Springsteen breaks partisan neutrality, backs John Kerry
Thu Aug 5, 1:51 PM ET
NEW YORK (AFP) - Rock legend Bruce Springsteen, overcoming a career-long aversion to partisan politics, laid out his case for ousting President George W. Bush in an editorial in the New York Times' latest issue.
"For many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out," said Springsteen, who will join a host of other top-name musical acts for a series of concerts aimed at defeating Bush in November's election.
Slamming the "unnecessary" war in Iraq, as well as the current administration's tax policies, Springsteen said he would be backing the Democratic presidential ticket.
"I don't think John Kerry and John Edwards have all the answers. I do believe they are sincerely interested in asking the right questions and working their way toward honest solutions," Springsteen said.
"They understand that we need an administration that places a priority on fairness, curiosity, openess, humility, concern for all America's citizens, courage and faith," he added.
Despite the social relevance of much of his work, Springsteen has until now kept a step away from direct involvement in partisan politics, although he famously objected to the use of "Born in the USA" by Ronald Reagan during the 1984 presidential election.
When Kerry took the stage at the recent Democratic convention in Boston, he did so to the tune of Springsteen's "No Surrender," which has been a common theme song on the Kerry campaign trail.
Wryly acknowledging that Bush's tax cuts benefitted "well-to-do guitar players" like himself, Springsteen said the increasing division of wealth was threatening to destroy America's "social contract."
"It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting," he said.
The October concerts, organised under the label "Vote for Change," will feature acts like The Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor and John Mellencamp.
Proceeds from the tour will go to America Coming Together (ACT), a voter mobilisation organisation committed to defeating Bush.
Here's an intro excerpt from Bruce's recent "Chords of Change" New York Times article :
"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."