A Cautious Man
September 23, 2004
 
Rolling Stone Preacher
Do you see these Vote for Change concerts reaching undecided voters, or are they more to rally the energy of people who have made up their minds?

I always felt that the musician's job, as I experienced it growing up, was to provide an alternative source of information, a spiritual and social rallying place, somewhere you went to have a communal experience.

I don't know if someone is going to run to the front of the stage and shout, "I'm saved" or "I'm switching," but I'm going to try. I will be calling anyone in a bow tie to come to the front of the stage, and I'll see what I can do.

Mr. Springsteen has an interview in the latest edition of Rolling Stone, about his current outlook on politics and the Vote for Change tour coming up. Another, more serious thought from that article:
This has obviously been on your mind for a while. How did you come to this decision?

I knew after we invaded Iraq that I was going to be involved in the election. It made me angry. We started to talk about it onstage. I take my three minutes a night for what I call my public-service announcement. We talked about it almost every night on our summer tour.

I felt we had been misled. I felt they had been fundamentally dishonest and had frightened and manipulated the American people into war. And as the saying goes, "The first casualty of war is truth." I felt that the Bush doctrine of pre-emption was dangerous foreign policy. I don't think it has made America safer.

Look at what is going on now: We are quickly closing in on what looks an awful lot like the Vietnamization of the Iraq war. John McCain is saying we could be there for ten or twenty years, and John Kerry says four years. How many of our best young people are going to die between now and that time, and what exactly for? Initially I thought I was going to take my acoustic guitar and play in some theaters, find some organizations to work for and do what I could. I was going to lend my voice for a change in the administration and a change in the direction of the country.

Sitting on the sidelines would be a betrayal of the ideas I'd written about for a long time. Not getting involved, just sort of maintaining my silence or being coy about it in some way, just wasn't going to work this time out. I felt that it was a very clear historical moment.
A lot of people are feeling the frustration, of wanting to somehow make a difference this time. A lot of others seem to think that it doesn't matter. It's great to see that people who can do something in a big way, are out there saying, "This time it's really important."

I'll be at the Philadelphia show with the whole Cautious Family, including our first-time voter, the Cautious Son.

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