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What Trump Doesn't Get, Say Songwriter's Daughters: He Is "The Snake" You Cannot Trust

What Trump Doesn't Get, Say Songwriter's Daughters: He Is "The Snake" You Cannot Trust

Julia Conley, staff writer

The early 1960s song "The Snake" is familiar by now to political observers who have seen President Donald Trump recite it at numerous campaign rallies and at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week—but the family of the man who wrote the piece says the president entirely misses the song's point.

Trump has presented the song's lyrics to his supporters as an allegory to the dangers of welcoming immigrants into the U.S., sharing the story of a woman who comes across a snake and is convinced to take care of him, only to be poisoned by the animal:


Nothing new about this. Even worse was the way Ronnie Raygun appropriated Springeen’s “Born in the USA” - idiotically singing only the refrain, without ever mentioning the rest of the song which was, from one end to the other, deeply critical of the USA as a place that unrelentingly screws the working class from cradle to grave.


In reference to the last line, maybe the voters would “have known he was a snake” if MSM had done their job before the election.


Everyone knew he was a snake; his voters thought it was/is exactly what we needed in that office. Many others didn’t/couldn’t vote or voted for 3rd party to avoid HRC.

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I voted third party (Green) not to avoid Clinton or Trump,even though both were well known liars and broken, corrupt individuals.

I voted for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka because I saw them speak their truths in person, and knew they would represent me and the rest of my fellow Americans.

The Duopoly represents division.


Same. I refuse to vote for proven liars and warmongers and Wall Street whores, even if they are the “lesser evil.” Evil is still evil, and I won’t vote for it, period. Full stop. If there is a candidate that represents my values and ideals, then I vote for him/her, regardless of the letter behind his/her name.


Smart man. Don’t change.

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Here on Commondreams Hillary was the snake, and Trump was regarded as a champion of the working class", or at worst, a harmless buffoon. My attempts to explain what should have been the dead-obvious fact that buffoon or not, a Trump election would enable a reactionary right-wing extremist plutocratic takeover of all the federal agencies and courts - inflicting damage that will take a generation of even the most progressive-left future administrations to repair - simply went over everybody’s head. They would make the fact-free statement that the agencies (few of which they could even name) are already useless - no examples ever being given for their claims.


Many of us here at Common Dreams readily admit voting for either of the Duopoly candidates in the 2016 election, was a lose-lose situation.

A few here at Common Dreams chose wisely to reject voting for Corporate Rule. We had hoped and continue to do so, that our fellow Americans could see, as we "already"could, what decades of blind faith in political parties that vote against the interests of the masses, and in support of the Big Money interests, had done to our country.

We voted for progressives with strong progressive ideals and plans for America.

We refused to support Empire and the parties that have turned the United States into a Constant Warring Nation, killing innocents and spreading Hate and Weaponry to others to wreak Terror on their neighbors.

We voted for the Extreme Change this country needed.

Voting for more of the same wasn’t even a choice.

At least not for me.


To try to get back from voter-shaming to the topic: I wondered why he didn’t identify the source of the poem. Sounded to me way too much like misogynist interpretation of a certain biblical story.

Just because some of us didn’t agree with your arguments doesn’t mean we didn’t understand them. I for one did understand you, and thought long and hard about your warnings of the time. My conclusion was, and I’m sure your remember, that the only real choice we had was whether we wanted to be stabbed in the back or stabbed in the chest. That the end result would be the same; HRC would negotiate away our sovereignty and progressive regulations through global “trade” treaties, and DT would ransack our bureaucratic government as he has, much like Hitler perverted the German government which he subsumed.

As it turned out here, as you also know, this region was not in play and went solidly for Trump, and if I could have voted one hundred ballots it wouldn’t have made a difference. Had I been somewhere that was in play I probably would have voted the same – Stein – because I just have had enough. I also know how you feel about that; you don’t have to remind me. Had my wife read your arguments she would have agreed with you, and did in fact vote accordingly.

You can’t deny that the outrageousness that is Trump has torn the curtain away from the DC farce, and there are a lot more people thinking and moving now than there were before - the one good thing that I hoped would come out of that stinking god-damned election.

The most disheartening thing is though, that it is so hard to move beyond that.


What you wrote is not true if you were in a closely contested state. The choice between Trump and Clinton was not one of “lose-lose” - it was hold the status quo-lose catastrophically. And as should be apparent from events over the past year, there was a big difference between the status quo and losing.

The best hoped-for prospect now is a long fight just to get back to the unsatisfactory status quo we started with.

And voting should never be considered some kind of act of free-wheeling, (and oh-so typically USAn) individualistic expression. It is a strategic or tactical act to produce a result.

If your sweeping claim that global trade treaties are so bad, why so few objections to them in Canada, and why is Canada prospering, and maintaining their sovereignty and 35-40% unionization rate just fine (with “made in Canada” labels everywhere too) under them?

Sure global trade agreements often have bad provisions in them that need to be changed, but as Trump’s anti-solar energy tariffs show, open trade between countries is a good thing. It is tragic the way the US-left’s once-sophisticated internationalist critique as exemplified by the now-dead global economic justice movement has been transmogrified into simple-minded isolationist nationalism.

