Punk Music has a long history of standing against authority and popular culture, yet it has not been able to sustain itself in the era of Trump. It has been disconnected from its roots, its passion, its pride in a world that is saturated with Trump propaganda and hyper materialism. The inspiration behind punk is missing. The genre has lost its identity as an authentic, honest, and, most of all, message of rebellion against the status quo.
The music has been used as an entrance into finding a political ideology. But, the genre has waned in recent decades. Punk’s last attempt and, dare say, maybe it’s final stand took place almost 17 years ago in a futile attempt to elect John Kerry and to end the imperialism of George W. Bush, who was considered world-ending at the time.
The absence of punk music is noticed in times where a younger generation is feeling the pull of nihilism and disfranchisement. Violence across the world, such as endless wars and protests being met with authoritarian hostility, are largely going unchecked and ignored by the mainstream. Without a catalyst or cultural support to stand up to injustice, it’s no wonder the spirit of rebellion is withering.
Our generation has seen the worst terrorist attack in US History, the greatest upheaval of wealth pillaged from workers only to line the already rich’s pockets, and wars that have left mountains of bodies in its wake.
This is the biggest reason why punk music is needed now more than ever before. Punk rock is steeped deep in questioning authority, corruption, and the massive consumerism that powers America. People are more restless than ever and need a way to channel and release that frustration. All you need to do is look at the Bernie Sanders movement and the coalitions rising from its demise to see that people want change. Although, newcomers to politics may not have the proper guidance, which is where punk could play its vital role in society once again.
Punk music hasn’t become a lost relic, though. There are still quality albums coming out yearly. Bad Religion and Anti-Flag, in particular, have released some scathing rebukes of the political climate in America recently. The problem is that there doesn’t seem anyone around for these bands to pass the proverbial torch to.
This current generation of youth would be fertile ground for a revival of politically motivated punk music. However, there are no punk artists who have taken the charge, at least not in this aging punk fan’s eyes.
So I have to ask: Where are all the punk rockers at?