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August 10, 2004

So Long, Bruuce! It Was Nice Knowin' Ya!

John P. Snyder

It was October of 1975. My date, and later wife, and I traveled to the Johnstown War Memorial Coliseum in Johnstown, PA to see and hear the future of goodtimes rock n' roll. It was a cozy crowd of maybe 250 hearty souls who were mesmerized by Mr. Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band.

Two weeks later, his faced adorned the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazine.

Last week, Bruce Springsteen proudly announced his "Vote for Change" concert series along with other artists, fully intending to work towards defeating President George W. Bush in this fall's election. After nearly 30 years of being a devoted follower. This is where I get off.

Bruce Springsteen? Never heard of 'em.

Last week, while making the media rounds to promote his tour, he elaborated on his political views. Truth to tell, his socialist views were already known to me. But in the past he kept his activism down to a tolerable level.

Apparently, he can be silent no more, the Bush presidency being so awful that a call to activism is what is needed.

Mr. Springsteen suffers from a common malady among the rich and famous. Call it "Rich Guilt".

For the past three decades he has lived a pampered life of mansions, servants and travel that have moved him light years from his Jersey boardwalk roots. His personal wealth far exceeds that of just a handful of Americans. To compensate, and to massage his guilt, he takes a decidedly socialist view of our country.

Last week, in the New York Times he posed this question: Why is it that the wealthiest nation finds it hard to keep its promise and faith with its weakest citizens? To which even a third grader could reply: what passes for poor folks in our country are far better off than in any other country in this world. He then asks why we see things in the veil of race.

Well, because knuckleheads like the NAACP's Julian Bond and Kweisi Mfume use race to bait our President, and they insist on calling him racist and seem intent on turning back the clock on race relations.

Mr. Springsteen later moaned about the deficit, calling it a record, which it is not. He said the most important issues facing our country are economic justice, race relations and the environment.

Presumably, terrorism ranks about 35th with the Boss. Mr. Springsteen believes he can parlay his musical popularity into creating new socialists. Count him among the "hate Bush" crowd.

Like many liberals, he resides in a cocoon that gets its news from the NY Times and network news and talks only to other fellow travelers.

I am sure he'll convert a few, but mostly he'll preach to the choir. And then there will be half of us who conclude that he isn't smart enough to change our minds. We'll then place him, along with his music, in the dreaded "Peter, Paul and Mary" file, where reside forgotten and ignored musicians whose politics strayed outside of the mainstream and offended their base.

Go ahead, Bruuce. You got all the money you'll ever need. You don't need us anyhow.

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