Madonna For President

“Do you believe that we can change the future? Do you believe I can make you feel better? Too much confusion, come on over here.”


When I was a boy, I believed that Democracy and the United States were mutually dependent on each other, that without one the other would cease to flourish and eventually wilt.

30 years later, it pains me to say: I was right. While I still live in America, for reasons forthcoming, I am no longer a citizen of a country united. And because of it, American Democracy is failing.

Drastic times call for drastic measures, and given the current state of American politics and the dysfunction of Washington DC, I feel strongly – It’s time to get drastic. So to break through the gridlock and incessant bickering of Republicans and Democrats, I’d like to take a moment to reinvent the party lines…

I call for the formation of the LUV Party, and I nominate Madonna to be President of the United States.

“I want the good life, but I don’t want an easy ride. What I want is to work for it, to feel the blood and sweat on my fingertips. That’s what I want for me.”


Lady Liberty Incarnated

If you don’t see Madonna as a politician, then you haven’t been following the 30-year campaign of the singing Senator from Michigan, which is understandable given the demands. Supporting Madonna can be taxing. For starters, you have to ignore the hecklers and reject the notion that Madonna is an opportunistic sellout seeking attention. Because instead, as a supporter, you elect to take Madonna at her word. You believe her to be an outspoken girl from Detroit, determined to save the world one inclusive celebration at a time.

When considering wholesome American values – I get it – Madonna doesn’t leap to the forefront. Yet it’s for that very reason, I’m asking the singing Senator to intervene in Washington DC. Because after 30 years of calling out hypocrisy and defying social norms, regardless of whether we the people want recognize it or appreciate it, Madonna has not only come to embody the grit of independence; when examining her drive and ambition through a lens 30 years deep, it becomes increasingly evident…

Madonna is a star, arguably the most famous woman in the world, because Madonna is the manifestation of the great American experiment – Lady Liberty in the nude on a bearskin rug: raw, horny, and unapologetic.

Being outspoken alone doesn’t qualify Madonna to be President of the United States; there are already enough politicians to meet those qualifications. While Madonna champions of freedom of speech and I applaud her tenacity, I rally for Madonna because of what she says. Her words resonate with me personally, because I share her hopes for humanity. I too want America on the dance floor, inspired and dreaming again.

Supporting Madonna for President will likely be a leap too vast and daunting for most. Should you be up to the challenge, however, close your eyes and listen to Lady Liberty with an open heart. When you do, you may begin to realize – Madonna has been campaigning for the soul of America for the past 30 years. Each album a platform, each song a stump speech; Madonna has been inviting us all to be a little less judgmental and intolerant, a bit more optimistic, inclusive, and kind.

In the end, to be a member of the LUV Party, you need not be politically savvy. The platform is simple and qualifications are few. Membership starts with a perspective, a willingness to accept that America should be an inclusive nation, a celebration of cultures, colors, and views. As a member, you reject extremism, forsake judgement, and embrace those who are different from you. Because at its heart, the LUV Party has but one political adversary – Hate.

“There is no comprehension. There is real isolation. There is so much destruction. What I want is a celebration.”


The Love Spent States of America

The signs are everywhere. The LUV Party’s political adversary has infiltrated America from within. The United States is no longer a government of the people, by the people, or for the people, so much as we are a people beholden to a wounded democracy that feeds on our fears and insecurities.

Politicians today openly incite intolerance and troll their opposition. Instead of serving the will of the people, it is far more lucrative for them to pit Americans against each other. As a result, while we vilify one another, adopt a “party first / country be damned” mentality, the working class has been systematically auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Further fueling the heated rhetoric is, of course, the news entertainment industry, which ultimately profits off viewer angst and distrust. The bottom lines of these six media empires are powered on American fears and biases. Challenging politicians to a “group hug” isn’t necessarily good for ratings, after all. So viewership is best when news is BREAKING, when Americans are provoked and feeling under attack.

Alarmist coercion aside, our adversary’s biggest contributor is, of course, apathy. Like many Americans, I am guilty of turning a blind eye to government dysfunction. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the ineptitude of Washington DC, so other than writing essays like this, what can I do to bolster American democracy?

