Do You Know What 'Born in the U.S.A.' Is Actually About?

A reader remarks on a video flagged by a previous reader showing old images of U.S. immigrants juxtaposed with David Bowie’s rendition of Paul Simon’s “America”:

The reader claims that the line “they’ve all come to look for America” reflects a “pro-immigrant, anti-nativist.” But the line didn’t refer to immigrants coming to America; it was about disillusionment. See this great response by Ross Barkan in The Observer.

Here’s Barkan:

The irony, though, is that “America” is probably not the song Mr. Sanders’ operatives think it is. Like Ronald Reagan, the Republican president who mistook Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A” for a cheerful patriotic anthem when it was really an indictment of the Vietnam War [illustrated by the haunting mashup seen above, juxtaposing Springsteen’s song with scenes from Full Metal Jacket], the ambience of this spot doesn’t match the meaning of the lyrics in full.