The causes of misfortune of the US working class are not due to trade agreements - they are entirely internal and domestic in origin.

But yes, Ohio was not in play. How far the formerly strong, working class, pro-union buckeye State has fallen!. I probably would have cast a protest vote if I live there too.

I’m neither an isolationist nor a nationalist; the treaties that Obama was negotiating all contained (as do most of the existing ones) the poison pill of the trade dispute settlement clauses, and furthering of the meme that there is a “right” to profit and that right supersedes local rights and home rule. Those globalist/capitalist efforts pertain to all treaty participants and are no better for say, Myanmar or Indonesia or Japan, than they are for the citizens of the US. I do however believe that localism will have to be part of any organized effort to fight global warming.

Interesting you should bring up Canada. I wonder if all of Alberta would agree with you. The First Nations certainly don’t, and when it comes to wholesale environmental destruction through mineral extraction, Canadian firms take a backseat to no-one.

Alberta loves NAFTA and the TPP - who do you think they sell all their oil to?

Yunzer, I respect you a lot, and your viewpoints. You are certainly entitled to them, and you do make cogent arguments in support of your views. However, there is a growing segment of the population that is fed up with lesser evilism and see that constantly voting for the less worst candidate is just not going to cut it anymore. I and a few others here on CD being part of that segment. So you can continue to argue why voting for Clinton in the last election would have been “better” than having to deal with the Trump nightmare we have today, but you won’t convince most of that growing segment that you are right. For those of us who want real, progressive change - instead of the ever-rightward-shifting terrain that the Duopoly brings us (slowly rightwards under D’s, rapidly rightwards under R’s) - we are not fooled by the LOTE arguments any longer.

Just as I respect you and your viewpoints, you need to respect the fact that we simply don’t see it the way you do. The whole premise of LOTE is “it’s better than the alternative.” That simply isn’t good enough anymore. Real progressive change means no more compromising, no more triangulating, no more settling for mealy-mouthed establishment whores who only answer to their corporate paymasters and constantly capitulate to or compromise with the other side of the Duopoly, forever slowly moving the goalposts further and further to the right while NEVER furthering any truly progressive ideals.

The MAJORITY of American citizens want single-payer. The MAJORITY want marijuana legalization. A woman’s right to choose. Equal rights for LGBTQ people. Higher taxes on the rich. Less military intervention abroad and a reduction in the military budget. More environmental and corporate regulations. Stricter gun control laws. Etc,etc, etc. And NONE of those things are enacted, even when the D’s are in power. This is NOT a democracy. We need strong, truly progressive leaders in power, and voting D’s has proven over and over and over and over again to be a complete waste of time.

Yes, we get uber right-wing Rethuglicans instead. But NOT because we won’t vote D - but because you DO.

Looked at another way, Yunzer: if all of the Americans who voted “D” had instead voted for Stein (or Bernie, or whichever non-establishment candidate the Progressives of America decided to get behind), we would not have Trump, and we would have a truly progressive person in the White House today.

YOU say it’s the fault of the “non-Lote voters” for not voting D with you. We say it’s you D voters for not voting with US. The sooner we stop the blame-game and get behind truly progressive, non-establishment candidates that represents our progressive values, the sooner we start moving forward. Fortunately, more and more of the younger generation are rejecting the establishment duopoly and thinking along those very lines.


That response was non-sequitor, and merely reflects the wishes of a captured political body. To reinforce what dissent has said, you continue to promote a political coalition which not longer has much popular currency. As dissent said, the young people are beginning to wake up, only to find out they’ve been molested in their sleep.

Step back and look at the big picture. Democracy in the US has failed along the lines that every critical thinker throughout history said that democracy would fail. Government has been captured by powerful wealthy interests. If you think the Democratic Party is going to do anything - without a thorough and transformative house-cleaning - other than nip around the edges of what really ails us, then you must be tripping.

I do apologize for my historical illiteracy, but don’t conflate that with political naiveté. I have watched throughout my life the mergers, the take-overs, the Reaganism, the consolidation of wealth. The shit had hit the fan long before Donald Trump molested his way into the White House.

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I didn’t agree about the country knowing about trump before the election in you’re first post. I’ve lived on the east coast, so I figured the people there were more enlightened about his business BS. The voters around the rest of the country weren’t exposed to those dealings, hence my comment above.
You’re last post could not have been more on target. I also tried to convince voters to vote Stein with the logic that if enough people voted for her, it would be very hard to eliminate enough votes to throw the election.
I still believe she received more than the 5% needed to make the greens a force for the future, but enough were flipped. Wish the recount could have been completed, but we can’t have that.

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That’s what I’m saying Dissent.

I thought that this was America, where we are supposed to vote for the candidate we “know” will best represent “our” interests and those of the general population.

That’s what I did with Jill and Ajamu, and thanks for pointing out to “Mr. Voting Is A Strategic Or Tactical Act To Produce A Result” how he and those LOTE voters like him, “blew it.”

Big Time.

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