08/06/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT
Bruce Springsteen is no longer shy about how he intends to vote in the November presidential election – and now, he's announcing it in The New York Times.
In a lengthy op-ed piece, the rocker, 54, argues his case for voting President Bush out of office.
Springsteen admits that for 25 years, "I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics," said he could no longer remain mum, because, this year, "for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out."
He paints himself as a proud American who felt the tragedy of 9/11 and the immense sense of unity in its aftermath. "I don't remember anything quite like it," he says. "I supported the decision to enter Afghanistan and I hoped that the seriousness of the times would bring forth strength, humility and wisdom in our leaders."
That was not to be, in his estimation. "Instead, we dived headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq, offering up the lives of our young men and women under circumstances that are now discredited."
Springsteen – who will join Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam and R.E.M. on the Vote for Change tour in October to encourage fans to vote against Bush – admits that Republican tax cuts have benefited "well-to-do guitar players" such as himself, but says poorer Americans are facing cutbacks in other areas.
"I don't think John Kerry and John Edwards have all the answers. I do believe they are sincerely interested in asking the right questions and working their way toward honest solutions," said Springsteen.
"They understand that we need an administration that places a priority on fairness, curiosity, openness, humility, concern for all America's citizens, courage and faith."