Bruce Springsteen has never been shy about expressing his political beliefs, and a new interview with Esquire finds The Boss offering his opinions about the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
During his wide-ranging Esquire chat, the 69-year-old rocker touches on “The Ties That Bind”, the opening track to his acclaimed 1980 double album “The River”, explaining the song is about “bonds of your personal family, but also the ties you can’t break among your community and your fellow citizens.”
He adds: “You can’t forsake those things. It’ll rot your core at the end of the day. If you want to see someone who’s — look at Trump. He has forsaken a lot of these things, and it’s affected him. He’s deeply damaged at his core… Anyone in that position who doesn’t deeply feel those ties that bind is a dangerous man, and it’s very pitiful.”
In another part of the interview, Springsteen discusses how the underlying “dread” felt by the American working class when he recorded “The River” has only grown deeper during the ensuing four decades.
“I do feel that people feel under siege, and sometimes for reasons that I don’t agree with and that are unfortunate,” he says. “Their way of life is somehow threatened — is existentially threatened. And maybe that explains Trump and maybe it doesn’t, but… that’s always been a part of the American story.”
Springsteen also blasts Trump for having “no interest in uniting the country, really, and actually has an interest in doing the opposite and dividing us, which he does on an almost daily basis. So that’s simply a crime against humanity, as far as I’m concerned. It’s an awful, awful message to send out into the world if you’re in that job and in that position. It’s just an ugly, awful message. You are intentionally trying to disenfranchise a large portion of Americans. I mean, you are simply . . . that’s unforgivable,” he says.
“And then there’s just the rise of — whether it’s the alt-right or the folks who were marching in Charlottesville with their tiki torches and all of that coming to the fore again, you know?” he continues. “Which our president was more than happy to play into and to play to. So these are folks who are invested in denying the idea of a united America and an America for all. It’s a critical moment. This has come so far to the surface, and it’s so toxic. And it appears to have a grip… and to be so powerful… in a lot of people’s lives at the moment. It’s a scary moment for any conscientious American, I think.”
You can read the entire interview in the latest issue of Esquire.
Meanwhile, for fans not lucky enough to have caught Springsteen’s one-man show during his 14-month run on the Great White Way, cameras captured the performance for a Netflix special, with “Springsteen on Broadway” available to stream on Dec. 16.