Neil Young: A Republican?!
Greendale Film still
An interesting discussion on whether Neil Young is a Republican over on Pearl Jam Message Pit. The question was posed regarding some of Neil's previous statements and the song "Let's Roll" from Are you Passionate?. Poster RUST1978 responds:
"That song ["Let's Roll"] was recorded days after 9/11, and it was his gut reaction (much like his gut reaction to the Kent State Killings, 'Ohio'). If you remember, almost everyone was "united" in the war on terror before the Iraq mess. Even Springsteen has said he supported the war in Afghanistan before the Iraq war. Neil Young has always reacted to the moment, and that is why he is so prolific a songwriter and has stayed so relevant. He has always reacted to what he perceives as injustice. Whether that injustice was the National Guard firing on students, the many crimes during the Nixon Administration, the 9/11 attacks, or the state of the nation and the war on terror during this administration ("Greendale").
What Neil Young wrote for the Greendale album should not "disappoint" you because of how it differs from his initial reaction to the 9/11, for many around the world felt the same way, but that solidarity faded as the current administration changed its ambitions. Neil Young came to the same conclusion of many, that the Bush administration had misused the war on terror and the broad support for it to enact unfavorable domestic and foreign policy (i.e. The Patriot Act, and the Iraq War). He has simply returned to the subject to lend a critical eye, something many were afraid to do."
Other posts zero in on "Let's Roll" lyrics "going after Satan on the wings of a dove" arguing that they should not be taken as a pro-war song, but a tribute to a specific act of bravery.
This argument is challenged with the lyrics as demonstrating that Neil is pro-war:
So I dove into the darkness,
And I let my missles fly.
And they might be the ones,
That kept you free.
More on Neil Young's politics and today's and political music.