Eleven years ago, P!nk released "Dear Mr. President," her searing rebuke of President George W. Bush, whose administration led the United States to war with Iraq under the false pretense that the country was housing weapons of mass destruction and who backed a constitutional amendment in an effort to keep same-sex couples from marrying.
Now Americans are in the time of Donald Trump, whose most recent display of an extreme lack of empathy included firing paper towel rolls into a crowd of Puerto Rican people who've been going without power and potable water since Hurricane Maria hit nearly two weeks ago, telling them that their tragedy has put his budget "out of whack" and that they should be proud more people didn't die. Beyond his Puerto Rico gaffes, Trump's United Nations representatives voted Friday against a resolution condemning the use of the death penalty as punishment for consensual same-sex relations. Considering the daily assault on the American people coming out of the White House, those dark days of Bush II seem almost halcyon. Now a couple of Broadway singers, anchored by Falsettos and Rent star Tracie Thoms (Joanne in multiple productions), have brought their voices together in harmony to dedicate "Dear Mr. President" to Trump.
P!nk's powerful ballad, which featured out musicians the Indigo Girls on backing vocals, called Bush out for his lack of humanity, something that can even more aptly be applied to Trump.
"What do you feel when you see / All the homeless on the street? / Who do you pray for at night / Before you go to sleep? / What do you feel when you look in the mirror? /Are you proud? / How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?" go the lyrics of P!nk's prescient song from 2006. "How do you walk with your head held high? / Can you even look me in the eye? / And tell me why?"
YouTuber Michael Korte (known for his viral hits #HAM4BEY, #GAGA4RENT) produced and created the new version of the song, directed by Baxter Stapleton and featuring Thoms, Rogelio Douglas (In the Heights, The Little Mermaid), and vocalists Isabelle and Milo Bloom.
Marriage equality became the law of the land nine years after P!nk wrote "Dear Mr. President," in which she called out Bush with "What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away? / What kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?" but her lyrics about LGBT rights are particularly resonant in the era of Trump.
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