Everyone Loves A Freak

Kanye West. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/ Getty Images.)

May I interest you in a concert, fellow music-lovers?

Running for Senate these days as a Republican means pandering to populists in the stupidest ways, but this may be the first time I’ve seen a candidate try to signal his cultural authenticity by spitballing a concert line-up.

I wonder if Eric Schmitt can name a single track from either of the men he mentioned. But if he couldn’t, would it matter? He doesn’t want to see Kanye West and Kid Rock on a bill together because he likes their music. He wants to see it because he likes their politics. Or, rather, because he knows the Republican base likes their politics and he’s keen to earn cheap “one of us” points with them.

Maybe he’s ahead of the curve. In an age when culture is increasingly politicized, we might yet arrive at a point where partisans are obliged to prioritize solidarity over pleasure even when choosing which music to listen to. Imagine Kanye striding out onstage circa 2025 to perform “Gold Digger” to a crowd of blue-rinsed red-state boomers clapping arrhythmically through pained smiles.

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