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OPINION

Anthem for Angry America Rockets to #1 On the Charts

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/David Goldman

There are many reasons that the American people are angry today. Our schools are teaching adult sexual content to children, our borders are open, our economy is in horrible condition, and an unpopular “green” agenda is being imposed on the country. Against the wishes of the American people, the Biden administration keeps sending billions of dollars in military assistance to fight a proxy war against the Russians. 

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There is no faith in our weaponized justice system; corrupt politicians and lazy bureaucrats keep getting rich. Sadly, genuinely objective investigative journalism has ceased to exist. 

When politicians are not wasting our tax dollars, sending it to foreign countries, and adding more rules and regulations to infringe on our rights, they are advocating mandates to attack the remaining freedoms that we hold dear. 

Amid this horror show has appeared an unlikely hero, Oliver Anthony, a part-time musician and former factory worker. His song, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” first appeared online on August 8.

In the span of less than two weeks, his music video has amassed millions of views, he has played two live concerts before thousands of fans, and his song has now moved to #1 on iTunes and Apple Music global charts. Amazingly, Anthony’s working-class anthem has surpassed songs from music superstar Taylor Swift and a host of other established singers with millions of fans. 

Why has Anthony connected with so many people in such a brief time? His message struck a chord with people who were angry about their lives and the direction of the country. 

In “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Anthony sings about the powerful elite who want “total control” of Americans and want to “know what you think” and “know what you do, and they don’t think you know, but I know that you do.” Anthony also taps into the anger of the working class who see their tax dollars wasted on people abusing “welfare,” singing, “If you're 5-foot-3 and you're 300 pounds, taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds.”

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According to Fox News Medical Contributor Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, Anthony skyrocketed to prominence “because he understood and acknowledged the pain, the suffering and the struggling that so many Americans are dealing with on a daily basis.” In her view, Anthony is “a voice for all of those who aren’t able to express what they’re feeling, what they’re going through, and be able to say; we need change now.”

Millions of Americans agree that our country needs “change now.” In a recent poll, an astonishing 74% of Americans say the country is on the “wrong track.” 

The results of Bidenomics have been catastrophic, with surging gasoline and grocery prices, high inflation, climbing interest rates, declining real wages, $5 trillion added to the federal debt, and the American dream of owning a home slipping away from young couples. 

This economic insecurity is very real for a large part of our country. Anthony has tapped into that despair with his powerful song. He sings, "It's a damn shame what the world's gotten to, for people like me and people like you, wish I could just wake up and it not be true, but it is, oh, it is.”

Anthony refers to the nightmare that working-class Americans are living in today. For those still working, too many are falling further behind economically. Others have seen their jobs go to either illegal immigrants or to workers in foreign countries. 

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Unlike many overnight sensations, Anthony did not sign a quick contract. Incredibly, he turned down $8 million album deals. As Nesheiwat noted, Anthony did not write the song “for fame, not for glory, but he was feeling a sense of mental illness, depression, and anxiety because of the state of our economy, and so many Americans resonate with that.”

In a Facebook post, Anthony wrote that his songs have “no editing” and “no agent” and represent “The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place.”

Wisely, Anthony is rejecting immediate stardom and the high price it commands. He said, “I don’t want six tour buses, 15 tractor-trailers, and a jet. I don’t want to play stadium shows; I don’t want to be in the spotlight.”

Even though he calls himself “just some idiot and his guitar,” Anthony is very smart. He realizes that his songs “have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they’re being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung.”

In today’s insidious pop culture and fake music industry, it is rare to find an artist who values integrity and honesty over the almighty dollar. Anthony believes what he is singing and cares about the people who are listening, a rare breed indeed. He wants those who have bonded with his music to “use that positive energy to help other people in your life.”

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Despite his incredible success in the last few weeks, Anthony is remarkably humble. He wrote, "I’m not a good musician; I’m not a very good person. I’ve spent the last five years struggling with mental health and using alcohol to drown it. I am sad to see the world in the state it’s in, with everyone fighting with each other. I have spent many nights feeling hopeless that the greatest country on Earth is quickly fading away.”

Anthony explained that he had worked ten years in industrial manufacturing, “getting to know tens of thousands” of working-class Americans “on job sites and in factories” and spending “all day” every day “for the last ten years hearing the same story. People are SO damn tired of being neglected, divided, and manipulated.”

In Anthony, these “neglected” Americans have found a champion. Due to his humanity, genuineness, and talent, Anthony will not fade away soon. His music will continue to resonate in a country that has overlooked far too many people for far too long. 

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award-winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs Saturdays from Noon until 1 p.m. CT nationally on Real America's Voice TV Network & AmericasVoice.News and weekdays from 7-11 a.m. CT on WGSO 990-AM & Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on Crouere.net. For more information, email him at jcrouere@gmail.com

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