I’m old enough to remember The Streak and Disco Duck, records that elicited a chuckle in the 1970s and were quickly forgotten. But a new recording by Donald Trump and the “J6 Prison Choir” is no mere novelty song. It is a piece of propaganda designed to convince people that the Jan. 6 insurrection was an act of patriotism.
Last week, Trump and several defendants incarcerated for crimes committed in the Jan. 6 attack released a song called “Justice for All.” The song is a mash-up of Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and prisoners singing the national anthem over a jailhouse phone. It is tempting to dismiss the song as a ridiculous gimmick that no one will take seriously. But it is all part of the effort to rewrite history to portray the attackers as the good guys.
Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, has promised to pardon the defendants convicted of crimes committed at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and issue a government apology. The attack, of course, was designed to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election after Trump’s legal challenges failed. As we all know by now, five people, including a Capitol Police officer, were killed in the attack, and 140 officers were injured by insurrectionists who pummeled them with flagpoles, hockey sticks, bear spray, and other makeshift weapons. Four other responding officers later committed suicide. On the day of the attack, after 187 minutes of inaction, Trump went on camera to ask the rioters to go home, but then added, “We love you, you’re very special.” Now, more than two years later, his new recording is disturbing for a number of reasons.