Rock ‘n Roll for Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Bruce Springsteen might not be superman, but he’s coming close these days.
I stayed up late to watch him on Nightline with Ted Koppel, who threw some very tough and legitimate questions at The Boss — who answered with obvious thoughtfulness and intelligence.
Springsteen’s Op Ed piece in the NY Times today is even more eloquent. It begins with this:
A nation’s artists and musicians have a particular place in its social and political life. Over the years I’ve tried to think long and hard about what it means to be American: about the distinctive identity and position we have in the world, and how that position is best carried. I’ve tried to write songs that speak to our pride and criticize our failures.
These questions are at the heart of this election: who we are, what we stand for, why we fight. Personally, for the last 25 years I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics. Instead, I have been partisan about a set of ideals: economic justice, civil rights, a humane foreign policy, freedom and a decent life for all of our citizens. This year, however, for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out.
Through my work, I’ve always tried to ask hard questions. Why is it that the wealthiest nation in the world finds it so hard to keep its promise and faith with its weakest citizens? Why do we continue to find it so difficult to see beyond the veil of race? How do we conduct ourselves during difficult times without killing the things we hold dear? Why does the fulfillment of our promise as a people always seem to be just within grasp yet forever out of reach?

The rest is just as good.
Springsteen said something to Koppel that he doesn’t say in the Times, in response to a question about the ethics of artists using their influence in the political arena. His answer not only affirmed that artists are intelligent enough to have informed opinions about politics and government, he also reminded Koppel that lobbyists try to influence politics and government all of the time. When Koppel countered with the fact that lobbyists use their influence so that the companies they represent can sell more “widgets,” so is a “personal thing,” The Boss had the best answer of all. He said that it it’s even more personal for him because he’s concerned about the country that his kids are growing up in. It’s very personal for him.
As it is for all of us.
Bruce Springsteen, American champion of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
Rock on.
And Vote For Change

2 thoughts on “Rock ‘n Roll for Truth, Justice, and the American Way

  1. I have another answer to that question Koppel asked: talking heads do seek to influence all the time, so do politicos, so does NRA, and so do myriad other groups/individuals. My real answer, however, is this: When were the rights artists and singers and performers and writers written out of the Constitution?
    The objection comes because of the stupid American belief that art’s only function is to entertain, from the American inability to understand that art digs deeper than all those for whom they think it’s okay to influence elections. And maybe because deep down where Americans seldom go is the knowledge that artists have deeper and keener insights than many. And they surely don’t want to go there, cuz then they might have to change.

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