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‘Rich Enough To Forget My Name’: Springsteen, Trump and the Democratic Party


‘Rich Enough To Forget My Name’: Springsteen, Trump and the Democratic Party

John Russo, Sherry Linkon

In 1996, Bruce Springsteen’s Ghost of Tom Joad tour stopped in Youngstown. In the intimate setting of Stambaugh Auditorium, he dedicated his song about this struggling steel town to the community and a displaced steelworker family.


Concurrent with his 1996 tour Springsteen was (and continues to) do benefit concerts for Democratic Party POTUS candidates and incumbents who concurrently undermine the middle class. If he was serious about helping the middle class Springsteen should have been doing benefit concerts for the real champions of the middle class...Ralph Nader, or even Ross Perot, although Perot had all the money he needed to campaign and didn't need benefit concerts.


Obviously Springsteen doesn't listen to his own music.
And neither should we.
We shouldn't give him another dollar of our hard earned money so that he can maintain his plutocratic lifestyle and rub elbows with corrupt politicians.


No, everyone's all for the working class. It's those who get pushed out of the job market that we despise, target, and have stripped of fundamental human rights.

Interesting thing about Tom Joad. To conform to today's liberal discussion, he has been turned into a model of middle class America. For those who haven't read Grapes of Wrath: Tom Joad was homeless, impoverished, having lost everything the family had. Just like so many Americans today. He did not March in Solidarity with the middle class. Tom Joad's most memorable words:

"I'll be aroun' in the dark. I'll be everywhere-wherever you look. Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there is a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there...I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready. An' when our folk eat the stuff they raise an' live in the houses they build—why, I'll be there. "
~ From The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck


DH, I am not claiming you don't, but some of us mean a lot more by this "being for the working class" than do these politicians. To whit:

  • We should own modest homes on one income
  • We should retire decently
  • We should be able educate ourselves
  • We should be able to educate our children
  • We should receive care when we are
    ----- hurt
    ----- sick
    ----- nuts
    ----- disabled
    ----- old
    ----- out of work
    ----- in need of dental care

Politicians and a lot of other people like to equate "working class" with "middle class," and a lot of working class people would like to think that they are middle class, but that's not what the term meant, and it's misleading now--as I believe your description of Tom Joad points up.

Part of knowing that means knowing and admitting that we are still working class when we are bust-out poor. We are workers when the part-time job does not pay the rent just as much as when we work two. We are workers when we stick our hand out, too. We are still working class when we are called white "trash" or any of the other racial or ethnic or gender or age slurs that I cannot so easily mention here. Not even Sanders got that right, though he was closer than anyone else with enough votes for a shot.

Some of us also mean that the workers should own the means of production.

It has always been the problem of the working class that the rulers do not like us when we are not working. When the checks' roll in, everybody is buddy-buddy; when it is time to cull the herd, one day you cannot find anybody's eyes.

When you pass the hat, you cannot find anybody's eyes.

We are still workers when we are poor and broke and living as an imposition on kind people and as an eyesore to people who still want to pretend that they are middle class, when the sun and wind toasts and scabs our cheeks from weeks and months outside.

Forgetting that has split American workers day for day and week for week and over the years.

We are still workers when the work is done and the proceeds to be split. That's why you can't have someone else own the means by which to proceed.

These politicians who are all for workers while we are working and while they are owning and benefiting are all for the workers like the Colonel was all for chicken.


He'd be doing concerts for Stein ...


Stein would be a much better fit for these folks than Trump or Clinton - she gets it, but what she won't do is scapegoat minorities ....


Except a few politicians and activists - Stein being one of them ...


Don't equate "working class" with "middle class" - the working class encompasses folks from all but the rich ... those poor you are concerned about are "working class" ...


Yes, they have forgotten us. Hubris rules the Clinton machine and they have always thought themselves so clever for embracing big money and carrying on with the charade of "for the people".
Not so clever though, the neolibera/con ideology is killing them and us. This year is the year to vote Green party. We deserve better.