American dream aficionado Bruce Springsteen has made no secret of his distaste for the 45th president of the United States, but he's kept his commentary to interviews and concert asides so far. Today, however, he announced that he teamed up with frequent collaborator Joe Grushecky for the release an outright anti-Trump protest song titled, "That’s What Makes Us Great."
The song is available to purchase from Grushecky's website here (but will be on iTunes and various streaming services later today). Grushecky told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he wrote the song around the time Donald Trump took office in January.
"I had this song, and Bruce and I had been talking," he explained. "I sent it to him and he liked it. I said, 'What do you think about singing on it?' He gave it the Bruce treatment." Springsteen has the best verse in the song, referencing Trump's comments that he doesn't read books (and thus tangentially referencing the conspiracy theory that Trump is functionally illiterate): "Don’t tell me a lie/ And sell it as a fact/ I’ve been down that road before/ And I ain’t goin’ back/ And don’t you brag to me/ That you never read a book/ I never put my faith/ In a con man and his crooks."
Grushecky, a former teacher, also explained his own reasons for writing an anti-Trump song: "[Trump] lost me the moment he started making fun of special needs people," he said. "How could a person like that be president of the United States? Regardless of all the other [stuff], that to me is appalling. I have special needs people in my family and in my neighborhood. I worked with special needs people my whole life and I was really offended by it."
Back in January, Springsteen called Trump's travel ban "anti-democratic and fundamentally un-American," and praised the Women's March as "the new American resistance."
Springsteen, who received the Presidential Medal Of Freedom from President Obama in November, also spoke to Marc Maron about his deep fears for the country and Trump's divisive mendacity. "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 said. "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. So my fears are that those things find a place in ordinary, civil society." (In another interview, he was ever more blunt: "The republic is under siege by a moron.")
Don't expect too many other Bruce-penned protest songs about Trump coming our way anytime soon though: The Boss is expected to release a new solo album this year that he has compared to the work of Jimmy Webb & Glenn Campbell ("pop records with a lot of strings and instrumentation").