METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett has issued his strongest condemnation yet of Donald Trump, comparing the new president's inaugural address to the speeches that were made in Germany under Adolf Hitler's rule and urging the American people to "reject the lies from the people in the new administraton."
After Trump — one of the most polarizing figures to assume the office — was officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, January 20, a number of celebrities took to social media to share their thoughts, including Hammett, who has previously said that the new leadership lacks "a general sense of what is right and what's wrong."
In a series of tweets, the METALLICA guitarist was especially critical of Trump's inaugural address, which painted a bleak picture of life for some in the United States, promised to end what Trump called the "American carnage," and work tirelessly to put "America first."
Hammett wrote: "Trump's Inaugural Address and his asking us to put America first sounds, to me, familiar to what was said in speeches going around Germany in the 1930's …and later Russia in the 1940's
"Pay attention people Stand up for truth, compassion and togetherness. Don't settle for anything less.
"Reject lies, Fear mongering, Misguided Anger
"The system wants us divided, so it's easier to control us emotionally.
"WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!
"LIKE IT OR NOT, WE NEED EACH OTHER TO OVERCOME THE BIGGER THREAT…
"And we all know what the threat is – people in power who are trying to deny us and our children and grandchildren a healthy green future REJECT AMERICAN CARNAGE
"We are a better nation right now than ever, better than just 5 years ago! REJECT THE LIES FROM THE PEOPLE IN THE NEW ADMINISTRATON, THEY ARE THERE ONLY TO FEED THEIR OWN THIRST FOR GREED AND POWER
"America never stopped being great!!
"America is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous nations on the planet.
"I'm proud of America!!
"To say America is not great, that it lacks greatness, sets up a scenario for manipulation and control from others – pay attention people!
"Remember the great America of today.
"Then I'll check in with you about America's greatness in 6 months and we'll see what's changed.
"The only people who deny CLIMATE CHANGE are the same people who stand to lose from renewable energy
"This administration is thinking that it can just ignore CLIMATE CHANGE.
"People, it now comes down to us to make up the difference..
"Let's not stand for their preaching lies about our Mother Earth –
DENY THE DENIERS !!!
"THEY ARE THE EARTH KILLERS
"REJECT the term Alt-Right, just another sneaky euphemism for white supremacy, call it what it is!
"Don't let them hide behind dishonesty!
"One final thing – If we don't put up a fight we risk losing our rights..
"Defend Democracy from those who want to crush it !"
Hammett's latest comments echo those he made last month when he told Billboard: "For me, a good leader is someone with integrity, honesty and altruism, and a general sense of what is right and what's wrong. We don't have that in our leadership right now, and that puts me in a state of awareness and attentiveness, and it puts me in a state of wait and see what will happen. But if anything happens that I'm not okay with, I'm going to be super vocal about it for the first time in my life."
Hammett added that his decision to speak out on political matters was a departure from METALLICA's long-standing policy of not getting involved in issues that could be considered divisive.
"The thing is, METALLICA appeals to such a wide range of people," Hammett explained. "We have people on the left, people on the right, in droves. Part of the reason why we don't consider ourselves a politically oriented band is because when you start talking about politics you draw a line in the sand, and all of a sudden [there's] division, and that's not what we want. We want everyone to be in this together, experiencing the music together. We see politics as a completely different thing. It's like music and NASCAR racing, that's how different politics are to METALLICA."
Acknowledging that music has the power to reach people and change their minds, especially young fans that hang on their favorite artists' every word, Hammett said: "That's why I've chosen my words carefully, that I — not METALLICA, but I — will take it upon myself to get involved, if there is something I see that is seriously wrong, and I really feel that it's my job to say something, and to call out people who need to be called out. I believe in fairness. I believe in equal ground for everyone. I believe in equal opportunity and I believe that everyone is equal. That guy doesn't even believe in that! He does not believe that everyone is equal."
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, who has made no secret of his liberal views, said in a recent interview with Vulture that he has never "willfully had a political conversation with" frontman James Hetfield, who has described himself as being somewhat conservative politically. Ulrich explained: "The thing you've got to understand is that METALLICA is made up of four people from four different places who took four very different paths to where we are now. The one thing that unites us is the love of the music that we're playing and that all four of us felt like outsiders trying to figure out who the hell we were. We didn't come together because we were questioning this in the culture or that about politics. We came together because we were all a little lost and trying to get a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves. I'll sit and talk politics with you all night, but I don't necessarily feel the need to do it in an interview. METALLICA is a collective, but we've just never been the kind of band to sit down and say, 'Okay, what's our common view of the world?'"
Ulrich made headlines in October when he said that he would consider returning to his native Denmark if Donald Trump won the election.
Hetfield told BBC 6 Music that METALLICA stays away from topics like politics or religion in its music because "that just seems to polarize people even more. We all have our own beliefs, but at the end of the day, we're trying to connect with people and it seems like political views don't do that as much as music does."
The singer/guitarist continued: "There's a lot of polarization going on in the States, and I see it other places as well. But it just seems like you have to get more extreme to balance out the other extreme. We've got to find some balance in the middle here somewhere."