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Springsteen Describes USA as a Nightmare for Immigrants

by Keith Koffler on November 6, 2012, 10:05 am

Bruce Springsteen is a legendary rock star who has thoughtfully portrayed the struggles of average Americans.

But some may wonder at the meaning of – and take exception to – the President of the United States spending his last day on the campaign trail, as President Obama did Monday, with a man who is so harshly critical of this country.

Some say there is a certain “patriotism” in depicting the United States as an evil and unjust place, the argument being that this is merely an attempt to improve it. Others might argue such an attitude reflects concern for individuals rather than any fondness or hope for the country.

But either way, for a president to associate himself with such passionate vitriol toward the country raises questions about what Obama himself thinks.

After all, Mrs. Obama, at one point in the 2008 campaign, suggested she had never really been proud of her country.

Most people are aware of the corrosively biting lyrics of Springsteen’s 1984 song, “Born in the USA.” Not, in Springsteen’s view, an lucky place to start out life.

Born down in a dead man town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the USA, I was born in the USA.
I was born in the USA, born in the USA.

In one of the great ironies of modern politics, Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign excised the “Born in the USA” portion of the song and used it as a patriotic campaign theme.

A more recent example comes from Springsteen’s 2012 album, Wrecking Ball, which includes the song “American Land” that portrays the United States as a false beacon that lures immigrants into a Hellish, oppressive existence.

What is this land America, so many travel there
I’m going now while I’m still young, my darling meet me there
Wish me luck my lovely, I’ll send for you when I can
And we’ll make our home in the American land . . .

There’s diamonds in the sidewalk, the gutters lined in song
Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long
There’s treasure for the taking, for any hard working man
Who’ll make his home in the American land . . .

The McNicholas, the Posalskis, the Smiths, Zerillis too
The Blacks, the Irish, Italians, the Germans and the Jews
They come across the water a thousand miles from home
With nothing in their bellies but the fire down below

They died building the railroads, they worked to bones and skin
They died in the fields and factories, names scattered in the wind
They died to get here a hundred years ago, they’re still dying now
Their hands that built the country we’re always trying to keep out

Springsteen is a great artist who tackles serious issues. But why a candidate for president would want to campaign with some who harbors so much anger for America is something of a mystery. Or maybe, it’s not.

{ 34 comments }

regina November 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

I am so tired of the hollywood pres.

Julie Brueckheimer November 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

And the rap president. I believe Moochelle had rappers at the WH under the label of poets. Rap starting out being abusive toward women, and last night or yesterday the other big performer, Jay-Z, substituted “Mitt” for “bitch” in a song. It’s laughable that the Dems accuse the Republicans of a war on women with the Obamas’ love affair with rappers.

Star November 6, 2012 at 10:16 am

All this talk of payback and revenge, too–starting to freak me out. I hardly think the Obamas or Springsteen have been badly used by America. The opposite, in fact.

Girly1 November 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

Obama would probably prefer to spend his last day on the trail with Rev. Wright for old time’s sake, but Springsteen is not a bad second choice. Both of them are essentialy saying “God damn America!”

Bruce has it backwards. It’s the uncontrolled influx of immigrants, mostly illegal, who are giving Americans nightmares, Ironically, it’s Bruce’s new BFF, Barack Obama, who is ‘luring’ in these ‘immigrants’ with promises of amnesty, work permits, food stamps, free tuition, housing, etc. etc.
Obama even told them to ‘punish their enemies’ at the voting booth!

Please, God, let this insanity end tonight!

Don November 6, 2012 at 10:40 am

Well said!

I might add that Bruce should then explain why so many continue to come here, if it’s so bad, they’re so abused, and they don’t stand a chance.

Perhaps because it is still the greatest nation on the face of the planet, despite the best attempts of the Left to destroy it, and they will lead a much better life here than in the country from which they emigrate.

mikenlv November 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Good point.

Bruce should fly his butt to Mexico in his chartered or private jet and work to improve life for those people where they live. Illegal immigrants have zero effect on his lifestyle.

ImNoDhimmi November 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

Rise up, all you poor immigrants who have been so discriminated against and ill used. Rise up, all of you who have never benefited from the bounty of America, from her more than generous social programs, from the opportunities there for everyone to explore. Rise up, and get revenge on Whitey.

Sickening.

srdem65 November 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

My Grandparents thought America was the greatest place on earth. They blessed the day they set foot on it’s soil and died content that they and their children prospered. None spoke English or were professionals, but laborers who fled tyranny, imprisionment or death in their homeland.
Without any social “safety nets” to protect them from starvation or homelessness, they worked wherever they were needed and worked hard.
I’m grateful to those immigants who made it possible for me to be whatever I wanted, to go wherever I choose and to be proud to be an American.

MrSpringsteen is a wealthy hypocrite who plays on the pain of his followers.
The same could be said about BarackObama, too.

Star November 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

My dad used to refer to America as the garden spot of the earth.

Susan November 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Well said, srdem.

Not Nabob November 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

Some of these musicians need to shut up and play or retire to the old farts home.

Sadie November 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

Well…maybe Bruce should turn over all the farm subsidy money he’s received to the immigrants. Fair share crap and all that jive.

Jeff1000 November 6, 2012 at 10:58 am

Johnny Carson had it right: never let ‘em know where your politics stand.

I’ve never had a problem with Springsteen’s art, just that he isn’t bright enough to keep his politics under wrap, and the consequence of the Boss revealing an embarrassingly deep hypocrisy. As a result, for me, his art has been distilled down to harmonic corruption.

