John Rich’s “Progress” Lyrics Have MAGA Political Meaning

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

On Friday (July 22), country music star John Rich took to former President Donald Trump’s social media network, Truth Social, to announce what is sure to be a controversial new MAGA-inspired song titled “Progress.”

In the song’s lyrics, Rich remarks with an opinion on a variety of divisive subjects, including, in his view:  

  • America’s replacement of religion with government
  • President Biden’s Build Back Better bill 
  • Immigration and the deaths of American soldiers during the Afghanistan evacuation 
  • How virus response measures encroached on freedom
  • And the shutting down of Main Street while Wall Street profited at all-time highs  

And Rich’s reaction to all this “Progress,” as he calls it, is to take it all and stick it where the sun don’t shine.  

The opening verse to the song laments how there is a feeling of emptiness plaguing the country: 

There’s a hole in this country 
Where it’s heart used to be.

Then it references societal division as symbolized by the burning of the American flag, while videos of fiery protests play in the background:  

Old Glory’s divided on fire in the street.

After that, he dismisses President Biden’s virus relief and response bill:   

They say building back better, will make America great
If that’s a wave of the future all I’ve got to say is…. 

Then the chorus rings out, which underscores the MAGA meaning of the lyrics: 

Stick your progress where the sun don’t shine 
Keep your big mess away from me and mine 
If you leave us alone we’d all be just fine.

Then another verse opens, drawing a contrast between open borders and the deaths of American soldiers:    

They invite the whole world to come live in our land 
And leave our countrymen dying in Afghanistan. 

He weaves in criticism of America’s substitution of devotion to small-town Christianity and self-sustainability for devotion to big government and centralized decision-making: 

They say let go of Jesus and let Government save 
You can have back your freedoms if you do what we say 
They Shutdown our pipelines and they shut down our voices 
And they shutdown our main streets 
And they shutdown our choices.  

All before concluding with what might be considered a sort of right-wing rallying cry: 

They bent us all over but it’s all over now 
Because we figured it out 
We ain’t backing down

Yikes, serious stuff. 

The Nashville-based Rich is no stranger to aligning himself with controversial conservative political figures. At the end of last year, he appeared on camera with The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, whose media company is based out of Nashville. 

Here below is the music video for Rich’s “Progress,” which is now No. 1 on iTunes. What do you think about it?      

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  1. sophomoric shite to me……Pete Seger said if you want to write a good protest song, ask a question-make your audience think…….

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