Glenn Beck vs. Bruce Springsteen

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Did you know that Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen's hit 1984 song about a Vietnam veteran's difficult return home, is also "anti-American"? You would if you listened to Glenn Beck's radio show. Beck gives the lyrics a dark, sardonic reading, concluding, "That's what America's about, according to Bruce Springsteen. See, here is the thing that I don't think people understand yet, that I think you do. This it is time for us to wake up out of our dream state. Wake up out of the propaganda. This is the thing that people who come from the Soviet bloc or Cuba, they're all saying, 'How do you guys not hear this? How are you not seeing this?' Well, because we don't ever expect it."

As Lindsay Beyerstein points out, President Ronald Reagan ran into ideological issues with Springsteen back in 1984 over the song. Reagan praised the song while campaigning for reelection in New Jersey and even used it briefly as his campaign song, until Springsteen asked him to stop. The Boss is not afraid of politics. Last year, Springsteen even got involved the New Jersey's governor's race.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.