Mr. T. November 6, 2012 at 11:42 am

Alice Cooper maintains a similar philosophy like Carson…back in 2004 he said this:

“I call it treason against rock ‘n’ roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics. When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I’d run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick. If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we’re morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.”

Jeff1000 November 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Mr.T., thanks for adding that. If I had known that Alice had said that I would have used that instead of Carson. Alice nailed it.

JustSaying12 November 6, 2012 at 11:03 am

Absolutely cannot stand Springsteen. One of the most overrated musicians in history. Can’t sing, can’t play guitar and his whinny songs are just annoying and I could care less about his “thoughts”. He along with Bob Dylan proves how the drug culture has effected Ameica: Because you have to be on drugs in order to think both Dylan and Springsteen are great musicians.

Heck, I am just and tired of all the celebrities on both campaign trail. It just shows how much we are now the “entertainment society” instead of the “great society” that President Johnson envisioned. For one, I like that Romney boycotted all the late night talk shows. Were not like a “celebrity-in chief” no matter how much the press fawns over Obama and how much he enjoys the role. Were electing a “Commander-In Chief”.

Cooper November 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

That’s the progressive mindset, it’s trendy and hip to be critical of your country. In their minds they think they are inclusive, tolerant and showing empathy to others. Maybe they see themselves more as citizens of the world and not their country of birth. Mostly I see them as shallow, intolerant hypocrites who piss all over the country that enabled them to have a chance for success through their own hard work and grit.

Lizzy November 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

Unless you are an full blooded American Indian we are all immigrants. So
crack open a history book and shut up! I could care less what an aging rock
singer has to say enough already nobody cares and if they do I’m sad they
can’t form their own thoughts!

Quintis Arrius November 6, 2012 at 11:26 am

My “Hollywood/Music haters of America” begins with this guy.
What is worse is that his own mother stated he has never worked a “real job” in his life. His “Born in the US” song has some stinging accusations of American life according to him…and that was BEFORE OBAMA.

Please, Mr. Stringsteen, got another country you would be happier living in in mind?

AFVET November 6, 2012 at 11:34 am

‘Anther country’?
Cuba comes to mind as long as he swims there.

TimG November 6, 2012 at 11:43 am

A host musicians, actors, and actress’ and many of the population have long ago lost their objectivity and appreciation for what the United States Of America holds for us all. This president is one of the most shameless to hold the office and I hope by tonight he is sent back to obscurity. If he loses, years from now, history and the details will illustrate what a fraud he was.

JustSaying12 November 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

“If he loses, years from now, history and the details will illustrate what a fraud he was.”

I think he is already seen as a fraud by many regardless of whether he wins or loses and this election being so close for a “historical figure” is prove. Even Walter Issacson stated (and he is a Obama fan..or was) that history will view his first term much better then his second. And a lot of has to do how he was elected. He won in 2008 by running on a postitive message. But Edmund Morris said on the same show, every year he sounds more and more partisan with more promises broken. Now, he is just a partisan hack trying to win a 51-49% election. Like Peggy Noonan said a few days ago, what a long fall it’s been for Obama.

JustSaying12 November 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

Side issue: Did anyone notice that Drudge and a few other places had some early returns from Ohio (via a Cincy network) and quickly yanked them down?

I wonder if that just was a test sheet or they didn’t want it leak out yet? My hope is the later and is a sign to come that the news networks will not be jumping the gun tonight.

Rod November 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Bruce represents what is worst about America – celebrity, capitalist whose gains come from being anti-capitalist, and generally a Jersey douche. I’m surprised that his audience doesn’t realize he’s a 1%er. Well, on second thought, I don’t think that audience is real quick on the up-take, so these details fly over their heads.

Danceswithtruth November 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

He and Michael Moore.

Ted November 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Bruce needs to retire.

He’s just old, worn out and has brain damage.

Jeff November 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I toured with Bruce, he doesnt shower on the road..
nuff said

blondie November 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

EW!!! After all that sweating?!!

cincycinco November 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

You would think Obama of all people would AVOID someone singing “Born In the USA”! It would just raise those old questions again…

OK Lady November 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thanks for that. You made me laugh. A laugh and a Valium might get me through the night.

cincycinco November 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

“Springsteen Describes USA as a Nightmare for Immigrants”

Well, there WAS this ONE guy who came here from somewhere else – Kenya, Indonesia, someplace like that – and did REEEALY well for himself!

ol gator November 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

yeah but, him doing REEEALY well for himself has turned out to be a hideous nightmare for the rest of us ! He’s a political vampire sucking the blood out of this country !

Blair White November 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm

What you have in the WH is two people with basic community college educations that despise the white power structure and prosperity that has resulted from this. At the end of the day they will fail and live out their lives in upscale rehab resorts and be pitied as they are seen as small minded and irrelevant. With the education I understand that the Ivy schools have both real degrees and also legacy and affirmative action students and there is a large degree of difference. Hearing Romney and Obama speak off script it is obvious which degree each got from Harvard.

mikenlv November 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I really wish entertainers (this includes professional athletes) would keep their mouths shut when it comes to politics. They are multimillionaires who have nothing in common with mainstream Americans. I strongly believe that people like Springsteen have never read or researched political issues before coming out in public with endorsements and support. It’s often a knee jerk reaction to what they “hear” – not what they know. And, unfortunately, fans often mistake those endorsements for political intelligence instead of ignorance. Being a success in music, acting and sports does NOT automatically make a person wise.