The Gipper Meets The Boss

Thirty-five years ago yesterday, “Born in the USA” was released.

And Kyle Smith makes the case that it did more than most things to ensure the *other* great event of that year, Ronald Reagan’s re-election.

Read the whole thing – but I’ll give you the conclusion:

“Morning in America,” the title of a corny TV commercial, was often described as Reagan’s all-but-official reelection theme. Really it was “Born in the U.S.A.” There is only one upbeat line in it, but it’s the last one Springsteen sang: “I’m a cool rockin’ daddy in the U.S.A.” Despite everything he’s endured, the narrator is still rockin’, still cool. Even those who paid close attention to the lyrics of the accidental anthem could take from it this: Dark as things got in a previous era, this is a new generation. The draft is no more. We have shaken off the pall of Vietnam. We are back. We are Americans, and it’s time to shout it out loud again. We were born in the U.S.A.”

Don’t be tired and bored with yourself. Just read it.

And as I noted a few years ago, completely without knowing it, Bruce is America’s best conservative songwriter – for reason that are purely conservative:

1 thought on “The Gipper Meets The Boss

  1. Itellya…. I’m 50 and my father was in Vietnam, and Vietnam was directly responsible for the timing of my parents meeting when he got home. And then there’s my 4 uncles who were in Vietnam.

    Beyond the fact that Born in the USA has the wrong tempo, I feel, having observed my direct elders, that the song doesn’t say anything about the veteran experience as a matter of cosmic ontological truth. It’s wrong. Wrong insight, wrong wisdom.

    As is The River and Glory Days wrong. In the River it wasn’t a tragedy those kids got knocked up and had a baby, and re Glory Days, there’s no one in the history of baseball who has called a fastball a speedball.

    Springsteen is a virtuoso musician though.

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