Pink – Dear Mr. President

From 2006, a personal statement of the feelings of Pink toward U.S. President George W. Bush. Among other issues such as education and abortion, Pink maintains the President did not address homelessness adequately, and has retrograde views on homosexuality. The jabs at Bush’s drug use could be criticized for being low blows and not sticking to the issues (and could she be immune from any hypocrisy?) However, there is some cleverness in the suggestion that Bush used to have addictions, and has only improved himself by messing up the country. The thought speaks to the animosity so many cultural performers felt toward the 43rd President.

The song is in the form of an “open letter.” An open letter is as if written directly to a person, often an elected representative, and yet broadcast to be read by a wider audience. The content of open letters tends to be critical toward the addressed individual. The aim is often raising awareness of the shortfalls of the specific recipient, such as regarding policy choices, to the general public. It is not clear how effective open letters are in terms of effecting change. Yet, it would also be challenging in terms of social science research, to fully isolate such political activism into one variable causing policy alterations. Most likely then, open letters have much to do with the author or singer, in this case, getting stuff off of their chests.

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