They gave him fake codes. He was starting to lose it and walk around talking to pictures and drinking. That's all he did the last two years he was in office. He walked around, talked to the portraits and had a glass of f--king whiskey in his hand all the time."
Earle recently released a new album titled So You Wannabe an Outlaw.
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