Musician James Taylor: 'I Really Suffered' Under 8 Years of 'Cheney/Bush'

December 10th, 2012 12:29 PM

Musician James Taylor may not be at the peak of his career anymore, but he's still doing quite well for himself. Taylor's estimated net worth is around $60 million. Nevertheless, as a featured speaker at a National Press Club luncheon on Friday, the liberal musician used the platform to bash George W. Bush, who's been out of office for nearly four years now.

While the subject was supposed to be on election reform, the veteran singer-songwriter held forth on how he amped up his political activism because he was "really suffering" during the "Cheney/Bush" years, Liz Harrington of our sister site reported on Friday.

The self-described "unapologetic liberal" and "yellow dog Democrat" was "deeply motivated" to get involved with Barack Obama's first campaign. Now four years later, after actively campaigning and raising millions of dollars for the president again this year, the five-time Grammy Award winner can still honestly say his faith in the country has been "restored." Going so far as to refer to Obama as a "wonderful, sort of surprise" who we're lucky to have in the White House.

I was hugely motivated also by eight years of Cheney/Bush, and I say it in that order on purpose. Those were -- it was a tough time for me. I really suffered. It made me deeply ambivalent about my country that we would choose that, even if we may not have chosen it. But that, that was our, that’s what represented us in the world.  I felt as though after September 11, the diversion, the distraction of the nation’s concern and energy into Iraq was unpardonable. I felt that it was inept, corrupt and opaque. Those were tough years for me. And I was very deeply motivated in 2008 to see Barack Obama -- this wonderful, sort of a surprise, really, I couldn’t believe our luck that we had gotten such a real person -- as to make it through the filter system of our politics.

To his credit, Taylor recognized the beneficial aspects of a "reasonable dialogue" with conservatives later on his talk. Left to their own devices without push-back from conservatives, "liberals would probably steer us toward a sort of paralyzed nanny state in the European style," Taylor admitted. Perhaps trying to backpedal a bit from his left-wing talking points, Taylor probably has a fair number of conservatives in his fan base after all, so he must have been trying to soften his partisan blows a little bit with the bottom line in view.

In an interview with C-SPAN Radio later that day, Taylor touted how 'brave' Bruce Springsteen has been throughout his own career for being politically active -- implying that he has risked losing fans who identify themselves as Republicans. Following Springsteen's lead, Taylor now believes it is acceptable and almost essential for celebrities to involve themselves in the political process if they care about it enough. Although, he has no plan of running for office himself. (H/T National Press Club)