“Night of the Long Knives”

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Self-proclaimed “weird band from Phoenix”, AJJ (known formerly as Andrew Jackson Jihad until, shrewdly, the band decided to change its name) has released a Bandcamp-only single, “Night of the Long Knives”.

For listeners (myself included) who are not well-versed on German history, AJJ generously summarizes exactly what the Night of the Long Knives is in the lines: “Hitler killed his old supporters before the Jews / Cuckolded conservatives who behaved a lot like you”. In 1934, Adolf Hitler ordered the SS to murder high-ranking members of the SA, another paramilitary force in Nazi Germany.

Despite the tumult surrounding the Kavanaugh hearings, the song has nothing to do with the Supreme Court. The cover art features four black and white panels of Mitch McConnell, Jeff Flake, Ted Cruz, and Jeff Sessions.

The cover art for “Night of the Long Knives”

The song begins in typical AJJ style, with unintelligible mumbling in the background, white noise, and rhythmic strumming. And it continues in typical AJJ style as well: in his panicked, sardonic voice, Sean Bonnette sings of impending doom between memorable acoustic hooks. In the lyrics, Bonnette portends that a uniquely American “Night of the Long Knives” in which Trump ousts Stephen Miller, Jeff Sessions, Rudy Giuliani, and others, “is coming soon”.

Despite AJJ’s well-documented left-wing bent, “Night of the Long Knives”, on paper, is ambivalent. It states plainly that Trump is a fascist, while simultaneously admitting Bonnette’s joy in the “impending doom” of conservatives like Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, and Ted Cruz. In this way, “The Night of the Long Knives” addresses the everlasting dilemma of liberals in the era of Trump: when Trump and the GOP establishment are warring, whose side do we take? That of an avowed racist, sexual assaulter, and corrupt criminal? Or that of those who have devoted their lives to fighting against everything we hold dear?

Even if “Night of the Long Knives” does nothing to ease the anxiety of the growing number of Americans scared of what Trump may do next, it has a noble purpose. Proceeds from Bandcamp purchases (which will, unfortunately, be scant) will go to the Voting Rights Project, a subsidiary of the ACLU dedicated to fighting for voting rights and against unfair disenfranchisement.

Featured Image via Bandcamp

About the author

Matt Walsh is a VI Form day student from Southborough, Massachusetts. He edits for LEO, leads Openly Secular, plays trumpet, and leads the young Democrats club. Matt is a hot sauce connoisseur, and he loves Tabasco. His academic interests include public policy, political science, and chemistry, and he plays baseball and runs cross country. In his free time, he gets outraged about Trump.

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