For starters, I can research elections and turn off the TV, which is to say: I can value facts and ignore opinions. While I can’t stop ignorance in its tracks, I can vote against fear mongers at the ballot box and support candidates and news outlets that reinforce the LUV Party’s platform.

I can change the narrative. The United States, after all, is not a nation of prisoners shackled by boogeymen. We are a nation of individuals striving to be citizens of a more perfect union. As such, it would serve me well to remind others: the key to freedom, the very essence of American democracy, rests in the hands of our political opposition, our willingness to comprise for the sake of national interests.

“You can turn this world around, and bring back all of those happy days. Put your troubles down, it’s time to celebrate. Let love shine, and we will find a way to come together and make things better – We need a holiday.”


A LUV Profusion

The United States government is in need of a love profusion, and I suspect a majority of Americans are like me, in that I’m tired of the disrespectful tenor and hyperbole of our politics. The 113th Congress is set to be least effective in US history, and for a country touting Democracy abroad, I find the tone and incompetence of our elected officials as unforgivable as I do embarrassing.

Whether you’ve voted Republican, Independent, or Democratic in the past, most of us recognize the corruption in politics. But seldom is the corruption so blatant and insulting.

We do still have a choice, however. We can continue to be apathetic and reward government malpractice, or we can dream again and celebrate Democracy. If elected officials refuse to fight for the will of the people, then it’s time to explore our options, however implausible…

While the thought of Madonna as President of the United States will likely humor most, I nonetheless applaud her efforts to start a revolution of love. What America needs now more than ever is a holiday, a moment to regain a sense of purpose and worth, and who better to lead the charge than Lady Liberty herself?

Should American Democracy collapse, it will be because we ignored the likes of Madonna and sided with fear. Ours will prove to be one of the bleakest chapters in American history: the generation that sacrificed the pursuit of happiness in order to be citizens of a less perfect union.

In the end, if the singing Senator has taught me anything, it’s that the fall of our adversary comes with a reckoning…

Should you deny freedom to another, freedom was never yours to deny. A healthy Democracy requires the courage to dream out loud, the heart to inspire others to be free. Keeping it, however, requires discipline and forgiveness, the wherewithal to emancipate those shackled by intolerance.

Come join the party. When voting at the ballot box, remember to choose LUV over Hate.

Vote Madonna. If nothing else, maybe we can terrify government into action.

Vote Madonna

About Lady Liberty’s Manifesto

The videos featured throughout this essay are taken from Madonna’s video manifesto, #SecretProject (to view the short film in its entirety click here).

The manifesto was released in September 2013 in response to a series of events that took place during Madonna’s 2012 MDNA World Tour, which included:

  • Gay rights violations in Russia, which led to Madonna being fined $10.4 million dollars (later dismissed) and the arrest of some of her gay supporters
  • The heightened threat of war between Israel and Iran, around the time Madonna was performing in Tel Aviv
  • The imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine and Pussy Riot in Russia
  • Backlash for supporting Obama in The United States during the election
  • The assassination attempt of Malala Yousafzai

In support of her manifesto, Madonna launched the Art for Freedom initiative, which encourages people to contribute works expressing their personal interpretation of freedom and the revolution of love. Every month, Madonna chooses a winning entry and awards $10,000 to a nonprofit organization that supports individuals and organizations working to advance social justice.

To join the revolution or view submissions, visit


Revelations Of An Idolater


“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colur, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls… And upon her forehead was a name written a mystery: Babylon The Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth.”


Despite her awards and credentials, I usually don’t think of Madonna as a musician. As a fan and admirer, I’m more inclined to compare her to a work of art, a controversial “Mona Lisa” brought to life in a bustier.

Like a provocative work of art, Madonna sometimes gives me pause, triggers me to ask questions I wouldn’t normally consider. Such was the case when Madonna opened her 2004 “Reinvention Tour”, when she appeared on screen as the Whore of Babylon and recited verses from “Revelations”.

This essay is not an opinion piece about an artist. It’s not a defense of Madonna’s merits or her talent. This is my take on a portrait. It’s a commentary about fame, an answer to a question Madonna invited me to entertain from behind a velvet rope.

