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Bruce Springsteen Thinks Trump Has Let a Racist 'Genie Out of the Bottle'

The 67-year-old musician told Marc Maron that he thinks Trump's election has ignited a storm of intolerance in America and that he doubts the president-elect's competency.

by VICE Staff
Jan 3 2017, 5:38pm

President Obama may have had to squeeze into Marc Maron's Los Angeles garage when he was on WTF, but the podcast host agreed to travel all the way to New Jersey for a chance to talk with Bruce Springsteen.

In their hour-long chat, which dropped Sunday, the Maron and the Boss touched on a range of topics, from the musician's new memoir to his recent struggles with depression, but the 67-year-old American treasure also had a lot to say about the new president-elect.

"I've felt disgust before, but never the kind of fear that you feel now," Springsteen said of Trump's election. "It's as simple as the fear of: Is someone simply competent enough to do this particular job? Do they simply have the pure competence to be put in the position of such responsibility?"

His stance isn't particularly surprising to anybody who has bothered to listen to the lyrics of "Born in the USA" or whatever—Springsteen's vocally supported the Democratic Party for decades and campaigned for Hillary Clinton in the most recent election. But he explained to Maron that his fear about Trump is less about party lines and more about the storm of intolerance that has spread around the country in the wake of Trump's win.

"When you let that genie out of the bottle—bigotry, racism, intolerance—they don't go back in the bottle that easily, if they go back in at all," Springsteen said.

"Whether it's a rise in hate crimes, people feeling they have license to speak and behave in ways that previously were considered un-American and are un-American. That's what [Trump's] appealing to. My fears are that those things find a place in ordinary civil society."

You can listen to the full episode over at the WTF website.

Photo of Springsteen receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom via WikiCommons