Rocker Bruce Springsteen doesn't get rattled easily. After all, he's performed for millions of fans over the years, and he's fought for political causes like freedom and equality for LGBTQ Americans. But one thing he is afraid of is President-elect Donald Trump's competence to lead the free world.
"How could you not be?" Springsteen said in a recent interview on WTF with Marc Maron. He added that he's never experienced this sort of fear before. "I've felt disgust before, but never the kind of fear that you feel now. It's as simple as the fear of, is someone simply competent enough to do this particular job? Forget about where they are ideologically. Do they simply have the pure competence to be put in the position of such responsibility?"
But he conceded that The Donald is competent at one thing -- promoting bigotry and racism. And he worries that Trump's legacy might be turning America into an intolerant nation.
"When you let that genie out of the bottle -- bigotry, racism, intolerance -- they don’t go back in the bottle that easily, if they go back in at all," Springsteen warned. "Whether it’s a rise in hate crimes, people feeling they have license to speak and behave in ways that previously were considered un-American and are un-American. That’s what he's appealing to. My fears are that those things find a place in ordinary, civil society."
The rise of Trump is particularly troubling for Springsteen, who feels that the billionaire businessman has hoodwinked the very people that The Boss has been trying to reach through his music for decades.
"I understand how he got elected," he said, noting that Trump appealed to people who fear terrorism, worry about the 'browning of America' and feel "left behind" by "deindustrialization and globalization and the technological advances" that the world has made over the years. According to Springsteen, Trump won over those misguided voters by vowing to defeat ISIS with a "secret plan," pleding to build a massive wall along the Mexican-American border and promising to bring all the jobs back to America.
"These are very powerful and simple ideas. They're lies, they can't occur. But if you've struggled for the past 30 or 40 years – and this has been the theme of much of my creative life for all those years – if someone comes along and offers you something else…it's a compelling choice. It appeals to your worst angels."
But Springsteen won't give up on his country. At the end of the interview, he said, "America is still America. I still believe in its ideals, and I'm going to do my best to play my very, very small part in maintaining those things."
Sounds like The Boss is getting ready to hit back at Trump in the recording studio.
h/t Rolling Stone
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