In spite of our historical cruelties, imperial tendencies, and wealth gap, I do believe that this is the greatest country in the history of the world. It's not because of any sort of manifest destiny, Providence, or exceptionalism. It's because natural resources and ocean borders gave us a unique history, because we are young and thus in a better position to learn from history's mistakes; and because oppressed people tend to do amazing things. It is those oppressed people we remember today, on the Fourth of July.
When King George went a bit too far, a group of impressive men rebelled with one of the greatest visions the world has ever known. "All men are created equal" may be a cliche today, but it was radical at the time. Yes, they were all men, but while the history of America may well be one of sexism and militance, it is also one of righting wrongs and of spreading freedom. We ended slavery before Britain ended its colonialism. We forgave our enemies after WWII and rebuilt Europe out of our own pockets. We elected a minority individual as President only forty years after Jim Crow, and at a time when most other places could certainly not do so. We've got a long, long way to go, but we've already come farther than any other country, and that gives me hope.
We can say anything we want in print and at public meetings, legally worship however we choose, and visit millions of acres of public land. We are the freest people on earth. Happy Fourth.
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 of 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.
Clearly, Bruce Springsteen hates America and doesn't understand politics.
Last night, I saw a terrific interview of Bruce Springsteen on 60 Minutes. Scott Pelley, who happens to be from my hometown of Lubbock, TX, asked Springsteen about his "anti-war" CD and about his musical evolution. His responses remind me of what I've been hearing from JRE for the last 2 years. The Showbiz blog from CBS aptly entitled the interview: Silence is Unpatriotic.
In an upcoming 60 Minutes Bruce Springsteen will advance a profound debate about the true nature of Americanism.
It is time for progressives to light up the sky with patriotism, to rewrite the rules of our current debates, to rekindle that timeless spirit that has made America America for more than two hundred years.
From the internet to the arts, from the houses of Congress to the houses of worship, from the movie theaters to the concert halls, from the community organizers to the corporate boardrooms, from the studios of progressive radio to the grassroots of the real America, we should seize the high ground of American patriotism, American values, American ideals, our American history, the American spirit and the American future.