Eminem

Letter writer Ryan Hurley explains how rapper Eminem can be viewed as an outlet for right-wing populism. 

As a young kid from the suburbs, I fondly remember listening to Eminem in the late 2000s to early 2010s. I listened to his songs, loved the movie about his life story and I could relate to Eminem. We were both from tougher towns that felt abandoned by greater society, we weren’t rich, etc. Even more so, I related to his alter ego: Slim Shady. Slim Shady was the epitome of cool to me as a kid, someone who could be himself, say what he was thinking, do crazy things. I had “The Real Slim Shady” as my ringtone for years. Even now, I fondly look back at those days where Eminem was in touch with people.

One may think I am trying to say that Eminem leads people towards right wing populism, but my take is that Eminem was in fact an outlet for right-wing populism. Tons of people across the country live in places where it seems the government has abandoned them, real working-class, salt-of-the-earth types. These types used to belong to the Democrat Party. This was back before the Democrats entirely abandoned working class people in favor of city elite. My entire family voted Democrat. It was just the thing to do if you were in a Union family like mine. 

When the 2016 election hit, Trump massively changed the GOP, which primarily used to be a pro-immigration and free trade party, into a populist organization. This was what made many former Democrats vote Republican. People from towns like mine as well as Eminem’s made a stunning switch and voted massively for Trump. For out of touch elites, this was incomprehensible; for someone like me, it was blatantly obvious. Industries in places like the rust belt were decimated by mass immigration and horrible trade deals like NAFTA. People were also tired of how socially liberal the Democrats were. A Republican who was proudly patriotic, supported free speech, tariffs, immigration moratoriums, etc. was the perfect candidate. When I talk to many Union families, they say similar stories, but how does this tie into Eminem?

Eminem in many ways was similar to Trump: a voice for those who felt abandoned by the system, someone who said whatever he wanted (and a lot of people agreed with him). Sadly, as he grew more famous, it became clear that he had forgotten where he came from, supporting the very globalist people who put him into the situation he came from. 

Ryan Hurley is a senior in business and president of College Republicans United.

Opinion Policies

Editorials are longer opinion pieces that are written by a group of community members recruited across campus who address relevant issues on a local, national and international level. Editorials are research-based. The purpose of the Editorial Board is to promote discussion concerning relevant issues in the community while advising on possible solutions. Topics are chosen via relevancy and interests of the members, which are then discussed by the Editorial Board in order to reach a general consensus concerning the topic or issue.

Feedback policy

If you have a grievance concerning the content or argument of the Editorial Board, please contact either Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel (peyton.hamel@iowastatedaily.com) or the Editorial Board as a whole (editorialboard@iowastatedaily.com). Those wanting to respond to editorials can also submit a letter to the editor through the Iowa State Daily website or by emailing the letter to Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel (peyton.hamel@iowastatedaily.com) or Editor-in-Chief Sage Smith (sage.smith@iowastatedaily.com).

Column Policy

Columns are hyper-specific to opinion and are written by only columnists employed by the Iowa State Daily. Columnists are unique because they have a specific writing day and only publish on those writing days. Each column undergoes a thorough editing process ensuring the integrity of the writer, and their claim is maintained while remaining research-based and respectful. Columns may be submitted from community members. These are labelled as “Guest Columns.” These contain similar research-based content and need to be at least 400 words in length. The following requirements should be met: first and last name, email and relation or position to Iowa State. Emails must be tied to the submitted guest column or it will not be accepted or published. Pseudonyms are prohibited and the writer will be banned from submissions.

Read our full Opinion Policies here. Updated on 10/7/2020

(1) comment

Kyle Poen

Very interesting take. I wonder what made Eminem change. He has stated multiple times that he has a hatred for Donald Trump. Is this because of competition? Is it because Eminem has changed his world views since earlier in his career? Interesting take on the situation, nevertheless.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.