Society

Bruce Springsteen Unveils New Anti-Trump Protest Song

| by Michael Howard

Rock icon Bruce Springsteen is taking aim at President Donald Trump in a new political protest song.

The song, titled "That's What Makes Us Great," was written by Springsteen and his longtime friend and collaborator, Joe Grushecky, who fronts the Houserockers. It premiered on April 19 on SiriusXM as well as on Grushecky's website, according to Rolling Stone.

"Don't tell me a lie / And sell it as a fact / I've been down that road before / And I ain't going back," Springsteen sings on the new track.

At one point he refers to Trump as a "con man," singing: "Don't you brag to me / That you never read a book / I never put my faith / In a con man and his crooks."

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Grushecky told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he wrote the song in January, around the time of Trump's inauguration.

"I had this song, and Bruce and I had been talking," he said. "I sent it to him and he liked it. I said, 'What do you think about singing on it?' He gave it the Bruce treatment."

The two friends recorded the song digitally without ever meeting up in a studio.

Grushecky explained that, for him, Trump became irredeemable when he mocked Serge Kovaleski, a journalist with a physical disability.

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"[Trump] lost me the moment he started making fun of special needs people," he said. "How could a person like that be president of the United States? Regardless of all the other [stuff], that to me is appalling. I have special needs people in my family and in my neighborhood. I worked with special needs people my whole life and I was really offended by it."

Springsteen was an outspoken Trump critic throughout the presidential campaign, calling him a "moron" in a September 2016 interview with Rolling Stone.

"Well, you know, the republic is under siege by a moron, basically," he said at the time. "The whole thing is tragic. Without overstating it, it's a tragedy for our democracy. When you start talking about elections being rigged, you're pushing people beyond democratic governance. And it's a very, very dangerous thing to do. Once you let those genies out of the bottle, they don't go back in so easy, if they go back in at all."

The following month, in an interview with The Guardian, Springsteen speculated that Trump's personality is a "facade" designed to hide a "bundle of anxiety, fragility and insecurity."

"It’s such a thin costume that for me it doesn’t hold for a moment," he said. "But there have been quite a few people he has attracted along the way, so I suppose the bluster works to a certain degree. He’s really quite an embarrassment if you're from the USA. It's simply the most rigid and thinnest veil of masculinity over a mess."

Sources: Rolling Stone, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Guardian / Photo credit: Pete Souza via Wikimedia Commons

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