Steven Van Zandt, the guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, recently caused a stir when he called for the “extermination” of Republican “cockroaches” in a tweet that has since been deleted. The tweet was met with immediate backlash from conservatives and sparked a debate about the role of politics in music.
Van Zandt is known for his activism and political views, and he has long been an outspoken critic of President Trump. In the now-deleted tweet, Van Zandt wrote:
Stevie Van Zandt says that Gen Z, Gen Y and Gen X "will unite and exterminate (white Republicans) these cockroaches once and for all"
— Winston (@19Goldstein84) April 11, 2023
The tweet quickly drew criticism from conservatives who accused Van Zandt of inciting violence against Republicans. Many argued that it was inappropriate for a musician to be so openly political and to call for violence against those with whom he disagrees politically.
Van Zandt later apologized for the tweet, saying that it was not meant to be taken literally and that he did not intend to incite violence or hatred. He also said that he regretted using such inflammatory language and that he should have chosen his words more carefully.
Well, if that’s true, then what was his intent? What did he mean by it?
Despite Van Zandt’s apology, many remain unconvinced. They argue that musicians should focus on making music rather than engaging in partisan debates on social media platforms like Twitter. That’s what I think, too. Not just for musicians, but for most celebrities or people with a huge platform. We want to be entertained, not proselytized.
At the same time, there are those who believe that musicians have every right to express their political views as long as they do so responsibly and without inciting violence or hatred towards others. They argue that musicians can use their platform to raise awareness about important issues and spark meaningful conversations about politics without resorting to inflammatory rhetoric or hate speech.
Ultimately, this incident highlights how divided our society is politically and how difficult it can be to engage in civil discourse on sensitive topics like politics, especially for liberals since they have no filter whatsoever. They think that they can do or say whatever they want and get away with it and sadly, because our government is largely liberal, they do.