It’s no secret that Green Day’s “American Idiot” was inspired by the presidency of George W. Bush, but the titular smash hit punk-pop anthem has found a new purpose in this era of Donald Trump that has trapped us all in a spiral of fear, incredulity, and impatience.
And now, through social media, one group of UK activists is trying to leverage the song as a direct insult to the American popular vote loser. A Facebook page currently titled “Get American Idiot to No.1 for Trump’s State Visit” is calling upon Brits to download the song and/or album en masse during the second week in July. The goal? Get the 14-year-old song back to the top of the charts just in time for Trump’s July 13 visit.
The as-yet unnamed folks behind the effort apparently came up with the idea shortly after Trump was elected, but it’s just now starting to pick up steam, now that an official date for the Orange One’s “working visit” after the NATO summit has been set.
It also didn’t hurt that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sent out a (now-deleted) Instagram post supporting the campaign.
It’s easy to dismiss this as a silly little flash in the pan, but with over two months to go, the effort could gain enough traction to end up on the President’s notoriously self-obsessed radar. After all, Trump has already tried to flex his power over Prime Minister Theresa May, demanding that she “ban protests” while he’s in town.
In one phone conversation during 2017, Trump complained to May over the criticism he’d been getting in British newspapers. Amid warnings that Trump would face protests in the streets when he arrived, he told the prime minister he would not be coming to the U.K. until she could promise him a warm welcome.
May responded to say such treatment was simply the way the British press operate, and there wasn’t much she could do. In the secure bunker underneath the prime minister’s office, her advisers listened in to the call in astonishment at Trump’s demand.
The one thing we do know? Trump is a fan of the Broadway musical inspired by the album.
If you’re unfamiliar with the 2004 hit, here’s the video (lyrics here). Enjoy!