Esquire has published a new interview with Bruce Springsteen — written by Michael Hainey, and titled “Beneath the Surface of Bruce Springsteen” — that is worth reading in its entirety. But it may generate the most publicity for The Boss’ harsh words about President Trump, whom he “deeply damaged at his core.”
At one point in the interview, Hainey asks him what he would “request” from Americans, right now.
“I think that a lot of what’s going on has been a large group of people frightened by the changing face of the nation,” Springsteen says. “There seems to be an awful lot of fear. The founding fathers were pretty good at confronting their fears and the fears of the country. And it’s the old cliché where geniuses built the system so an idiot could run it. We are completely testing that theory at this very moment.
“I do believe we’ll survive Trump. But I don’t know if I see a unifying figure on the horizon. That worries me. Because the partisanship and the country being split down the middle is something that’s gravely dangerous. To go back to your question, what would my wish be? [Sighs] It’s corny stuff, but: Let people view themselves as Americans first, that the basic founding principles of the country could be adhered to, whether it’s equality or social justice. Let people give each other a chance.”
Later in the interview, they talk about the song “The Ties That Bind,” and what the title phrase of that song means.
“The bonds of your personal family,” Springsteen says, “but also the ties you can’t break among your community and your fellow citizens. You can’t forsake those things. It’ll rot your core at the end of the day. If you want to see someone who’s — look at Trump. He has forsaken a lot of these things, and it’s affected him. He’s deeply damaged at his core. … That’s why he’s dangerous. Anyone in that position who doesn’t deeply feel those ties that bind is a dangerous man, and it’s very pitiful.”