The race for the next President of the United States is on, and we’ll find out before the end of 2016 who will next be in office. Since it’s always hard to find a presidential candidate that truly supports the people and not just money and party ties, I figured it would be fun to envision some musicians in the role as commander-in-chief. Knowing the authenticity of the singers and songwriters in the alternative music scene and their deep connections with fans, I believe many of them would effectively serve the people and focus on important issues. I originally titled this article “10 Musicians Who Would Make Better Presidents Than Donald Trump,” but I realized it would be super hard to narrow down the list (considering nearly every musician I know would be better than that lunatic).
Note: these candidates don’t all fit the requirements to run for the position, and most of them don’t have any experience with organized politics.
Tom DeLonge, Angels & Airwaves/Previously In Blink-182: I can only imagine the kind of shenanigans DeLonge would get involved in if he was president. Perhaps he’d play practical jokes on legislators and make farting noises during meetings. Perhaps he’d talk about having sex with dogs on national television. Perhaps he’d even enact legislation that leaks details about the existence of extraterrestrial life, proving there actually is “something in the backroom.” We all know what really went down in Roswell in 1947. Let’s just hope he wouldn’t cause too much drama with Congress and the House of Representatives, because the last thing we’d need is for him to leave and have the vice president take over (which hasn’t happened since the Nixon administration). But if he wants history repeats itself in more ways than one, it might be good to have Matt Skiba as his running mate.
Joel Quartuccio, Being As An Ocean: The thing that would make the Being As An Ocean vocalist most fit for the job is his overall concern for human life. It’s something obviously noticeable in the melodic hardcore band’s lyrics, and would be especially applicable in his representation of all people, not just the privileged or well-off ones. In that regard, equality and quality of life would be major aspects of the position that Quartuccio would focus on. The U.S. is currently near the top among world countries in this category, but has a lot of work to do to combat things like poverty, mental illness, addiction, and sex trafficking — and many of these topics are examined through the staunch storytelling of the band’s three albums. He would work on a lot of social issues and would also use his passion and heartwarming personality to enhance international relations and bring about positive change for the U.S., as change is what Being As An Ocean’s message is all about.
Henry Rollins, Previously In Black Flag: I had to include at least one classic punk musician in the list, since the political charges in the genre are something that have made a huge impact on American culture over the past 40 years. Rollins isn’t simply a punk musician either, he’s an entrepreneurial artist who has peered into spoken word and other media work. As president, he would bring this aspect of himself to the U.S., assuring the stability of the nation’s economy through job market diversity and a major focus on the arts. Many of the domestic issues he would focus on include rights for veterans, LGBT rights, and justice system fairness. Before making things too bogged down by political issues, though, it’s important to remember that this guy is a straight-up entertaining personality — just watch him and Stephen Colbert sing “Carol of the Bells”. We know from his resume that he would be an excellent public speaker, and who wouldn’t want a dramatic reading of the Constitution?
Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters: Of all the people in this list, Dave Grohl is the one I’d most love to have as president. That’s because the dude is straight-up awesome, whether he’s trolling the Westboro Baptist Church or making another fresh pot. I’m sure those things would continue if he were elected, as he would show why the U.S. is the most badass country of all-time. Starbucks would surely become the nation’s largest brand and — along with the sales of Foo Fighters albums and concerts — help keep the economy afloat. The don’t-screw-with-us attitude he shows toward his enemies would surely halt conflicts and establish strong friendships abroad (he already did with some Australian miners back in ‘06). He would bring his wild rock-and-roll attitude to domestic issues and solve the energy crisis through the power concentration of guitar solos, and you’d probably see him chewing gum during every important speech he gives. There’s nothing this man wouldn’t be able to accomplish, even something as big as bringing people together in a time when the U.S. is extremely divided. We all live in the “land of the free and home of the brave,”’ right Dave?
Kendrick Lamar: Kendrick recently visited Obama in the White House, and I couldn’t help but think he would push the same domestic causes that our current leader has over the past seven years. Considering the themes in his past two albums, expanding from the Compton-centered lyricism on Good Kid, M.A.A.D City to more national understandings on To Pimp A Butterfly, the rapper has a keen perspective of the hard experiences in minority communities across the U.S. and would want to do something about it. Not only would he be a person American citizens could look up to, but also a person whose empathetic mindset would allow for excellent working relations and maybe even — assuming a Democratic run — some compromises by a Republican senate (let’s not go too far on this, though). Let’s think of him as a more socially focused Obama who is a great speaker and would drop some mad rhymes during State of the Union addresses.
Krist Novoselic, Previously In Nirvana: The former Nirvana bassist already has some experience in politics, which would automatically catapult him over every other musician in this list. Like he’s done to combat legislation like the Erotic Music Law of 1992, he’d stress freedom of speech and expression for all people, and his voting reform work would help keep elections fair in the future. The importance he puts on education means hopefully he’d create some legislation in this area as well, and *fingers crossed* it may include him mandating the listening of Nevermind in public schools across the country (kids these days need to be set straight). Beyond that, his political views are a bit complicated, even as he’s explained in the past. That would probably hurt his chances of getting elected, but remember how unlikely it was for a garage punk band to have a number one single before the grunge explosion.
Jared Leto, 30 Seconds To Mars: If Leto were to become president, he wouldn’t be the first movie star to hold such a position. However, I doubt Republicans would love him as much as they do Ronald Reagan, since his support of animal rights and LGBT equality aren’t things that mean much to the GOP. His philanthropic ventures show he’s well-equipped to help others and bring relief amid natural disasters and other tragedies. As president, he would spend a lot of time on social issues to help underprivileged citizens and those in need, but would also be a major proponent for peace in post-Iraq War America. This is considering his band, 30 Seconds To Mars, and their album This Is War, one of the most important anti-war concept records released so far this century. Hopefully his leadership wouldn’t involve any partnerships with Kanye West like his band did with “Hurricane,” but you can’t ask for too much.
Josh Scogin, ‘68: Like the great jazz musicians before him, Scogin knows how to improvise, which would help him adapt to any situation brought upon him if he were president. His band’s live shows are an explosive onslaught of random guitar chords and freely sculpted melodies, and the kind of passion he poured on the canvas of five Chariot albums and one ‘68 album show he’s got versatility in addition to heart. Don’t forget, too, that he brings influences of over nearly half a century of music, and that hopefully includes the presidents and politicians of those times as well. History says a lot, and his taking after timeless artists like Nirvana, James Brown, and Elvis Presley could be emulated by taking after Lyndon B. Johnson’s domestic successes and Richard Nixon’s international successes. And if his speeches are as random and hectic as his musical performances, we’d sure be in for a treat.
Ted Nugent: If you were a bit weary from this list including so many likable, well-rounded candidates, why not add one who embodies everything Donald Trump is about? His recent quotes, one saying Trump is “as close to Ted Nugent as you are going to get in politics” and another saying that Obama is “the enemy of America” show exactly where he stands without having to even look into his views. But, if you are interested in his views, just remember he’s a board member for the National Rifle Association who’s spent a lot of his life advocating for gun ownership rights. I figured it’s important to include musicians from the more conservative side of the spectrum, though, and Nugent is as strong a Republican as he is a songwriter (yeah, I will admit he’s got some pretty good songs). If elected, I’m just wondering what kind of wall he would put up along the border and what anti-Muslim legislation he’d enact.
David Bowie: I know he wasn’t born in the U.S., but that won’t matter when he comes back from the grave to rule the world.