Donald Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump appears to be hoping to turn herself into the next Jason Aldean or Oliver Anthony, riding right-wing resentments to a viral hit. She’s recorded a cover of the Tom Petty classic “I Won’t Back Down,” and she’s very angry at Apple for not placing it prominently enough in search results.
Trump’s cover version comes just over three years after Petty’s family issued a cease and desist order to prevent her father-in-law’s campaign from using the exact same song at rallies. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind," the family said in a statement at the time. "Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together."
It’s unclear that a cease and desist issued to the campaign would apply to Lara Trump as an individual, but it’s pretty clear that she’s violating the spirit of what Petty’s family wanted.
If they do speak out against her use of the song, though, Trump will likely roll that into the grievance campaign she’s already launched.
“Hey, Apple — where is my song???” she tweeted, with a video of an iTunes search. “Why doesn’t my song appear when you search ‘I Won’t Back Down’???” Gee, maybe it’s because in addition to the original version of the song, it was covered by Johnny Cash and a long list of other actual artists.
Husband Eric joined in with a since-deleted tweet reading, “Breaking: Apple appears to be viscously shadow banning Lara Trump’s new song, which immediately upon release, was 31st on the ITunes charts. Lara’s name, when typed in full, is hardly viable and can only be found below ‘Fake News II.’ The song itself is unsearchable.” He subsequently tweeted triumphantly that the song was up to number six on iTunes. As Trump family grifts go, it’s not exactly Jared Kushner getting $2 billion from Saudi Arabia for services he rendered while in the White House, but it’s another reminder of the strength of the family commitment to grifting.
There’s no way Lara Trump could have any musical success based on musical talent:
But can she ride secondhand MAGA celebrity and the politics of grievance—how dare Apple not list her ahead of Petty, Cash, or any of a number of other high-profile musicians who’ve covered it—to a “hit” song? Quite possibly. As we’ve seen, the Republican urge to own the libs through cultural consumption is a powerful force.
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