- - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In fewer than two weeks, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the next president of the United States. Mr. Trump’s election victory represents an unprecedented rejection of elitism and special interests seeking to use the system for their own benefit. By the early hours of Nov. 9 it was clear that America had enough.

Accepting this kind of change does not come easy, especially for some well-entrenched special interests. Take the music industry for example. During the campaign, the who’s who of the music industry lent their voices to ensure that Donald Trump never made it to Washington. And the suits at the major labels and publishers opened their wallets to defeat him and protect their “insider” status in Washington.

Now that the American people have spoken, one would assume that the music industry might change its tune. Not a chance. To borrow words from Led Zeppelin, “The Song Remains the Same.”

For the past several weeks, reports have been stirring that performing artists want no part of the inaugural festivities that are about to overtake Washington, D.C. Artist after artist, spanning every genre, have reportedly declined to perform at President-elect Trump’s inauguration.

This is in stark contrast to President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, which had a bigger lineup than Woodstock (the original one). Bruce Springsteen, U2, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder and Beyonce headlined a list of dozens of stars performing on the National Mall.

Mr. Trump himself has clearly noticed the open hostility from the music industry, tweeting “The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!”

I certainly understand that a particular performer might not want to give the perception of a political endorsement. But this is not a “get out the vote” rally in the final days of an election. This is a celebration of the peaceful transfer of power, when Americans come together to welcome their new president. The inauguration should be above politics, but the collective inability of the music industry to set its politics aside says a lot.

Now, in a brazen act of hypocrisy, even by Washington standards, the lobbyists for the music industry are coming to the new administration with hat in hand. The lobbyists for the major labels and music publishers recently issued an open letter to the president-elect, stating that they “look forward to working with [him]” and hope that he can help advance their special-interest priorities — namely, removing the free-market consent decrees and imposing cutthroat copyright restrictions.

The actions of the music industry represent the exact form of elitism and special interests that Americans rejected in November. The Trump administration should hold firmly to principle by refusing to play the “Same Old Song and Dance” with these music cronies — the same individuals who have stabbed the president-elect in the back at every turn.

• Peter Ferrara is a senior fellow for the Heartland Institute and a senior policy adviser for budget and entitlement reform policy for the National Tax Limitation Foundation.

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