Boss Endorsement

>> Thursday, April 17, 2008

I feel obligated to start this post with a disclaimer: I don't particularly care who actors and musicians endorse in political races insofar as it influences me. It's not like I read, "Actor Michael Dorsey, in a move surprising to many, has endorsed Senator Robert Roberts in the former singer's ambitious dark-horse bid for the Presidency," and immediately vote in sync.

That said, it's nice when your views happen to fall in line with a favorite performer's. Given my parents' politics and the atmosphere I grew up in, I probably would have been a liberal even without Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and other bands I grew up with--but my nascent political beliefs had a voice that might have been harder to define otherwise. It's not an intellectual thing, it's a poetic thing, a visceral and emotional thing that grabs you by the guts. I'm old enough and overly-educated enough that I could sit down and give you the historic and logical reasons for limiting war or educating kids or providing a social safety net for those down on their luck, but I'd still rather turn up the volume on Animals or The River or War and let those rhythms and notes carry it. You know I'm a big fan of capital-R Reason. But let's be honest: the most reasonable arguments I, myself, can make about justice issues, will never be as heart-wrenching or immediate as "Mother Of Violence" or "Black Boys On Mopeds" or "Rider Pass By" or a host of others, I could go on and on and on. (I haven't even gotten to, say, every single Clash record ever made; no wonder conservatives get so antsy and indignant about liberal musicians airing their views--we liberals get to have every Clash record ever, and they get, like, The Nuge. WE WIN.)

Anyway, the introduction and pseudo-disclaimer is now longer than the news, which is that one of my all-time-favorite musicians and songwriters has officially endorsed my favorite candidate for president: Bruce Springsteen is officially for Barack Obama, thank you very much. Which is awesome to me not so much because of what it says about Obama as for what it says about The Boss--I think I would have been disappointed to have it any other way. ("Springsteen supports Ron Paul?! But I have a ticket to his show on the 27th! Noooooo!") I mean sure, who else would he support? But that's exactly it. I have awesome taste in music and political candidates....

Huh. Wait a sec. It's not about Obama or Springsteen. It's all about me. Well then. Alright, me, way to go, guy! Good one, dude!

Anyway, coolness.


Springsteen's open letter, which I wanted to share because I think it's a pretty cool endorsement letter (I'm stretching, if not breaking, Fair Use, but I'll be happy to pull it in the unlikely event someone notices and gets pissed at the posting):
Dear Friends and Fans:

Like most of you, I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.

He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where "...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone."

At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man's life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams From My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.

After the terrible damage done over the past eight years, a great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken. I believe that Senator Obama is the best candidate to lead that project and to lead us into the 21st Century with a renewed sense of moral purpose and of ourselves as Americans.

Over here on E Street, we're proud to support Obama for President.

Bruce Springsteen

2 comments:

Nathan Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 5:55:00 PM EDT  

I love the part when you realize "It's all about me."

And you're absolutely right. It's not that Bruce is gonna convince you who to vote for, It's that Bruce has reinforced for you the knowledge of just how cool you are.

Yay! Me too!

Nathan Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 5:56:00 PM EDT  

Oh, and when I read the headline, I thought you were putting up some brown-nosed paean to your employer.

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