True Believers
New York magazine|March 15 - 28, 2021
Listening in as two icons talk about their problematic fave: America.
CRAIG JENKINS

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN bruce springsteen and Barack Obama may observe American disorder through different lenses, but they seem to have drawn some of the same conclusions; they’re both evangelists of the kind of modern liberalism best explained by the famous Dr. King quote about the arc of history bending toward justice. Now we can hear these two—who met and became friends during Obama’s 2008 campaign— explore this worldview in the new Spotify podcast Renegades: Born in the USA, a series of conversations between the rock star and the politician about the commonalities and differences in their backgrounds.

In its more profound moments, Renegades offers a patchwork history of the United States from the Cold War to the current culture war. However, it inherits its hosts’ blind spots along with their admirable convictions and intelligence. Their journeys have been unique, but they seem to converge in a shared ideological space— that of the unshakably upbeat Establishment Democrat who bolsters morale by pointing out how far we’ve come, no matter how disconcerting the past decade of social discord has been.

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