At the Forum in the City of Angels, screaming for Madonna from the seventh row, the irony wasn’t lost on me.  If Madonna was the Whore of Babylon, then I was an abomination drunk on idolatry. More concerning still, such a development meant “the endwas near.

Should this be the case, I wondered – Who amongst us is the beast?

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”


The Whore of Babylon’s identity is kept a mystery in Bible’s “Book of Revelations”, who or what she is remains unclear. Some have speculated that “she” is not a woman but the Vatican or the city of Jerusalem, while others believe the Whore is emblematic of greed, lust, and power.

Whatever the case, this much is largely agreed upon – the Whore of Babylon plays a pivotal role in the climactic final act of the New Testament. Through her, “the beast” is unleashed.

instagram_hb1newsAlthough I am spiritual, I am no longer religious.  So while I don’t believe Madonna is really the Whore of Babylon, where this portrait is concerned, I concede: She is one hell of a contender.

I suspect Madonna would be flattered by my comment. She clearly enjoys flirting with the role, has invited us all into her bed over the years. Outside of appearance and allure, however, my assessment is more all-encompassing…

With Madonna, I argue, arrived a new kind of celebrity, the modern idol, the reality star. While there are many contributing factors, what made Madonna uniquely famous wasn’t her vocals, her acting, or sex appeal. However talented and attractive, in the end, Madonna’s celebrity was exceptional because Madonna – like the Mona Lisa – was the subject at hand.

30 years later, whether you abhor or idolize her, it’s safe to say – Madonna conquered Babylon. For better or worse, popular culture wouldn’t be the same had we lived in a world without Madonna.

Whether rebelling against the church or championing sexual empowerment, few businesses in modern times have been more industrious and revolutionary than Boy Toy Inc.. To deny Madonna’s influence would be to discount her unparallelled feats, would mean ignoring the Madonna prototype, the wannabees still churning off the conveyer belt 30-years deep.

Like it or not, Babylonians, where false idols are concerned – We are all still living in the “Age of Madonna”.

A Good Christian“And the angel said unto me, ‘Wherefore didst thou marvel?’ I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.”


I am a monogamous idolater. Madonna can be pretty demanding and high-maintenance, so the thought of squeezing in a little Gaga on the side, for one, is too exhausting to even consider.

Because of my exclusivity, I admit to getting a little defensive when it comes to Madonna. Over the years, I’ve grown increasingly attuned to the reaction she provokes. As vocal as her fans can be, detractors aren’t shy about despising Madonna out loud. To summarize the negative comments over the years, I’d conclude: Madonna is an untalented, manipulative, greedy opportunist with no moral compass or values, a predatory capitalist feeding on art…

13-04-25-madonna-secret-projectPut more bluntly, Madonna is a whore.

Such responses have always struck me as ironic and misplaced for a woman singing about peace, love, and inclusion, so last August I began writing about the politics of Madonna.

To feature the essays, I chose the website address and pseudonym, Guy Penn, because I felt the name symbolically captured the other men “wed” to Madonna, her legion of gay fans.

As a gay man / recovering Catholic lured by Madonna’s blasphemous ways, the exploratory project was intended to be my long-form look back, my soul-searching answer to the question…

Why do I really like Madonna?

Upon completing my first essay a year ago, I already understood whyWith more time and introspection, however, amidst the 2012 Presidential Election, I began to realize what my secret project was ultimately about…


Although I am an idolater, I wrestle with my admiration for Madonna. Not because I question her talent, grow tired of her music, or find her provocative actions annoying at times; what concerns me most about Madonna is the certain sacrifice any of us make when worshiping at the altar of celebrity.

taurusOver the past year, whenever I completed an essay about Madonna, I felt the need to distance myself. Not because I felt silly or ashamed, but because I feared being swallowed by the illusion of Madonna’s celebrity, which is to say: I had to remind myself that I was writing about Madonna to learn more about me.

On the subject of idolatry, Madonna is quoted as saying, “If you want to pay tribute to me, do something important with your life.” The quote, of course, is echoed by her gospel, Madonna’s urgent call to action to love, dance, and live without inhibitions.

