Singer-songwriter James Taylor compared Donald Trump to Mussolini in an essay for Rolling Stone this week, and said the “world-class narcissist’s” candidacy has left the world “appalled” and “absolutely aghast.”
“[It] has been a boon to the comedy shows — it’s been a great source of delight for people making fun of it. Funny is funny, but this is not funny,” Taylor said of the presidential election. “This is the American experiment. This is the light of the world, whether or not we like it. People around the world are watching this thing, and they are absolutely aghast. They’re appalled at what we’re toying with here.”
Taylor, a longtime Democrat, said the most exceptional thing about this year’s election is the “stark difference” between the two candidates.
“It’s such a clear choice between a qualified, serious, progressive public servant who wants to make the American dream accessible to as many people as possible,” the five-time-Grammy Award winner said of Hillary Clinton. “On one hand, you’ve got potentially the first woman president and it’s [past] time for that in the world. She is so clearly the competent and capable one here. I want to see a more inclusive representation in our government, and that means more women in government, too. It may be that government is one of those things that women just do better than men. It’s hard to say.”
“And on the other hand, you’ve got this world-class narcissist who is inept, corrupt, and opaque. We don’t know who the guy is,” Taylor said of Trump. “You don’t know if you can believe anything he ever says because he changes his mind so consistently. He’s more frequently dishonest than he is honest.”
The 68-year-old singer has spent the last few weeks campaigning for Clinton in his native North Carolina.
Taylor recalled seeing Trump at a recent event in south Florida and thought to himself, “this guy isn’t Hitler — this guy is Mussolini. This is a sort of a puffed-up, self-absorbed, all-hat-and-no-cattle cowboy. All style and no content.
“It almost feels like an act of ransom and wanton destruction to vote for him,” Taylor said of Trump.
“I worry that the government will become even more corrupt,” he continued. “That without any regulation or oversight in the government, the financial sector will cannibalize itself again and drive us into another ditch so that the economy goes south and the rest of the world economy with it.”
Taylor also ripped the Republican-led legislature in North Carolina for passing a law, House Bill 2, which mandates that people use public restrooms according to the sex stated on their birth certificates.
“This House Bill 2, which, clearly, is meant to discriminate against the gay and lesbian community, and the outright unconstitutional restrictions that have been placed on voter accessibility to the polls by minorities and by the poor. There’s a lot going on down here — and it is a key battleground state.”
Taylor also said he worries about the repeal of Obamacare and “the complete abandonment and reversal of any commitment to trying to deal with global warming.”
Read Taylor’s full essay for Rolling Stone here.