Gene Simmons has been enjoying watching Donald Trump subvert the presidential race, calling it the most fascinating election he can remember and saying it was “bound to happen” in what he calls the “Age of Kardashian.” “He is the truest political animal I’ve ever seen onstage,” the Kiss vocalist-bassist tells Rolling Stone. “He has no speechwriters, no editing, no nothing. He’s actually on tape going ‘motherfucker.’ You cannot turn away.”
Simmons is quick to point out that he’s not saying he’s supporting Trump. “He has said some very vile, unkind things,” he says. “But don’t kid yourself. He speaks off the cuff, and what you see is what you get. And he’ll double down. If you ask him about building a wall [between the U.S. and Mexico] he’ll say, ‘Fuck you, I’m going to make it 10 feet higher, just because you asked me.’ He’s not there to be your friend.”
What fascinates Simmons is Trump’s ability to root out people’s feelings. “He’s good for the political system,” he says. “The middle, the centrists, they can say, ‘What do you think of this?’ because everybody is sick and tired of being politically correct. Secretly, tens of millions, perhaps 100 million people may actually have some positive feelings about a wall.
“Macedonia is building a wall between Greece and Macedonia,” he continues. “There’s a wall between Israel and a neighboring country. 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 Pope has said the wall is unkind, but it’s interesting that at the Vatican there’s a wall. They don’t want people on the outside coming into the Vatican.”
Ultimately, Simmons feels it will be up to Americans as individuals to make a private decision about Trump’s wall and his ability to be president. One thing he feels he knows for sure, however, is that “this guy has changed politics forever in America.” Showbiz has become politics, the singer says, referencing the way Marco Rubio felt a need to reference the size of Trump’s penis – and Trump replied.
“What you can say about politicians is that they’re politicians,” says Simmons, who previously voted for Barack Obama and “in a lot of ways” felt dissatisfied with his decision. “Trump is not a politician. He does not need your money, and he will speak his mind, God damn it, whether you like it or not. And he has no problem saying ‘Fuck off.’
“I like that,” Simmons continues. “Even if I disagree.”