Neil Young became an American citizen late last month, and he’s already exercising his First Amendment rights with a scathing open letter to President Trump that begins with the phrase: “You are a disgrace to my country.”
He posted the lengthy note on his Neil Young Archives Times-Contrarian website Tuesday with a featured cover image of an angry young boy riding a bike with the American flag waving behind. “Your mindless destruction of our shared natural resources, our environment and our relationships with friends around the world is unforgiveable. Your policies, decisions and short term thinking continue to exacerbate the Climate Crisis…. The United States of America, my country, is not a green on one of your branded gold courses that you can ride around on and damage so that other players cannot shoot straight,” Young wrote.
Young expressed his disdain for Trump’s usage of Young’s Grammy-winning classic rock anthem “Rockin’ in the Free World” after kicking off his 2016 Republican presidential candidate announcement with the track, which peaked at No. 2 on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs chart back in 1989. He wrote the song as a critique of former President George H. W. Bush’s administration and his lack of care toward the poor in America.
“‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’ is not a song you can trot out at one of your rallies. Perhaps you could have been a bass player and played in a rock and roll band. That way you could be on stage at a rally every night in front of your fans, if you were any good, and you might be…,” the former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young member wrote. “Every time ‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’ or one of my songs is played at your rallies, I hope you hear my voice. Remember it is the voice of a tax-paying US citizen who does not support you. Me.”
Young ended the letter by voicing his support of Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom he has favored as a Democratic presidential candidate since the congressman’s initial run in 2016 despite his inability to vote during that election. Back in 2015, when Young disapproved of Trump using his 1989 hit to announce his presidential run, a spokesperson from the rocker’s Lookout Management said in a statement obtained by Billboard, “Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.”
But as an American citizen whose first opportunity to vote is coming up in the 2020 election, Young has made his decision clear. “One of your opponents has the answers I like. He is aiming at preserving our children’s future directly. He is not popular with the democratic establishment because unlike all the other candidates, he is not pandering to the industries accelerating Earth’s Climate Disaster, the end of the world as we know it,” he concluded. “He is truly fighting for the USA. His initials are BS. Not his policies. We are going to vote you out and Make America Great Again.”
Trump won’t be pleased to hear one of his favorite musicians has it out for him, as he’s attended multiple Young concerts over the years and even sat next to Patti Smith in the first couple of rows at a 2006 CSNY reunion show at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City, according to Rolling Stone.
“He’s got something very special,” Trump said in the interview at the time of the concert. “I’ve listened to his music for years.”