As Americans return to a post-pandemic reality, Bruce Springsteen is the last bridge straddling the recent chasm splitting working-class realism and the Democrat Party.
When Springsteen finally made his first Super Bowl ad this year, it completely exposed the new schism: the living symbol of blue-collar America stood in a church, quoting Democrat "unity" talking points.
It was like mixing a glass of Yuengling beer and imported French wine. The Democrat message and the working class messenger no longer mixed well. What happened?
As a part-time musician and writer, who studied this division (departure), we can call this "my letter to you."
Your music is timeless, and you remain the personification of the American blue-collar story. But what does your music have to do with today's Democratic Party?
Your voice and lyrics were the poems, for us ordinary folk - you were one of us. Strangely, in your Jack Kerouac-inspired ad, I felt for the first time, given your political affiliations, you were out of place.
Here are my reasons why:
I, too, live in New Jersey. A friend invited me to your Meadowlands stage, and it was the best concert I've ever seen. You sang Badlands, "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything," and Thunder Road, "The screen door slams, Mary's dress sways, Like a vision, she dances across the porch as the radio plays..."
Not the lyrics of someone who supports identity politics, cancel culture, or one world order stuff? Regardless of the party name, I still don't get how you align with Hillary, Obama, and now Joe Biden (Kamala Harris, really)?
Honestly, somewhere along the way, your audience switched teams; maybe you didn't notice? We're still married to "Wendy" with kids. And yes, we still go to the Jersey Shore.
You see, Boss, we're still here, just quieter, due to media bias, censorship and woke culture. We seem fewer in number only because of the open borders.
Before it went hard left, your fellow ethnic kids all started in the Democratic Party, working to become less dependent on government and earning their American soul.
In the podcast called Renegades, you called Obama a rebellious outsider. Really? Do you as a community organizer get "the acid-etched portrait of a wounded America that fuels its machinery by consuming its people's dreams?"
Democrats like Obama, Hillary, and Biden are the machinery, those you wrote songs against in your major anthems.
As Glen Greenwald said of Hillary, she was "widely perceived to be a protector and beneficiary of all the worst components of status quo elite corruption."
The forgotten Americans you sang about grab guns and bibles for a reason. You knew them in Freehold, where America was their "garden, filled with light."
The same people who barely survived Ross Perot's "giant sucking sound" that emptied American factories for the olive branch of capitalism with China - Ignored for a generation.
Desperate to be heard, they voted for a strong media personality to have a fighting chance and restore their voice.
As I explain in my new book Citizen Trump: "Trump spoke to voters living in what was considered condescendingly as 'flyover country' with its loss of jobs to China and a raging opioid crisis that Trump claimed he could fix."
I get your 1980s "Born in the USA," anti-Vietnam sentiment, rich politicians sending working men to war, and with no job when they return, "You end up like a dog that's been beat too much 'Til you spend half your life just coverin' up."
In the 1990s, you wrote "Youngstown" about steelworkers torn apart by imported cheap steel. "Seven hundred tons of metal a day, no sir, you tell me the world's changed once I made you rich enough, rich enough to forget my name."
Don't you remember?
Didn't you sing about modern globalism and how the establishment class never cared for the poor slob on the main street, trying to earn a buck, and then the Chrysler/Jeep ad?
The Statism now behind the Democrat Party plowed over Freehold and every other town in the United States. They wanted to replace our people, our religion, and our patriotic instincts, and yeah, it left a hole in the shape of a city on a hill.
Yes, the past was more significant than the present, if it means losing your roots? Your music is about this ethnic (primarily Catholic) culture. American author and poet Ted Berrigan asked Kerouac, "How come you never write about Jesus?"
His reply: "All I write about is Jesus."
On the Road, Kerouac's wheels kept turning, but his soul chased a heart back home. He feared radicalization, which we witness today. And your "Highway Nine" became the digital highway, without any cages from which to spring.
You sing of spiritual freedom to feel deeply, uniquely, and ruggedly. To not be judged, but to stand for who you are and where you come from, why take it away?
Your party forces Americans to change states to find representation; eventually, there will be nowhere else to go. We took your advice to "get out while we're young."
"Tramps like us" are not political animals, we like to play it fair and straight, but given the modern encroachment, we might be "born to run" for office!