George Graham

The Springsteen Paradox

US-VETERANS DAY-CONCERT

 

In any society where personal freedom is prized, you are bound to find ironic contradictions. Like the freedom to try and curtail the personal freedom of others.

And you will find that contradiction today in America as a large and growing movement seeks to impose the will of its members on the rest of us.

Some members of the movement call themselves Christians. Others call themselves patriots. Some profess to be both.

I am convinced they are neither Christians nor patriots. In their hearts, they are tyrants.

The folks attacking Bruce Springsteen, for example. They obviously think they are being patriotic. I think they are un-American.

To me dissent is one of the most important freedoms in this amazing country. The freedom to disagree with your government’s policies is as American as apple pie.

And so is Bruce Springsteen (photo above).

“The Boss” was among a bevy of stars who headlined a nationally televised Veterans Day concert, and he chose as one of his numbers Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son.”

If you’re old enough to remember the Vietnam War, you will probably remember Creedence Clearwater Revival and you might also remember these lyrics from “Fortunate Son”:

Yeah, some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Oh, they only answer, more, more, more, oh

It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no military son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one

It’s one of those protest songs bred by a shameful period in America’s history.  It’s an example of the kind of dissent Americans are able to express without fear. And this freedom is rare in our tyrannical world.

Springsteen’s selection has sparked outrage from some “conservatives,” who don’t get America.

Ironically, while all this was going on, Springsteen was being honored for his outstanding contributions to America’s veterans. Yes, irony is alive and well in the USA.

But, thankfully, so is freedom – including the freedom to dissent.

Click for more on the concert.

Click for more on the Springsteen award.

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com