A spontaneous singalong got started among fans of former President Donald Trump during a recent campaign appearance where the Republican leader swayed along to the tune of “Rich Men North of Richmond,” the breakout hit that has taken conservative circles by storm this summer.
President Trump, shaking hands and signing photographs at his Virginia golf course, became the sole audience member to a crowd of crooners who gave their rendition to Oliver Anthony’s hit as it blared overhead on the speaker system. Pointing to fans in the crowd, Trump indeed looked like he was enjoying the moment.
The working class, anti-establishment anthem first began its percolation to the top in late July when Anthony, a virtually unknown Virginia musician, captured hearts with his ballad about businessmen and politicians who look out for themselves instead of the working man. The spotlight hasn’t stopped Anthony from sticking to hits rooms, opening up on Joe Rogan’s podcast about his Christian faith and inspiration for his music. After topping the iTunes charts with “Rich Men,” he went on to release a follow-up hit, “Brink of War,” to similar acclaim.
Commentators on both the right and left have pored over Anthony’s lyrics in “Rich Men” as they attempt to discern his political views, though Anthony has been coy about siding with one camp in America’s polarized political climate. However, he has ripped Democratic politicians like Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama for flip-flopping on issues like gay marriage, saying they got elected on a platform opposing it and going on to change their minds after being elected, in Obama’s case.
On Rogan’s podcast, Anthony noted that people were drawn to President Trump because of his unfiltered, authentic style of communication. “That’s what attracts people to like that rough, raw, authentic type of speech… It’s not clean-cut and it’s not professional, but at least you feel like he actually believes it,” he said.