Bruce Springsteen is sort of the patron saint of blue collar, working-class Americans, so even though he’s so rich and famous these days that he shouldn’t feel obligated to give a damn about anybody, he just wouldn’t be The Boss if he didn’t look out for the little guys. This being 2016, that mostly means warning people about the dangers of listening to the siren song of Donald Trump, whose rise to prominence has been largely because of his efforts to convince people that all of their problems can be blamed on foreigners, Muslims, and women—really, anyone but wealthy, white businessmen. Late last month, Springsteen dismissed Trump as “a moron,” calling his campaign “a tragedy for our democracy.”
Now, Springsteen is knocking Trump again, this time expressing his concerns about the damage his campaign has already done. Speaking at the New Yorker Festival on Friday (via Vulture), Springsteen said that Trump “could be highly entertaining and funny” when he was “just a big sort of bloviating New York billionaire,” but “he’s not funny as a presidential candidate.” He suggests the real issue isn’t necessarily Trump, it’s the attitudes and ideas that he has whipped up in the last year or so:
He’s let loose forces from the alt-right movement, he’s brought it into the mainstream, that are not going to go away when he goes away. And I don’t believe he’s going to go away…he’s not going to go gently into the good night. The subversion of the idea of democratic elections is a very dangerous idea. When you start telling people that unless you win, the election will be illegitimate, and you have as many people listening to him as he does, it’s a very, very dangerous thing, a very dangerous genie to let out of the bottle. I’m a little afraid of his lasting effect on the country.
On the other hand, Springsteen does say he understands the appeal of a guy like Trump. He explains that “the last 40 years of de-industrialization and globalization hit a lot of people very, very, very hard,” and few politicians from either major party of ever really addressed their issues. So when someone comes along and promises to bring everyone’s job back and build a wall and—if you will—“make America great again,” it’s easy to see why people would go for it. However, Springsteen explains that Trump’s promises are “fallacious” and that his whole shtick is “a con job.”
Springsteen also brought up his continued appreciation for Barack Obama, and though he didn’t say anything about Hillary Clinton, he has previously stated that she’d be a “very, very good president.”