Springsteen is also the driving force between the Vote for Change Tour, which brought artists such as R.E.M., Pearl Jam, the Dave Matthews Band and the Dixie Chicks on board for a series of thirty-three swing-state shows. The concerts registered voters and raised a total of $15 million for the Democratic advocacy group America Coming Together.
In speaking to Rolling Stone about the motivation behind Vote for Change, Springsteen explained, "I felt we had been misled. I felt [this administration] had been fundamentally dishonest and had frightened and manipulated the American people into war . . . I don't think it has made America safer . . . How many of our best young people are going to die? Sitting on the sidelines would be a betrayal of the ideas I'd written about for a long time."
John Kerry, who has used the Springsteen song "No Surrender" as the theme to his campaign, told Rolling Stone that having Springsteen as an advocate is "both a privilege and exciting. I hope it has an impact on the outcome."
Speaking of his political involvement as a musician, Springsteen commented, "There is a long tradition of the artist being involved in the life of the nation. For me, it goes back to Woody Guthrie, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Bob Dylan . . . The artist is there to open up discourse, to get people thinking about American identity: Who are we? What do we fight for? What do we stand for? I view these things as a fundamental part of my job."
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