IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN. By this time next week, we’ll know whether our country is going to be led by Hillary Clinton or turned into a tire-fire by a racist, homophobic, woman-hating babyman who doesn’t even seem to know when Election Day is happening—someone so immature his theme song should be Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” (No, YOU’RE the puppet). Because the stakes are so high, we’ve compiled a playlist to pump you up. These tracks are a little wilder than those on HRC’s campaign Spotify playlist, and you’ll find nary a Tom Petty sing-along—the songs presidential candidates stump to are often limited by copyright and campaign messaging concerns, but Tuesday night at the Mercury’s Election Party we’ll bump whatever the fuck we want. Trump might be keeping us in “suspense” about whether or not he’ll accept the results of the election, but we’re not ready to accept the possibility of his tiny hands opening the door to the Oval Office.
Destiny’s Child, “Survivor” (of GOP Sexism Since the ’90s)
Since her days as First Lady, Hillary Clinton has been on the receiving end of all manner of vitriol from the weak-willed white dudes of the Republican party. By showing an interest in shaping policy and maintaining an identity independent of her husband’s, Clinton came to embody the ultimate antifeminist nightmare of a liberated woman, and nothing breeds hatred like fear. But through some Plathesque alchemy, Clinton only grows stronger the more you try to tear her down, rising from the ashes like a beautiful pro-choice phoenix. Hillary Clinton is a lot of things, and one of them is a survivor, as Destiny’s Child sing on the hook to this immortal track: “I’m a survivor (What?)/I’m not gon’ give up (What?)/I’m not gon’ stop (What?)/I’m gon’ work harder (What?).” Clinton’s career is a testament to this ethos of persistence in the face of terrible odds. You probably thought she wouldn’t last, but she’s lastin’.
Dolly Parton, “9 to 5” (LOL More Like 24/7 [Even When I Have Pneumonia])
After she collapsed at a 9/11 memorial ceremony, conservative pundits began gleefully speculating that HRC didn’t have the “stamina” to be president. Her campaign announced that she’d pushed herself too hard following a pneumonia diagnosis, and, like so many women, went to work sick. “The good news is my pneumonia finally got some Republicans interested in women’s health,” she later quipped. American hero Dolly Parton’s timeless classic “9 to 5” is an ode to working women and the bullshit even a badass like HRC has to endure: “9 to 5, for service and devotion/You would think that I/Would deserve a fat promotion/Want to move ahead/But the boss [read: the patriarchy] won’t seem to let me/I swear sometimes that man is out to get me.” Parton won’t endorse a presidential candidate, citing PMS (Presidential Mood Swings), but the Backwoods Barbie did say “they could always use more boobs in the race.”
Childbirth, “Nasty Grrls” (Vote)
This election reached peak Hermione vs. Malfoy on the night of the third presidential debate, when Donald Trump interrupted HRC’s discussion of social security to call her “such a nasty woman.” What was intended as a sick burn was an epic fuck-up on the part of a campaign struggling to connect with women voters—and a comical epithet that made Clinton freshly relatable to any woman who’s ever been called some variant of “nasty” (that’d be most of us). The fallout was rapid, with the gaffe emblazoned on T-shirts within 24 hours, Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” trending on Spotify, and Elizabeth Warren coining the phrase “Nasty women vote!” a week later. Let us celebrate all things nasty women with Childbirth’s “Nasty Grrls,” a shameless ode to female grossness from the Seattle feminist punks that contains the HRC-resonant line “Nasty grrrls... We go to work sick!” Let’s make Warren’s zinger a nasty reality.
Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé, “Feeling Myself” (Become President)
Last month, Trump supporter and former Lt. Governor of New York Betsy McCaughey went on CNN Money to announce that she “abhors” the lewdness of “rap music,” particularly when it features “the f-word, the p-word, the b-word, the a-word.” She expressed shock and dismay that the same people who were upset by Donald Trump’s degrading rhetoric about women’s bodies don’t also shame HRC for enjoying music by artists like Beyoncé, whose song “Formation” includes the line “I came to slay, bitch/When he fucks me good I take his ass to Red Lobster” (McCaughey read that live on the air twice). She called Hillary a “hypocrite,” apparently unable to see the difference between advocating for sexual assault and enjoying good music. But she’s not alone—Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham also recently tried to use Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj lyrics as evidence of the moral corruption of fans like the Obamas and HRC. So this one goes out to the “big kahuna” of the 2016 presidential race—Hillary, we salute you.
Loretta Lynn, “The Pill” (Is Great But Honestly We Need a President Who Understands Why Abortion Rights Matter)
Given Hillary Clinton’s lengthy track record of standing up for reproductive rights, we’d be remiss not to include Loretta Lynn’s birth control anthem on any Clinton playlist. To the hypocritical puritans of the GOP, “The Pill” is probably just as controversial now as when it debuted in 1975, but as we welcome our new matriarchal overlords, its central narrative—about the joy of self-determination that comes with access to the birth control option of your choice (thanks, Obamacare!)—is one we can all celebrate. Did you tear up when Clinton went to bat for abortion rights in the final presidential debate, compassionately describing her supportive conversations with women who’d had late-term abortions? Us too. THAT’S the Hillary Clinton the GOP is afraid of, and she’s a goddamn boss.
TLC, “No Scrubs” (In the White House)
Donald Trump may portray himself as a wealthy scion, but given his multiple bankruptcies, failed business ventures, and shady, racist real estate practices—and his record of alleged sexual assault—we feel perfectly comfortable saying he has more in common with the freeloading street harasser TLC so iconically took down in their hit off 1999’s WAY AHEAD OF ITS TIME album FanMail. So what better jam to listen to as you kick the Orange Asshat to the curb by filling in your ballot bubble for HRC? Also, Trump’s house is gold-plated. Like, it’s not even solid gold. Sorry, but we’re looking like class and he’s looking like trash, can’t get with a deadbeat ass, so no. No scrubs in the Oval Office.
Demi Lovato, “Confident” (Women Shouldn’t Intimidate You This Much, Get a Fucking Grip)
Let’s face it: A lot of the “I just don’t like Hillary Clinton and can’t tell you why” performative hand-wringing has more to do with residual discomfort with powerful women than it does with cloud-based nothing-burgers. Sorry, we said it. But if you’re a crybaby dude not yet ready for the reality of equality, exposure therapy is the best medicine, and Demi Lovato’s unapologetic “Confident” is just the Top 40 delight you need. Maybe you’re uncomfortable with complicated women who like themselves, but you’ll still involuntarily bop along to Lovato’s ultimate pump-up jam, and that’s when you’ll realize that dismantling the patriarchy really is good for us all.