On Friday, rock legend John Fogerty said it was “confounding” that President Trump’s campaign used his hit song “Fortunate Son” at a rally. Especially, since the song is based on harsh criticisms of class privilege during the Vietnam War.
On Thursday, the president walked off Air Force One to the song before his rally in Freeland, MI. After the Trump campaign played “Fortunate Son,” the former Creedence Clearwater Revival lead singer created a video detailing his experience writing the song.
Fogerty isn’t the only classic rock icon to criticize Trump’s campaign for using their music. Artists including Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Neil Young have threatened legal action against Trump for playing their songs without permission.
The Inspiration Behind “Fortunate Son” by John Fogerty
“I wrote the song back in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War,” Fogerty said in the video. “By the time I wrote the song, I had already been drafted and had served in the military. And I’ve been a lifelong supporter of our guys and gals in the military, probably because of that experience.”
Fogerty talked about writing the song because he was “upset” that wealthy people with privilege could dodge the draft.
“I found that very upsetting that such a thing could occur, and that’s why I wrote ‘Fortunate Son,’” he said. “That was the inspiration for the song.”
He pointed out that the opening lyrics of the song read, “Some folks are born made to wave the flag, ooh their red, white and blue. But when the band plays ‘Hail to the Chief,’ they point the cannon at you.”
Fogerty thought that was “exactly what happened” in Lafayette Square near the White House in June. Federal officers used force to disband protesters ahead of Trump’s visit to a nearby church for a photo op.
“It’s a song I could have written now. And so I find it confusing, I would say, that the president has chosen to use my song for his political rallies. When, in fact, it seems like he is probably the fortunate son,” Fogerty concluded.
Donald Trump’s History of Alleged Draft Evasion
Trump was the beneficiary of five deferments from the military draft during the Vietnam War. He was granted a coveted 1-Y medical deferment for a bone spurs diagnosis. In addition, he received four educational deferments that allowed him to skip the draft.
Many Democrats have condemned Trump for what seemed like draft evasion. Senator Tammy Duckworth, a military veteran who lost both of her legs when her helicopter was shot down over Iraq, nicknamed Trump “Cadet Bone Spurs.”
Trump’s former personal attorney and self-described “fixer” Michael Cohen testified before Congress last year. During his testimony he said that Trump’s claims of a medical condition were untrue.
In his opening statement before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cohen talked about Trump telling him there “was no surgery” for bone spurs. Additionally, Trump instructed him not to answer reporters’ specific questions on his draft deferments.
“He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment,” Cohen said in his testimony. “He finished the conversation with the following comment: ‘You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.’”
[H/T The Hill]