Neil Young blasted Donald Trump for not only his recent use of a federal police force on American citizens, but also for the use of the musician’s songs at recent rallies, Rolling Stone reported. The new criticism comes just a few weeks after the Canadian singer called Trump out for using “Like a Hurricane,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” and “Rockin’ in the Free World” at his Mount Rushmore rally on July 3.
Young took to his website to pen his thoughts, which were inspired at least in part by the story of Christopher David, the Navy veteran who made headlines last week following a physical altercation with federal officers outside a U.S. courthouse in Portland. He argued that not only what the military is doing was not their “sacred mission,” but that even the members themselves are against it.
“Trump has no respect for our military. They are not to be used on the streets of America against law abiding citizens for a Political charade orchestrated by a challenged President. It’s a complete disgrace, the way he plays citizens against one another for his own political gain, saying that only cities run by democrats are in trouble and need help. Those elected leaders asked him not to intervene. The elected representatives in all these cities and states are against Trump’s military thugs shooting people on the streets.”
The founding member of Buffalo Springfield went on to vilify the agents by saying that they are not our police and that they lack de-escalation training, which he believes to be a must for their position. Young also said the agents were just doing bidding for Trump’s own personal gain, while calling on the local police departments to arrest these officers for breaking laws in their jurisdictions.
Yet, it was not exclusively Trump’s heavy-handed approach to protesters or his use of copyrighted music which drew the ire of Young, it was also his handling of the coronavirus pandemic as well.
“When the states asked for help with Covid 19, the president did not give it. He said he’s not responsible.”
The commander in chief is a longtime fan of Young’s music, which includes solo work as well as time with the aforementioned Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Neil Young & Crazy Horse; and more.
“Despite Neil’s differing political views, Mr. Trump likes Neil very much,” a Trump spokesperson told The New York Post (via Neil Young Archives) after his unendorsed use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” at a rally to announce his presidential campaign in 2015. The musician does not share that same affection, even calling Trump a “disgrace to my country” in open letter he wrote in January of this year.
Now it appears Young has finally had enough and is reconsidering suing, as he explained on his website. He acknowledged there is a long history between them and that he initially decided not to take any action but has since changed his mind on the matter.
“I am changing my mind about suing President Trump. Reconsidering. I’m looking at it again.”
The road to litigation may prove a difficult one as the musician has himself lamented in the past that as long as Trump’s staff continues to pay the proper licensing fees, he likely has no legal basis to stop him.
While Neil Young was born in Canada, he was officially granted dual citizenship earlier this year after living in the U.S. for over 50 years. He has previously expressed support for Sen. Bernie Sanders but has since gotten behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in recent months.