Politics V. Pop Culture: Death Cab For Cutie Takes On Donald Trump

Death Cab for Cutie, a band, known for its, distorted, reverb-laden, acoustic, and emo-drenched lyrics, is taking on Donald Trump from their music soapbox. Death Cab for Cutie hasn’t hidden from or ignored politics in the past, as both of their albums Something About Airplanes and We have the facts and we are voting Yes have proven this point, and singer Ben Gibbard once proudly displaying an Obama ’08 sticker on his guitar shows their left-minded views, they have yet to be so out front and center against a particular candidate or party.

Enter 30 Days, 30 Songs, and Death Cab for Cutie kicks off a campaign for a “Trump-free” America, in which Ben Gibbard and company have kicked off this Donald Trump-focused musical collaboration. It feels like “Rock against Bush,” when they collaborated in the 2004 election season, against Republican candidate Bush.

So, Politics V. Pop Culture brings you the royal rumble of Death Cab for Cutie versus Donald Trump. A Musical act versus Bombastic reality star presidential candidate (Who thought they would ever hear that latter combination and phraseology?) face off. Let’s examine the case.

Death Cab for Donald Trump – The Musical Case Against Trump ’16

Donald Trump has a song in his dishonor from Death Cab for Cutie, and it is titled “Million Dollar Loan.” Death Cab for Cutie singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard explains what this song mean to the band and their cause, a “Trump-free America.”

“Lyrically, Million Dollar Loan deals with a particularly tone-deaf moment in Donald Trump’s ascent to the Republican nomination. While campaigning in New Hampshire last year he attempted to cast himself as a self-made man by claiming he built his fortune with just a “small loan of million dollars” from his father. Not only has this statement been proven to be wildly untrue, but he was also so flippant about it. Like it was no big deal. It truly disgusted me. I remember thinking, “surely THIS will be the turning point. To refer to an amount of money most working class people will never see in their lifetime as ‘small’ illustrates a shocking lack of perspective. Assuredly now everyone will see this man for the charlatan he truly is.”

Donald Trump has many detractors, haters, and others who are critical of him, not unlike Hillary Clinton. However, this particular basis for criticism and element of being “unworthy” of being president seems a little childish, and uninformed. Granted, Gibbard goes on to say in Death Cab for Cutie’s Facebook post, that Donald Trump has “repeatedly demonstrated” that he is unfit. Sadly, despite the very real Donald Trump lies and hypocrisy, the band chose to go into this a sophomoric, partisan, campy whining about Trump’s first, paternal loan.

So, what is The Donald’s part in this trial? Well, since he has not responded specifically, we can only research the complaint.

I took this $1 million loan, and all I got was this billion dollar combover

Donald Trump’s paternal, $1 million loan that started it all story has been heavily discussed, and a heavily debatable riches to more riches story, but is neither illegal nor something to mock. The “small” loan complaint has been well criticized as “out of touch” and insulting, but depending on your venture, more or less money is needed. Either way, there seems to be no malintent, so to infer or imply or assume otherwise would appear to be wrongheaded.

That Death Cab for Cutie has a heck-of-a Trump Hate-Song

Musically, it is a fairly impressive tune, as far as Death Cab for Cutie songs go. Gibbard mentioned that they pulled a Blink 182, like the band’s self-titled effort with Robert Smith, and separately wrote the music and compiled it later on. So Death Cab for Cutie, as far as their musical acumen, have done well. The lyrical content, however, is still a little unimaginative. Donald Trump fan or Hillary Clinton fan, the song as a whole is sadly mediocre in its approach.

So, what is the verdict in the case of Death Cab for Cutie V. Donald Trump?

The Verdict

As painful as it is, this one goes to Donald Trump. Why? Death Cab for Cutie does not have a compelling case in this matter, as Trump’s numerous falsehoods on every conservative, constitutional thing, and any other ideological or political belief would have been far more compelling to touch upon.

Death Cab for Cutie and the other 30 days, 30 songs artists have every right to make their case and music, but the listening public has every right to call them out for this sad attempt at a political and musical jab at Trump. We have the facts, and we are voting “No,” Death Cab for Cutie.

David Joseph
David Joseph
Dave Joseph is your average underpaid 31 year old in Modern America. He went to school for electronics/computers. He went from Blogger, to Co-founder/Editor-In-Chief of an independent paper, then to writer, and soon to be author. Now, all trench coat and arrogance, he lends his Pop Culture knowledge of film, TV, and music, mixed occasionally with a politics chaser, to his scribbling for Monkeys Fighting Robots, amongst other locales. He likes long walks on the beach, trips to Philly, Horror anything, most music, tech, art, and ... et cetera. Stalk/follow him on Twitter @REALDaveJoseph.