Entertainers endorsing political candidates–it’s something of a time-honored tradition in America. I’m not sure how many people make up their minds about who to vote for based upon what some singer or movie star might have to say about it all, but likely there are those who do.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Bruce Springsteen weighed in on the 2016 presidential race, stating that in his opinion Donald Trump is “a moron.”
“Well, you know, the republic is under siege by a moron, basically,” the rock star opined of Trump. “The whole thing is tragic. Without overstating it, it’s a tragedy for our democracy.”
In 2008, Springsteen said of Obama that, “He speaks to the America I’ve envisioned in my music for the past 35 years” and he also named what he saw as the “real issues” facing America at that time, these being “war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.”
Four years later in 2012, with still no progress made on these issues, Springsteen conceded in a post on his website that “We’re still living through very hard times,” but he explained this by pointing out that “justice, equality and real freedom are not always a tide rushing in.” And touchingly he let it be known that he had not lost faith in Obama.
“Right now, there is an ever increasing division of wealth in this country, with the benefits going more and more to the 1 percent. For me, President Obama is our best choice to begin to reverse this harmful development.”
It’s kind of hard to imagine where in the world Springsteen might have gotten the notion that Obama had any intentions of interfering with the profit-making of the 1 percent. Keep in mind this was in the fall of 2012–a year after the Occupy Wall Street protests had broken out at Zuccotti Park in New York. Not once throughout that two-month long encampment in the park, nor afterwards, did Obama ever issue a single public statement in support of the protesters–not even after police began beating and pepper spraying them.
Springsteen also praised Obama for killing Osama Bin Laden and for leading the country in a direction wherein “no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.” And as for Trump and the more-recent Rolling Stone interview, the singer included some ad hominem remarks about candidate’s alleged racism, in addition to the comments on his I.Q.
“The ideas he’s moving to the mainstream are all very dangerous ideas – white nationalism and the alt-right movement. The outrageous things that he’s done – not immediately disavowing David Duke? These are things that are obviously beyond the pale for any previous political candidate. It would sink your candidacy immediately,” he said.
So what, inquired the interviewer, does Springsteen think of Hillary Clinton–does he have criticisms of her as well?
“No. I like Hillary. I think she would be a very, very good president,” he replied.
Donald Trump, of course, is not without his faults. For one thing, he has never, to my knowledge, uttered even the mildest criticism of Israel–something even the State Department does upon occasion. But as I have said before, Trump seems less temperamentally inclined to start World War III than does Clinton, who has compared Vladimir Putin to Hitler.
As for Springsteen, while he may not be particularly adept as a political analyst, he does have a unique talent for music and songwriting. And for this reason, I have a suggestion for him: organize a benefit concert to raise money for the millions who have lost loved ones or been displaced and made homeless due to Obama’s wars.