Neil Young Calls Trump ‘a Disgrace,’ Says Sanders Will ‘Make America Great Again’

Chris Willman

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Neil Young plans to keep on resistin’ in the free world. Just weeks after the Canadian rocker officially became a dual citizen of th eUnited States as well, he’s penned an excoriating letter to Donald Trump, calling him “a disgrace to my country” and endorsing Bernie Sanders for president.

The sentiments themselves are not a surprise. Young has laid into the president before, notably for his unauthorized use of Young’s song “Rockin’ in the Free World,” a subject the musician takes up again in the open letter. But the length and heat of Young’s missive suggests citizenship has only emboldened him in his ire for the man who now counts as his elected leader.

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The letter was posted on the front page of his Neil Young Archives site — on a newspaper-like section he calls “the NYA Times-Contrarian” — beneath a photo of a boy on a bicycle with an American flag. “You are a disgrace to my country,” he begins. The climate crisis seems to be the noted environmentalist’s chief concern: “Your mindless destruction of our shared natural resources, our environment and our relationships with friends around the world is unforgivable.”

Young compares Trump to Barack Obama (“Our first black president was a better man than you are”) and says the former president deserves the credit for the state of the American economy.

He needles the president as a frustrated rock star. Elongating the title of one of his signature songs, Young writes, “‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’ is not a song you can trot out at one of your rallies. Perhaps you could have been a bass player and played in a rock and roll band. That way you could be on stage at a rally every night in front of your fans, if you were any good, and you might be…” He trails off with that thought, but adds, “Every time ‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’ or one of my songs is played at your rallies, I hope you hear my voice. Remember it is the voice of a tax-paying U.S. citizen who does not support you. Me.”

Young says his beef is not with Trump voters, saying that “although they have been lied to, and in many cases believed the lies, they are true Americans. I have their back.”

He identifies his candidate of choice only via initials. “One of your opponents has answers I like. He is aiming at preserving our children’s future directly. He is not popular with the Democratic establishment because unlike all the other candidates, he is not pandering to the industries accelerating Earth’s Climate Disaster, the end of the world as we know it. His initials are BS. Not his policies. We are going to vote you out and Make America Great Again.”

Young was born in Toronto but has lived in the United States since the mid-’60s, shorty before he rose to fame as a member of Buffalo Springfield. He has resided at a Northern California ranchero decades.

Just don’t expect a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tour this year to stump for Sanders. This week on Twitter, David Crosby responded to a tweet saying the two of them should “should endorse Berie Sanders and reunite to play a rally after he’s the nominee,” saying, “Tell him… I’m ready.” But Crosby also said, “Have not spoken with Neil … pretty sure he doesn’t want to talk.”

 

Young’s letter to Trump in full:

You are a disgrace to my country. Bragging about the U.S. economy does not disguise the fact that the numbers today are what you inherited almost four years ago.

Your mindless destruction of our shared natural resources, our environment and our relationships with friends around the world is unforgivable.

Your policies, decisions and short-term thinking continue to exacerbate the Climate Crisis.

Our first black president was a better man than you are.

The United States of America, my country, is not a green on one of your branded golf courses that you can ride around on and damage so that other players cannot shoot straight.

“Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World” is not a song you can trot out at one of your rallies. Perhaps you could have been a bass player and played in a rock and roll band. That way you could be on stage at a rally every night in front of your fans, if you were any good, and you might be…

Every time “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World” or one of my songs is played at your rallies, I hope you hear my voice. Remember it is the voice of a tax-paying U.S. citizen who does not support you. Me.

I don’t blame the people who voted for you. I support their right to express themselves, although they have been lied to, and in many cases believed the lies, they are true Americans. I have their back.

U.S. justice is ours — not yours..

One of your opponents has answers I like. He is aiming at preserving our children’s future directly. He is not popular with the Democratic establishment because unlike all the other candidates, he is not pandering to the industries accelerating Earth’s Climate Disaster, the end of the world as we know it. He is truly fighting for the USA.

His initials are BS. Not his policies.

We are going to vote you out and Make America Great Again.

 

 

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