This story originally aired on January 21, 2017.
The 2016 presidential election transformed the political narrative across America, including Washington state. Many artists have been emboldened to create in response to this reshuffling of power and ideas. One Seattle musician was uniquely inspired by the perspective of Trump voters.
Seattle musician John Roderick is the front man for local indie rock band The Long Winters. He’s a liberal guy; you might remember his failed bid for Seattle City Council in 2015. In 2016, however, Roderick wrote an anthem for the Trump campaign called “Make America Great Again.”
It was a part of author Dave Eggers project, “30 Days, 30 Songs," which asked musicians to write songs for a new post-election America. Most artists wrote straightforward protest songs but Roderick decided on a satirical take. He wrote the song from the view of a Trump supporter. However, after attending his high school reunion with many Republican friends, the song ended up coming from a more empathetic place than he originally planned. Roderick sat down with Sound Effect producer Allie Ferguson to talk about his intention with the song and how music can build empathy for people across the political aisle.