Bruce Springsteen to Tell America ‘This Land Was Made for You and Me’? (Updates)
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will give a free get-out-the-vote concert on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville, in the swing state of Virginia.
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Unlike this author, Bill Clinton was born in the U.S.A. and he made that perfectly clear today when he appeared along with legendary Bruce Springsteen at a rally for Obama in Parma, Ohio, today.
Warming-up for Springsteen, Clinton said, “I was born in the U.S.A. and unlike one of the candidates, I keep all my money here,” referring to Springsteen’s famous song and Romney’s foreign bank accounts.
After being introduced by Clinton as “one of the coolest dudes I’ve met,” Springsteen said, “I get to speak after President Clinton. It’s like following Elvis.”
According to The Hill Springsteen then cut into the song “No Surrender” from his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A.
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Wanted to update this with a message from Bruce Springsteen posted yesterday and first noted by SteveK.
The election is coming up on all of us and we all have strong feelings about it. I’ve been getting asked a lot about where I stand, so for those who are interested, here goes.
This presidential election is different than the last one because President Obama has a four year record to run on. Last time around, he carried with him a tremendous amount of hope and expectations. Unfortunately, due to the economic chaos the previous administration left him with, and the extraordinary intensity of the opposition, it turned into a really rough ride. But through grit, determination, and focus, the President has been able to do a great many things that many of us deeply support.
Domestically, that record includes working to increase and expand employment for all, protecting our all important social safety net, passing guaranteed health care for most of our citizens, with important new protections for all of the insured, rescuing the auto industry and so many of the American jobs that go with it, protecting and enhancing the rights of women, and bringing us closer to full acceptance of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
In foreign affairs, that record includes following through on the removal of troops from the misguided and deceptive war in Iraq, and vigorously pursuing our real foreign enemies, especially the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Right now the opposition’s resort to voter suppression in so many states is not receiving as much attention as it deserves. I believe that all of us, of whatever views, should be opposing these anti-voter, anti-citizen efforts.
Right now, for the President to be effective in his next term he needs our increased support and he needs support in the Congress, where some sterling candidates, such as current Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, challenger Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and so many others, are fighting to make their constructive voices heard.
Right now, there is an ever increasing division of wealth in this country, with the benefits going more and more to the 1 percent. For me, President Obama is our best choice to begin to reverse this harmful development.
Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction.
Right now, we need a President who has a vision that includes all of our citizens, not just some, whether they are our devastated poor, our pressured middle class, and yes, the wealthy too; whether they are male or female, black, white, brown, or yellow, straight or gay, civilian or military.
Right now, there is a choice going on in America, and I’m happy that we live in a country where we all participate in that process. For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together. We’re still living through very hard times but justice, equality and real freedom are not always a tide rushing in. They are more often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. I believe President Obama feels these days in his bones and has the strength to live them with us and to lead us to a country “…where no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.”
That’s why I plan to be in Ohio and Iowa supporting the re-election of President Obama to lead our country for the next four years.
This land is your land
This land is my land
To the New York island
From the Redwood Forest
To the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me
These are some of the lyrics of that hauntingly beautiful Woody Guthrie song often sung by Bruce Springtsteen, “This Land Is Your Land.”
For some reason, every time I listen to the open, inviting, inclusive verses of this truly American song — that ribbon highway, the endless sky, the golden valley, the sparkling sands, her diamond deserts — always ending with “this land was made for you and me,” I get a lump in my throat.
Perhaps it is because I realize that this is the land I chose to be my homeland some 55 years ago when, as a wide-eyed, 17-year old youngster, I immigrated to America, and never looked back.
Perhaps it is because, ever since then, Americans have shown to me by thought, word and deed — by sharing with me the greatness, generosity and opportunity that this country and its people have to offer — the true meaning of the words “this land was made for you and me.”
Perhaps it is because this land has been “for me” and “my country” in every respect of those words — until recently.
Until recently, because that beautiful song also evokes memories of political campaigns, where righteous Republican candidates, Real Americans, standing tall and proud in front of rows of giant American flags have been promising in soaring oratory to “take our country back.”
I am happy to admit that talk of “real Americans” (Republicans) vs. “fake Americans” (Democrats) and of “taking our country back” has been on the decline — perhaps because the likes of Palin, Bachmann, Santorum and others have been out of the limelight.
But not always and not everywhere.
Less than two months ago, at the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie proudly and defiantly announced that Republicans “are taking our country back.”
I have asked before, “Take our country back”? From whom? From the nearly 100 million Americans who were born and raised in this country, who love America even more, if that’s possible, than this 72-year-old naturalized geezer?
From those 100 million Americans whose only “disqualifying” flaw might be that they happen to be Democrats?
Does that mean that the United States of America, the great country to where I immigrated — a country I thought had adopted me — really hasn’t been “my country” all or some of those years?
However, since I am not a “true,” natural-born American — although I have served my adopted country in our Armed Forces honorably and “meritoriously” for 20 years — I might not be the right person to speak with authority about this or to feel offended by such jingoism.
Therefore, I will quote not only a real, real American who, a few months ago, addressed the GOP clarion call from a different perspective:
One of the battle cries of the far right is this: ‘We want to take our country back.’ Maybe you dismissed that as meaning, back from the Democrats. But you notice, they do not say, ‘we want to take our government back.’ They say… ‘our country.’
And based on the evidence pouring out of state legislatures, that is what the Republican revolution of 2010 has set out to do — take the country back — back in time. Back to those golden days before civil rights and gender equality. It was so much easier back then, wasn’t it?
This real American is none other than former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer M. Granholm.
For more of her remarks on going back to the “bad old days with our Republican friends,” on rolling back workers’ rights, on rolling back voting access and — for women — on going back to the ” black-and-white, ’50s era mindset” where the “sexual McCarthyites hear the words ‘contraception,’ ‘women’s health’ and ‘Planned Parenthood’ as ‘abortion,” please click here.
Bruce Springsteen will appear alongside Bill Clinton at an Obama campaign rally in Parma, Ohio on Thursday, October 18 and, that same day, at another rally in Ames, Iowa.
Jim Messina, Obama for America’s campaign manager, said in a statement:
Bruce Springsteen’s values echo what the President and Vice President stand for: hard work, fairness, integrity. His appearances will help with our get out the vote effort in these critical swing states and we are thrilled with his ongoing support.
All good and well, as long as Springsteen sings his heart out to convince all Americans that “This land was made for you and me.”