Anthem for the Working Man

By Gary Bauer – August 14, 2023

Year after year, high-paid pollsters, writers and political consultants pocket millions of dollars trying to capture the public mood. Sometimes they succeed, but more often than not the themes of an era arise from somewhere more authentic, from a source the pols and pundits have no access to. That’s what’s happening now with a one-man, one-guitar song by a Farmville, Virginia, factory worker named Oliver Anthony.

Anthony’s populist anthem is seizing the moment in the same surprising way the anti-child trafficking movie The Sound of Freedom did. People hear this song about what America looks like from the bottom up and it tugs on their hearts. Meanwhile, the leftist elites – the rich men north of Richmond the song scorns – hear the same thing they heard in Jason Aldean’s recent country song Try That is a Small Town: a threat to their domination of our daily lives.

What Anthony’s steel strings and stressed voice capture is a good product, but an even better story. He sings of experiences he has lived out. Of low (he uses a stronger word) wages and long days in the factory, of seeing his country sink into greed and despair, of people living on the streets and young men dying from drug overdoses, of people soaking up welfare checks while powerful leftists offer more socialism and seek evermore control of everyone else.

He sums up the contradictions with a sly reference to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, “I wish politicians would look out for miners, and not just minors on an island somewhere.” The high and mighty critics at Rolling Stone and Billboard are losing their minds over this nobody recording that has rocketed overnight to a top spot on YouTube. They dismiss it as a “right wing country song.” They miss the fact it isn’t about the political parties at all, but instead a hymn against abuses by the powerful. Once famous for rocking the elites, Rolling Stone has become one itself.

Anthony is what he claims to be. At the end of his rope months ago, drug-addicted and depressed, he asked God to save him. Instead of lining his own pockets, he is singing now about the struggles of his fellow Americans in a nation adrift. It’s no wonder his music has struck a nerve, the kind of resonance candidates can only dream of. Democrats and Republicans alike would be wise to listen closely because Anthony’s anthem is a scathing indictment of today’s injustice and illness and it’s not a two-day story.

Praying in front of several thousand people in North Carolina this weekend, Anthony began by reading from Psalms 37:12-20.

The wicked plot against the righteous

and gnash their teeth at them;

but the Lord laughs at the wicked,

for he knows their day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword

and bend the bow

to bring down the poor and needy,

to slay those whose ways are upright.

But their swords will pierce their own hearts,

and their bows will be broken.

Better the little that the righteous have

than the wealth of many wicked;

for the power of the wicked will be broken,

but the Lord upholds the righteous.

The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,

and their inheritance will endure forever.

In times of disaster they will not wither;

in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

But the wicked will perish:

Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,

they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

The crowd roared its approval of this Biblical promise that the evil dominating our land will not prevail.

Pray for Oliver Anthony. Powerful leftists who are trying to transform America know a threat when they see one. They are conspiring right now to take him down. The one thing they fear is that the church and patriots will awaken from our slumber.

American Values—End of Day report