Critics slammed iconic singer Bruce Springsteen and the Jeep vehicle brand after the two collaborated on an ad calling for a return to “the middle.”
Springsteen has a history of making outlandish, politically-driven claims and comments attacking Republicans, most notably former President Donald Trump. Springsteen was one of a host of celebrities to make a public pledge to leave the United States if Trump was reelected in 2020.
In the ad, Springsteen calls on Americans to work toward “the middle” and overcome division in politics and elsewhere to get to “what connects us.” His speech plays over clips of the open road, at times featuring the singer and a Jeep vehicle. As the ad closes, an image of the outline of the United States appears overlaid with the words “To the ReUnited States of America.”
“There’s a chapel in Kansas standing on the exact center of the lower 48. It never closes. All are more than welcome to come meet here in the middle,” Springsteen says. “It’s no secret, the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue, between servant and citizen, between our freedom and our fear.”
“Now fear has never been the best of who we are. And as for freedom, it’s not the property of just the fortunate few. It belongs to us all, whoever you are, wherever you’re from. It’s what connects us, and we need that connection,” he continues. “We need the middle. We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground. So we can get there. We can make it to the mountain top, through the desert, and we will cross this divide. Our light has always found its way through the darkness. And there’s hope on the rode up ahead.”
The Middle. pic.twitter.com/dbsgWV35i0
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) February 8, 2021
Springsteen’s recent call for moderation and agreement comes after he spoke out vehemently against Trump’s reelection, calling the former president a “threat to our democracy.”
“I believe that our current president is a threat to our democracy,” the singer said in a June interview with The Atlantic. “He simply makes any kind of reform that much harder. I don’t know if our democracy could stand another four years of his custodianship. These are all existential threats to our democracy and our American way of life.”
In late October, he compared Trump to a demon on his SeriousXM show comparing the then-upcoming election to an “exorcism.”
“Welcome ghouls and fools, witches, vampires, bloodsucking politicians, zombie denizens of Washington, DC, it is time for an exorcism in our nation’s capital,” Springsteen said. “In just a few days we’ll be throwing the bums out. I thought it was a … nightmare but it was so true.”
Critics on Twitter slammed the Jeep ad for featuring Springsteen, some pointing out Springsteen’s past rhetoric surrounding politics and his insults directed at Trump.
Just three months ago Bruce Springsteen was calling for an "exorcism in our nation’s capital" because there was a Republican president. pic.twitter.com/SkiFhRdNxq
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) February 8, 2021
“The thing about that Jeep ad was how I really respected how they used Bruce Springsteen, long noted for his moderate and centrist political views, to deliver the message,” RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway said.
The thing about that Jeep ad was how I really respected how they used Bruce Springsteen, long noted for his moderate and centrist political views, to deliver the message.
— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) February 8, 2021
“Ok maybe my husband is right and Bruce Springsteen is actually the worst,” Karol Markowicz, a columnist for the New York Post, tweeted.
Ok maybe my husband is right and Bruce Springsteen is actually the worst.
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) February 8, 2021