Rock legend Bruce Springsteen gave readers of yesterday's (05AUG04) NEW YORK TIMES newspaper a list of reasons to vote US President George W Bush out of the White House this November (04).

The BORN IN THE USA hitmaker shocked fans and the media by breaking his longterm refusal to comment on politics by writing an editorial in the Big Apple broadsheet publication.

Springsteen says, "Personally, for the last 25 years I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics. Instead, I have been partisan about a set of ideals: economic justice, civil rights, a humane foreign policy, freedom and a decent life for all of our citizens. This year, however, for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out.

"Like many others, in the aftermath of 9/11, I felt the country's unity. I don't remember anything quite like it.

"I supported the decision to enter Afghanistan and I hoped that the seriousness of the times would bring forth strength, humility and wisdom in our leaders. Instead, we dived headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq, offering up the lives of our young men and women under circumstances that are now discredited."

While the rocker admits Bush's tax cuts have benefited "well-to-do guitar players" like himself, he says poorer Americans are facing cut backs in other areas.

Springsteen continues, "Increasing the division of wealth that threatens to destroy our social contract with one another and render mute the promise of 'one nation indivisible'. Why is it that the wealthiest nation in the world finds it so hard to keep its promise and faith with its weakest citizens?

"I don't think John Kerry (Democrat Presidential candidate) and JOHN EDWARDS have all the answers. I do believe they are sincerely interested in asking the right questions and working their way toward honest solutions. They understand that we need an administration that places a priority on fairness, curiosity, openness, humility, concern for all America's citizens, courage and faith."

Springsteen will join THE Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Dave Matthews BAND, James Taylor and John Mellencamp at the VOTE FOR CHANGE concert in October (04) to encourage fans to vote against Bush.

06/08/2004 03:05