Neil Young has criticized Donald Trump’s presidency with the track “Looking For A Leader 2020.” The track only comes as the latest example of Young’s disdain for Trump’s presidency, and is a reworked version of Young’s 2006 protest song against President Bush.
Young sings alone, stomping his foot as he strums his guitar and sings pointedly at Trump. He comments on Trump building a fence around the White House amid the Black Lives Matter protests, singing “Just like his big new fence/ This president’s goin’ down/ America’s movin’ forward/ You can feel it in every town/ Scared of his own shadow/ Building walls around our house/ He’s hiding in his bunker/ Something else to lie about.” Young urges listeners to help vote Trump out of office, singing “Yeah, we had Barack Obama/ And we really need him now/ The man who stood behind him/ Has to take his place somehow,” as a way to encourage listeners to vote for Joe Biden, Obama’s former Vice President, in the upcoming election. Young looks to the future, where Black Lives Matter is not a movement of controversy and the United States could once again become a welcoming country that stands for all its citizens, singing how America is looking for a leader who has everyone’s best interests in mind.
The song is only the most recent case of Young protesting Trump and his presidency. Trump has played several of Young’s songs at recent campaign rallies for his re-election, including “Rockin’ In The Free World” at a rally in front of Mt. Rushmore. Young quickly took to Twitter to denounce Trump’s use of his song, stating “I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux and this is NOT okay with me.” Young has also declared on Twitter that be believes Trump “will soon be powerless” and that he is a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Earlier this month, Young had written a letter to Trump saying he would not be suing him for his use of “Rockin’ In The Free World” at a campaign rally, saying he did not want to detract from a response to COVID-19. However, following Trump’s action to involve federal troops at protests in Portland, Young changed his mind about suing Trump, saying “Imagine what it feels like to hear ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ after this president speaks, like it is his theme song. I did not write it for that.”