While the leftist politics embraced pop-punk band Green Day is hardly surprising to anyone who has been paying attention for the past 30 years, critics nevertheless called out singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s conspicuous update to the lyrics of one hit song during a televised New Year’s Eve performance.
The band took the stage as part of ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” program during which the line “I’m not a part of the redneck agenda” in the song “American Idiot” was changed to “I’m not a part of the MAGA agenda.”
For some in the audience for the California concert, the denunciation of former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” platform warranted a cheer. The response on social media, however, was not as universally well-received.
On X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, even owner Elon Musk took part in the discussion with an unfavorable critique.
“Green Day goes from raging against the machine to milquetoastedly raging for it,” he wrote.
Musk’s remark came in response to a post by conservative news site Not the Bee, which claimed that Green Day “tried to prove they’re still cool by changing their lyrics to slam the ‘MAGA agenda’ on TV last night.”
The post attracted a slew of similar responses, including many that accused Armstrong and the rest of the band of essentially selling out on behalf of the modern Democratic Party.
Billie Joe Armstrong is 51.
But it’s not his age that’s the problem — it’s his wokeness.
He defends the very establishment he once opposed.
— Paul A. Szypula 🇺🇸 (@Bubblebathgirl) January 1, 2024
While it might have been the most visible instance of such anti-Trump rhetoric being injected into the band’s song lyrics, it was not the first such example. Armstrong reportedly used the same “MAGA agenda” line during a performance at the iHeartRadio festival in 2019.
He also led a chant during the band’s set at the 2016 American Music Awards, shouting: “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.”
When touring in 2017, Armstrong reportedly shouted “F— you, Trump” before the band performed “American Idiot,” which was initially released during the George W. Bush administration.
At the time, he denied that the politically charged expletive was divisive.
“I want people to feel unity when they come to a show,” Armstrong claimed. “At the same time, I’m not going to puss out on saying what I feel about him and his administration.”