DEE SNIDER Doesn't Believe DONALD TRUMP Is Racist: 'He's A Salesman Looking For Someone To Buy His Product'

November 10, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of Steve-O's "Wild Ride!" podcast, TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider spoke about why it's dangerous when the band's classic song "We're Not Gonna Take It" is co-opted by various politicians and used at their campaign rallies.

"When people use a song in any event, that's just — they call it SESAC, they call it ASCAP. It's ambient music," he explained (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "They just pay like a fee, a general fee. So whether it's at Yankee Stadium, or if it's at a sporting event or at any political rally, as long as they pay, and it's a very minimal fee, they don't need permission. They just do it. But everybody loves the author of the song to give it their blessing. And they don't like you to denounce it. Like there was a case in Australia where a politician decided he was using 'We're Not Gonna Take It' for a commercial campaign without paying. He was sued, I went to court and he lost."

Snider, who sold his Snidest Music music publishing catalog of 69 songs — including the classic TWISTED SISTER rock anthems "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" — to Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) in 2015, continued: "I have interest in these songs, by the way. And also after 35 years, you get your catalog back. So my kids, if there's any value, they'll get it back. And now it's probably about 25 years till they'll get it back. So I went up against this guy, and we won. He had to pay. But you can't stop anybody from just using the song, as long as it's not for commercial use; it's ambient use. But they hate when I denounce them. They want you to support them."

When Steve-O noted that lawyers for rapper Eminem recently sent GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy a cease-and-desist letter asking that the candidate stop performing Eminem's hit 2002 song "Lose Yourself" on the campaign trail, Dee said: "The cease-and-desist is kind of like a fancy way of denouncing. I mean, they really can't stop him. I believe [former U.S. president Donald] Trump knows this full well, 'cause he's been asked to stop [using] a number of songs, and he knows he doesn't have to. I asked him to stop using 'We're Not Gonna Take It'. We do not see eye-to-eye politically. We were friends before the whole political thing. I was on [Trump's TV show] 'Celebrity Apprentice' for three seasons. I hung with him, hung with his family, had great times, great memories. [We] never got into any politics because that kind of used to be the way it was. You didn't talk about that shit when you were just going to have a dinner or hanging out. We did a lot of charity work together, did things for kids' cancer and all kinds of things. And when he started running, he said, 'Hey, I want to use 'We're Not Gonna Take It'.' I was, like, 'Yeah, Go crazy, man. Raise hell.' And then I found out what he stood for. And after a few months, my kids were going, 'You've gotta denounce him. You've gotta make him cease.' I said, 'Let me tell you something, kids.' My kids are grown.' I said, 'Most people don't even bother to ask permission. They just do it. He asked permission. I gave my permission.' I said, 'If I'm gonna stop him, I'm gonna give him the respect that he showed me. And I'm gonna pick up a phone. I'm gonna say, 'Listen, I need you to stop using the song. We're not on the same page.' And so I did. We're not on the same page, and we don't see eye-to-eye. And to his credit, he said, 'Okay.' He stopped using it that night. He never used it again. And he knows he could use it. And I called him back and said, 'Hey, are we cool?' And he said, 'Dee, we've done so much charity work together.' And we had — many things. And he goes, 'Of course we're cool.'"

Snider went on to say that he is "anti-Trump, what he stands for. I believe he's a salesman and he's looking for someone to buy his product, and the people he found who bought his product were people I don't agree with," Dee clarified. "And he takes the position that he agrees with them, but I knew him before. Howard Stern talks about this at length. He never showed any evidence of being evangelical, being against women's right to choose. He's a New York guy. He never showed any of those things."

He continued: "I'm just telling you, people. I know there's people out there screaming I went political here. I'm just saying, there was never any evidence of these things. And I firmly believe it's, like, 'Hey, look. I'm selling Trump as a product. These people are the ones who are buying it.'

"I used to have a saying. On radio, I used to say, 'You like me, I like you.' That used to be my saying. It was that simple. You don't like me, we've got a problem."

After Steve-O noted that "I think we can say pretty safely that to date, still, Trump's not really shown any signs of being very evangelical," Dee concurred. "Yeah, I'm not buying it. I'm not buying it," he said. "And the fact that there are people who are supporters of his who are anti-Semites. And his daughter is a convert. She's Jewish. His son-in-law is Jewish. I know he's not anti-Semitic. I know he's not racist. I've been on the shows with him and we've done so many things. But he's affiliating with a lot of people who are pretty extreme in that regard. But that's to sell his product. That's how I view it. And I can't stand with him as long as he's gonna stand with those people."

Three years ago, shortly before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Dee slammed Republicans as "shameless liars" and accused the Trump administration of "sucking up to communist dictators."

Snider, who found himself in the middle of controversy in 2016 when he asked Donald Trump to stop using the 1984 TWISTED SISTER anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It" in his campaign, made the comments after one of his Twitter followers claimed that Republicans misrepresent Democrats' abortion views.

Dee wrote: "The Republicans are not just liars. They are screaming, preening, bald faced, shameless liars who think that victory at all cost is acceptable as they are the 'moral majority.' THEY ARE NOT! THEY ARE THE BULLYING MINORITY! IT'S TIME FOR THE REAL MAJORITY TO STAND UP & FIGHT BACK!"

When another Twitter user opined that "both parties lie" and that neither party cares about the American people, Snider wrote: "No doubt. But we need to pick the least bad of the two and I go with the one who clearly supports woman's rights, equality for all, TOTAL respect for the military, and does not suck up to communist dictators who want to degrade and deny our American way of life. Vote @JoeBiden".

Dee, who got to know Trump personally after appearing more than once on "The Celebrity Apprentice", had been an outspoken critic of America's 45th president, tweeting incessantly against Trump's administration and blasting Trump as "a commie-loving traitor" who is prostituting our democracy. He has also engaged in heated Twitter fights with Trump followers, some of whom have taken issue with his colorful delivery and unapologetic tone.

In early 2020, Snider criticized Trump over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, saying that Trump's response to COVID-19 has been "to politicize it and separate us more and make it about politics instead of about joining together and helping each other. This was an opportunity to really bring the country together over something really important, that rises above all the other B.S. in the world," he said. "And he failed to do that, and we're seeing the results."

In September 2020, Snider defended his "aggressive and intense" approach in dealing with "idiot Trump followers" on social media, saying that he is "trying to lead by example."

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