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This is just to say how disheartening I found it to hear the Beatles’ “Revolution” played twice at Donald Trump’s victory rally in New Hampshire last night.
I realize that his use of the song is perfectly legal, and that it probably won’t make a dime’s worth of difference to the way anyone votes. And we seem long past the point where candidates even think about, let alone care, what the artists whose work they employ for political purposes would be likely to say about the platform their songs are being used to endorse.
But at their best, the Beatles projected hope for a world that would foster better understanding and connection. To hear “Revolution” used by a candidate whose campaign has been marked, as the Chicago Tribune notes this morning, by “Trump’s many offensive remarks–targeting women, minorities, and the handicapped, among others” is demoralizing.
February 11: updated to add this link to an ABC news story about why Trump can play Adele’s music at rallies despite her request that he stop. Apparently Trump has a “blanket license” to use music from ASCAP and BMI. Looks like this could apply to the Beatles’ recordings as well.