Gene Simmons Was Made For Loving Donald Trump

by Seth Millstein

In one of the least surprising developments of 2016, it seems that former rock star and perennial misogynist Gene Simmons really likes Donald Trump. Explaining that Americans are “sick and tired of being politically correct," Simmons called Trump “good for the political system” and suggested that “perhaps 100 million people may actually have some positive feelings about a wall” between the United States and Mexico. While he didn't explicitly endorse the GOP front-runner, he praised him as someone who "will speak his mind, God dammit."

Simmons’ affinity for Trump can be explained quite easily through one lens: gender. Or, to call a spade a spade, misogyny. Simmons is a vocal and committed sexist, and has built a post-music career saying terrible things about women and gender relations. Trump, meanwhile, is one of the most openly misogynistic politicians in recent memory, so they’re really two peas in a pod.

Trump’s sexist tendencies are decades-old and very well-documented (see here, here, and here if you’d like a refresher). Simmons has maintained a lower profile, but don’t let that fool you: He’s every bit the machismo-obsessed chest-thumper that Trump is.

The best example of this is Simmons’ 2002 interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, wherein Simmons lays out his worldview in stark and unambiguous terms. It would take too long to list all of the horrible things he said to the congenial and mild-mannered Gross over the course of the 25-minute interview, but his claim that ”if you want to welcome me with open arms, I’m afraid you’re also gonna have to welcome me with open legs” sums it up pretty well.

“What bothers you is you’re finally hearing a man tell the truth,” Simmons barked after Gross expressed displeasure at how the interview was proceeding. He closed the interview by calling Gross “a boring lady” and implying that she wanted to sleep with him.

Outside of the sexism, Simmons shares some other affinities with Trump. He's a former reality TV star (though Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels was never quite as popular as The Apprentice), and, like Trump, his main preoccupation is himself and his own success. Simmons is also a nativist, and insisted in 2014 that immigrants should “learn to speak goddamn English” if they want to live in America.

"There's a wall between Israel and a neighboring country,” Simmons said in the Rolling Stone interview where his Trump affinity was announced. “There was a Berlin Wall. There was the Great Wall of China. So whether they're good or bad for people, walls actually work. It's unkind, but in terms of pragmatics, it actually works.”

The Berlin Wall was, of course, a spectacular failure in the long run, as evidenced by the 1991 collapse of the East German state. Trump has claimed repeatedly (and incorrectly) that there were crowds of Muslims in New Jersey cheering the attacks of Sept. 11, so we can now add “willful disregard for historical facts” to the litany of Simmons-Trump similarities as well. These guys were made for each other.