Legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen has gone full Michael Moore in his predictions about the 2020 election. In an interview with The Sunday Times published this week, the iconic performer said he doesn’t see “anyone out there at the moment” — man or woman — who’s got a shot to take down President Trump.
“Donald Trump’s most dangerous opponent may not be a politician, but a blue-collar rocker called Bruce Springsteen who shares millions of the same supporters as the Republican president, and also understands what makes grassroots America tick,” the Sunday Times reports. “So Trump should be pleasantly surprised to learn that Springsteen, a long-standing Democrat who campaigned for Barack Obama, believes the Donald is heading for a second term in the White House. The president has a flair for winning over working-class voters that the Democrats can’t rival, the singer admits. In short, Trump was born to run, and may be unstoppable.”
“I don’t see anyone out there at the moment … the man who can beat Trump, or the woman who can beat Trump,” Springsteen told the magazine.
Thus far, the 69-year-old singer said, the Democratic Party simply has no “obvious effective presidential candidate” who will be able to take on the president because they do not “speak the same language” he does. That language, he suggested, is the language of middle America, and ultimately the reason Trump was able to win over many of the Boss’s blue-collar fans.
Trump spoke directly to these Americans’ concerns about employment and economic issues, particularly in the Rust Belt, that resonated with many traditionally Democrat voters. The unorthodox candidate addressed issues that have been neglected by both Democrats and Republicans over the last few decades, including the shutting down of steel mills, which Springsteen described as a “severe blow to working people” in the ’70s and ’80s.
The massive changes occurring at an “incredibly rapid pace,” particularly as a result of technological developments, have many Americans seeing their means of income and ways of life in upheaval, he contended.
As other critics from the Left have charged, Springsteen said that Trump also played on “racial anxieties” to build his coalition of blue collar voters. “Add to that, someone comes in and plays on your racial anxieties, and blames an enormous amount of this on the ‘other’ from the southern side of the border, and you’re going to have an audience for those views,” said the singer-songwriter.
Springsteen gave the interview in part as a promotion for his upcoming Netflix special, “Springsteen On Broadway,” which presents his critically acclaimed show that opened in 2017.
Springsteen’s analysis echoes that of many politic analysts, who have noted that Trump tackled economic and cultural issues more directly than other politicians and gave voters the sense that they were not be “dismissed,” as Springsteen put it. Trump’s focus on the concerns of the blue collar voters contrasted starkly with Clinton’s infamous neglect of the Rust Belt. A few days after Trump’s stunning upset victory over Clinton, The Atlantic published an analysis by Ronald Brownstein that reached similar conclusions as other analysts about how Trump was able to sweep the Rust Belt:
The trigger was a genuine social upheaval: a mass uprising by the GOP’s “coalition of restoration.” Those are the older and blue-collar whites, evangelical Christians, and non-urban voters who in polls have consistently expressed both the most economic pessimism and cultural unease about a changing America. Though other data sources may eventually differ, Tuesday’s exit polls did not find that these voters stormed the ballot box in unusually large numbers; in fact, the exits showed the white share of the total vote continuing its decades-long decline as America diversifies.
Instead, those who did vote stampeded to Trump in insurmountable numbers. In particular, Trump beat Clinton among white voters without a college education by an astonishing 39 percentage points—a margin larger than Ronald Reagan’s against Walter Mondale in his 1984 landslide. Trump not only beat her by nearly 50 points among blue-collar white men, but by almost 30 points among non-college-educated white women. (Trump is president largely because white working-class women gave him double-digit margins in key states—a development that may occupy gender studies scholars for years.) Similarly, Trump captured more than three-fifths of rural voters nationwide; in the decisive Rustbelt states—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and possibly Michigan—Clinton suffered death by a thousand cuts, as Trump improved over Mitt Romney’s 2012 performance almost everywhere outside the biggest cities.
H/T Daily Mail