Age and experience (along with Madonna’s insistence) have taught me: it’s okay to dream, but dream out loud. Over the past year, specifically, I’ve realized that being a responsible idolator means Madonna and I must coexist. Although I respect her brand of heresy, the reason I write these essays is not because I adore Madonna. Instead, I’ve come to realize, I write in defense of the reaction she provokes.

revolutionLike Madonna, I too am seeking a revolution. In the context of this article, specifically, I’ve surmised the aftermath of Madonna’s celebrity.  After scanning the crowd all these years, I’m writing today because, at last, my fellow Babylonians…

My eyes are locked upon the beast with seven heads and ten horns.

madonna_whore“And he said unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sat, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”


Should I wake up tomorrow and discover it’s judgement day and that Madonna is, indeed, the Whore of Babylon, I wouldn’t hide my idolatry from the almighty. Like pretending to be straight, that would just make me a coward and a liar to boot.

I would, however, step forward and raise my hand in defense of the mother of harlots and abominations. Because only before the wrath of God, under such dire, sobering, apocalyptic conditions, would I have the conviction to note…

Should she be the Whore of Babylon, then Madonna did so while calling upon Babylonians to love one another, unconditionally, without prejudice in our minds and contempt in our hearts.

secretproject3Don’t misunderstand me, Madonna is clearly no Jesus Christ; she operates by a very different code. While I suspect Madonna’s wounds run deep, unlike the son of God, she did not die for our sins…

I am arguing, though, Madonna lives for our sins.

If Madonna is the Whore of Babylon then her story is more reminiscent of our motherless Eve in Genesis, Act I. Stitched into a scarlet wedding gown, ordained in diamonds and pearls, Madonna has come to personify the modern “Bride of Sin” at curtain call. Drunk in a garden of serpents, writhing amongst harlots, thugs, and sodomites, Madonna is the manifestation of Babylon’s demons and fears, a woman feeding on all that is forbidden.

So, why should I idolize such a blasphemous woman?

Because like Eve and Mary Magdalene after her, I contend: Madonna is misunderstood. She isn’t a sinner to be judged, so much as she is the lesson to be learned.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t believe Madonna is provocative because she seeks fame and wealth. As an astute pupil of Madonna’s, I argue, fame and fortune are byproducts of Madonna’s ultimate ambition…

Madonna hopes to rule the world, because Madonna wants to save the world. She weathers the ridicule and mockery, hoping to draw our attention to the beast on which she rides, that snarky, venomous little monster lurking within the heart of every Babylonian – Hate.


I rest palms at the Whore of Babylon’s feet, because few prophets, in my lifetime, have endured such ire and criticism in the name of love.

The Gospel According to Madonna resonates with me because Madonna, like Jesus two thousand years before her, braves the sneers and taunting, the righteous indignation of the mob, on behalf of sinners like me.

I gravitate to this portrait, because I am a sinner in the garden of serpents.  Madonna is but the gospel in my heart.

madonna-and-steven-klein-secrect-project-video-inside2I feel that people are becoming more and more afraid of people who are different. People are becoming more and more intolerant.

On the eve #secretproject, I’d like to leave Babylon with a cautionary note…

If the battle before us is fought arming men against women, blacks against whites, straights against gays, Christians against Muslims, Lady Gaga fans against Madonna fans, Democrats against Republicans, etc…  We will all eventually lose.

Before our looming day of judgement, we owe the almighty this moment of candor. The battle before us – always has been, and forever will be – a battle fought between love and hate.

Should we all cease to exist in a post-apocalyptic world, it will be because we ignored the Gospel According to Madonna, we were deaf to her plea to be more Christlike, which is to say: more celebratory, forgiving, inclusive, and kind; less judgmental, spiteful, and cruel.

By definition “apocalypse” means: “a prophetic revelation, concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumph over the forces of evil…”

No more hesitating. It’s time. Pick a side.

Once you do, the revolution begins.



#artforfreedom #secretprojectrevolution

Progressive politics and the politics of Madonna are the subject of “Guy Penn & the Gospel According to Madonna” by Damon Wallace.

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