A couple of weeks ago, Kid Rock got the attention of a whole bunch of people when he shared on social media a (probably) fan-made photo of a “Kid Rock for Senate” yard sign. As you might have expected, cheers and jeers were about equally abundant. More than one astute observer noted that Kid Rock’s real name–Robert Ritchie–is the same as the bumbling, intellectually dull Republican presidental candidate from the third and fourth seasons of liberal fever dream The West Wing.
Indeed, there was a veritable party bus full of snide comments about how Kid Rock could never get elected to any office–his widely condemned anti-gay comments, testimony in the infamous Insane Clown Posse glass dildo trial, and middle finger-flipping spree after the 2010 EMA Awards are the just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. But behind the snark came a careful reminder from political observers: we’re living in the age of Trump, a time when tell-it-like-it-is appeals to an audience’s base emotions (and fears) resonate louder than ever.
Or, as Politico put it: “This same dismissiveness greeted (and motivated) Donald Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, and yes, given that Americans last fall elected a foul-mouthed political novice who was heard boasting on audiotape of grabbing women’s genitals without their permission, it’s worth noting that significant parallels exist between the rock star and the real estate mogul.”
Since then, Kid Rock has both tweaked the initial Photoshopped yard sign by adding a reference to the 2018 Senate race in Michigan and released a basic call-to-arms against the so-called “jackass lawyers who call themselves politicians.” (For the record, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is up for re-election in 2018, has a Master’s degree in social work.)
Behold, both of the recent logs Kid Rock threw on this particular fire:
When my name was thrown out there for US Senate I decided to launch https://t.co/RRVgISDFeq….
— Kid Rock (@KidRock) July 27, 2017
When my name was thrown out there for US Senate I decided to launch kidrockforsenate.com. I was beyond overwhelmed with the response I received from community leaders, D.C. pundits, and blue-collar folks that are just simply tired of the extreme left and right bullshit. As part of the excitement surrounding this possible campaign, I decided to take a hard look to see if there was real support for me as a candidate and my message or if it was just because it was a fresh new news story. The one thing I’ve seen over and over is that although people are unhappy with the government, too few are even registered to vote or do anything about it. We have over a year left until an actual election, so my first order of business is to get people engaged and registered to vote while continuing to put out my ideas on ways to help working class people in Michigan and America all while still calling out these jackass lawyers who call themselves politicians.
During this time while exploring my candidacy for US Senate, I am creating a 501(c)(4) – a non-profit organization for the promotion of voter registration. Not only can I raise money for this critical cause, but I can help get people registered to vote at my shows. Since the announcement, the media has speculated this was a ploy to sell shirts or promote something. I can tell you, I have no problem selling Kid Rock shirts and yes, I absolutely will use this media circus to sell/promote whatever I damn well please (many other politicians are doing the same thing, they just feed you a bunch of bullshit about it). But either way, money raised at this time through the sale of merchandise associated with this very possible campaign will go towards our ‘register to vote’ efforts.
Ritchie also capped off his most recent clarification by crowing that “the Democrats are ‘shattin’ in their pantaloons’ right now…and rightfully so!”
For now, it’s impossible to tell whether Kid Rock is serious or just in dire need of attention. (As Politico also noted, he’s only had one charting single in the past four years, and zero “prominent Republican[s] in Michigan” said Rock or anyone associated with him had reached out about the race.) So the whole thing could be another masterful troll job from the guy who got America to believe that “Bawitdaba” is a good song and just four years ago was enthusiastic in his endorsement of the most establishment Republican since George H. W. Bush two decades earlier.
But, given the unsustainable trench warfare that is America’s current political predicament, it’s also possible that we’ll be talking about Senator Kid Rock’s latest outrageous declaration two years from now. The electorate appears to crave someone “genuine,” someone above both partisanship and the system in general–so, given President Trump’s election, we may well be in for a cycle during which the candidates who can best play that part win the most races. If that turns out to be the case, Senator Kid “Robert Ritchie” Rock may well turn out to be, if not the leader we need, exactly the one we deserve right now.
(Photo credit: Is Kid Rock really running for the Senate via Instagram, DJDM / WENN.com)