In a new interview with The Atlantic magazine, Bruce Springsteen reflects on the current political and racial upheaval in the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and discusses the thematic focus of his songs.

Springsteen says he feels there’s both positive and negative aspects of the current turmoil, but he pulls no punches when sharing his opinion of President Donald Trump.

“I believe that our current president is a threat to our democracy,” The Boss declares. “He simply makes any kind of reform that much harder. I don’t know if our democracy could stand another four years of his custodianship.”

Having said that, Springsteen lists multiple reasons why he’s optimistic about the future, which include the protests that have followed the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.

“I think we’ve got hope for a vaccine,” he says. “I think any time there is a 50-foot Black Lives Matter sign leading to the White House, that’s a good sign. And the demonstrations have been white people and black people and brown people gathering together in the enraged name of love.”

Bruce also says he’d glad that the President’s approval rating has been declining, adding, “I have the feeling of optimism about the next election. I think it’s all these kids in the street that are inspiring the most hope in me.”

In addition, Springsteen reflects on his songwriting, noting that he considers himself a spiritual songwriter rather than a political one.

“I always say my verses are the blues and my choruses are the gospel,” he explains. “And I lean a little heavier on the gospel than the blues.”

In conjunction with the interview, Springsteen created a five-song “Playlist for the Trump Era” that’s available now on Spotify. Here’s the list:

“Strange Fruit” — Billie Holiday
“The House I Live In” — Paul Robeson
“Made in America” — Jay Z, Kanye West and Frank Ocean
“That’s What Makes Us Great” — Joe Grushecky and the Houerockers with Bruce Springsteen
“People Have the Power” — Patti Smith

By Matt Friedlander
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