On June 5, my partner and I were in Guilford, awaiting the arrival of President Trump’s motorcade. We found ourselves in the midst of a highly energized and boisterous crowd, who unlike us, were there to support him. The president was in town to praise the efforts of workers manufacturing the Puritan swabs needed for COVID testing.

Loudspeakers kept blasting out Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” while the crowd screamed the refrain with delirious enthusiasm. What could be more thematic than a “Make America Great” theme song?

But how many of you have listened to the lyrics? It’s a brutal, heart-wrenching story of a disenfranchised Vietnam vet, an indictment of America’s exploitation of its lower-working-class citizens. It is certainly not an anthem about success and great promise. Springsteen knew this, saw the disingenuousness of Trump co-opting it for his campaign and has called Trump a “deeply damaged” person who is “intentionally trying to disenfranchise a large portion of Americans.”

Then again, maybe it’s the perfect song for this moment, a call for our current leader to stop exploiting our most vulnerable.

Peter Wile

North Yarmouth

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