Eric “Slowhand” Clapton is putting his still-considerable star power to work for Robert “Slowmind” Kennedy Jr., hoping to boost the lyin’* scion’s prospects in his quixotic, one-person Democratic primary slap-fight.
Clapton, who over the past few years has dipped his conspicuously polio-impervious toe into the shallow end of our nation’s roiling anti-vax pool, is now using his talents for evil, elevating Kennedy’s conservative-fueled campaign against an incumbent Democratic president prior to the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. On Monday, Clapton helped raise more than $2 million at a private fundraiser supporting Kennedy’s presidential bid.
RELATED STORY: Eric Clapton says he won't play venues that require COVID-19 vaccinations, because of course he did
Clapton and his band performed at an event, which raised a total of $2.2 million, including $1 million for Kennedy’s campaign and $1.2 million for a political action committee supporting him.
“I am deeply grateful to Eric Clapton for bringing his musical artistry and rebellious spirit to my gathering in Los Angeles last night,” Kennedy said in [a] press release, which described the Monday night event as a “once-in-a-lifetime musical performance.”
Kennedy’s campaign announced in late August that Clapton would perform at the private fundraiser, which reportedly offered tickets starting at $3,300, up to a maximum of $6,600.
Would you pay $3,300 to see a 78-year-old Eric Clapton perform “Cocaine”? Wait, don’t answer yet! What if you knew the money was going toward federal programs to promote measles
eradication in children?
Of course, we all know about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s indefatigable campaign against lifesaving vaccines, but it turns out Clapton has been singing from the same hymnal for some time now. In July 2021, as COVID-19 was regularly turning vaccine refusers’ lungs to concrete, Clapton announced he would no longer perform at venues that required audience members to be vaccinated against the virus.
And as songwriter and journalist Jeff Slate noted in an October 2021 piece for NBC News, Clapton’s descent into anti-vax advocacy didn’t start or end there.
Since last year, Clapton has repeatedly used his vast platform to do his utmost to undermine expert medical advice. He claimed that he was experiencing temporary adverse reactions to the Astrazeneca vaccine, but detailed symptoms he'd disclosed as early as 2013 and previously blamed on neurological problems. He has opposed lockdowns and made suspicious claims about the dangers of vaccines. This spring, he said in videos posted on a friend’s YouTube channel that scientific studies, expert opinions and public health recommendations extolling the importance of vaccines were “propaganda,” and most recently doubled down by vowing he wouldn’t perform to what he termed “discriminated audiences” in venues requiring proof of vaccination.
Meanwhile, a Rolling Stone profile by journalist David Browne, also from October 2021, presented more disturbing facts about Clapton, including a penchant for racially offensive comments—suggesting that Clapton’s recent wrongheadedness is actually a part of a well-established pattern.
Browne interviewed Dave Wakeling, founder of the British ska band English Beat, and Wakeling recounted Clapton’s “holy shit” harangue during a 1976 concert.
[W]hen he saw Clapton at the Odeon theater in Birmingham in August 1976, Wakeling was gob-smacked. A clearly inebriated Clapton, who unlike most of his rock brethren hadn’t weighed in on topics like the Vietnam War, began grousing about immigration. The concert was neither filmed nor recorded, but based on published accounts at the time (and Wakeling’s recollection), Clapton began making vile, racist comments from the stage. In remarks he has never denied, he talked about how the influx of immigrants in the U.K. would result in the country “being a colony within 10 years.” He also went on an extended jag about how “foreigners” should leave Great Britain: “Get the wogs out . . . get the coons out.” (Wog, shorthand for golliwog, was a slur against dark-skinned nonwhites.)
“As it went on, it was like, ‘Is this a joke?’ ” Wakeling recalls. “And then it became obvious that it wasn’t. . . . It started to form a sort of murmur throughout the crowd. He kept talking, and the murmurings started to get louder: ‘What did he fucking say again?’”
So, yeah. Exactly the kind of guy you want supporting you if you’re a long shot candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Then again, RFK Jr.’s candidacy isn’t a serious effort to unseat Biden. He’ll never win the nomination. But MAGA does likely see him as a useful fool. After all, look who’s actually supporting his pointless (to Democrats, anyway) candidacy:
Kennedy has been ballyhooed on Fox News with gushy interviews with Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity. Republican megadonors like David Sacks and Omeed Malik are fundraising for him. He has also been endorsed by the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and implicitly supported by Elon Musk, who is driving Twitter into the ground. Both Roger Stone and Steve Bannon have been giddy with praise for Kennedy, even suggesting him as Donald Trump’s 2024 running mate. And Rolling Stone revealed that a pro-Kennedy super PAC was organized by a Georgia-based Republican firm that has recently worked for Marjorie Taylor Greene, Herschel Walker, and George Santos.
RELATED STORY: Pro-Trump megadonor bankrolling RFK Jr.'s super PAC to the tune of $5M
But hey, it’s not like a second Donald Trump term would irrevocably undermine Western democracy or anything. Then again, if your kid gets measles, she might not have a future anyway. But you still likely won’t want to live in the dystopian McDonaldland Trump is planning for you and your surviving children.
*To be fair, and because I don’t want to be sued by this pestilence-promoting popinjay, I should clarify that he might not actually be lying about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. He might be playing football without a helmet or something. Or maybe he was freebasing swine flu vaccine in a sketchy backroom at Studio 54 during the ‘70s and had a bad reaction. Who really knows what happened to this clown?
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Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.