Trump ‘Soldiers’ want out of the partisan war

GI Joe MAGA clothes

I was a soldier on the wrong side
But I hear that they’re signing up turncoats tonight
Though I don’t feel the same way about it that I did before.
Mama, Mama, I want to get out of the war.

“Soldier” by Mike Elosh

The subject of the song says he was as a soldier – was – though he hasn’t switched sides yet. But clearly his heart isn’t in the fight anymore. He shows up for duty, but sort of does the least he can do without drawing suspicion.

The Mike Elosh song is an old favorite. I recently heard it as it shuffled through my playlist.

It’s 20 years old (1999), but I thought, My God! This is the predicament of Congressional Republicans who have lost their enthusiasm for Trump!


And not just Congressional Republicans. This soldier could represent, really, anyone who had publicly and enthusiastically gone in for Trump, and is now wishing they hadn’t been such a visible brand ambassador. The MAGA hats. The bumpers stickers. The social media posts. The Thanksgiving table tirades. The face tattoos.

Before the disaffection set in, the Trump soldier enjoyed the cheering on; the solidarity they felt with their Trump-loving friends, co-workers, and family members. There will be a social cost to abandoning Trump.

And in the case of Trump soldier lawmakers, their MAGA-hatted constituents love them for it in direct proportion to how much they keep up the act. There will be a political cost to publicly disavowing Trump — possibly career-ending.

See them laughing…

It doesn’t help that the opposing side have been complete assholes – judging, insulting, and ridiculing nonstop since 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy.

See them laughing into their hands.
They’re all on the right side, but they’re not my friends.
And I don’t understand why I’d help them to settle their score.
Mama, Mama, I want to get out of the war.

Some people can never admit that they are wrong. Not even when the facts are overwhelmingly against them. They won’t admit they were conned.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t know they’re wrong.

In August this year, I was in Sioux City, Iowa — in a county that Trump won in 2016 with more than 57 percent of the vote. (Clinton received less than 38 percent.) I was there for almost a week, and did a lot of walking around neighborhoods. I saw dozens of churches, and pickup trucks, I didn’t see a single Trump sign, or bumper sticker.

Sioux City Rusty Pickup
There’s a 57.4 percent chance this truck had a Trump bumper sticker in 2016

Very few ordinary citizens want to cross over in a blaze of glory and begin opposing Trump. It’s even less likely that a Republican lawmakers wants to do this.

Some of Trump’s putative standard bearers want to quietly take down the Trump flag they’ve been flying, and hope nobody says anything. They just want to get out of the war.

Mike Elosh

If you’ve never heard of Mike Elosh, then you’ve been visiting the wrong coffee houses and farmer’s markets in the Washington DC area. He’s one of my favorite songwriters.

You can also find Mike on Soundcloud and YouTube.

If you want me to pass on your email address to Mike for his newsletter, leave a comment or send me a message.

June 27, 2021: This post was updated, replacing an embedded MP3 file with a video from Elosh’s YouTube channel, and added a link to the channel.

Featured images modified from a photo by dollyhaul (CC BY-NC 2.0)


  1. Fulcrum Reply
    December 19, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    “It doesn’t help that the opposing side have been complete assholes – judging, insulting, and ridiculing nonstop since 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy.”

    Oh fuck off with the enlightened centrism here. The right-wing has been throwing shit leftwards since 1996, they don’t get to cry victim now that they’re getting it back.

    • Ted Reply
      December 19, 2019 at 5:49 pm

      Not being an asshole is centrism? Good to know.

  2. Sis Reply
    April 26, 2020 at 7:38 am

    wishful thinking

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