Twenty-six years after the release of Bruce Springsteen’s hit song, “Born in The USA,” conservative talk show host/performance artist Glenn Beck finally got around to listening to the lyrics.
Beck was shocked, shocked to discover that for all these years he’d been rocking out to a song about a bitter down-and-out Vietnam vet who has been kicked to the curb by the aforementioned USA.
Is Beck aware that conservative demigod Ronald Reagan used “Born in the USA” as a theme song for his reelection campaign? The cognitive dissonance is going to smart. Beck loves Reagan. “Because of Ronald Reagan, my grandfather, my father, I have hope for America,” Beck told an audience at the conservative CPAC conference earlier this year.
Yesiree, The Gipper loved The Boss. Reagan thought Springsteen was a shining example of hope. According to Roadside America:
On the afternoon on September 19, 1984, President Ronald Reagan spoke before an enthusiastic crowd in downtown Hammonton, New Jersey. The speech was mostly political boilerplate, but it did contain one memorable passage. “America’s future,” Reagan said, “rests in the message of hope in songs of a man so many young Americans admire, New Jersey’s Bruce Springsteen.”
People even vaguely familiar with the songs of Bruce Springsteen know that they rarely contain messages of hope for America’s future. But Reagan was oblivious.
Beck correctly senses that Springsteen didn’t reciprocate Reagan’s admiration. The campaign didn’t get Springsteen’s permission to use “Born in the USA” as a theme song. When the artist found out, he put a stop to it.
In the same video clip, Beck urges his viewers to wake up and realize that Woody Guthrie’s beloved anthem “This Land is Your Land” is unpatriotic, despite the fact that we all sang it at summer camp, and the lyrics make perfect sense (even to Beck). I am not making this up.