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Neil Young Is Now a U.S. Citizen, Which Means He Can Vote Against Trump
Rock legend Neil Young has long been an outspoken Trump critic. Like many other artists, he’s asked the president not to use his music at political events. (Trump still kept right on playing Young’s “Rockin in the Free World,” with the musician noting on his website that president “chose not to listen to my request, just as he chooses not to listen to the many American voices who ask him to stop his constant lies, to stop his petty, nasty name calling and bullying, to stop pushing his dangerous, vilifying and hateful rhetoric.”) And after Young and his wife Daryl Hannah lost their home in California’s 2018 wildfires, the veteran environmental activist wrote that “it really is time for a reckoning” with the climate crisis-denying president.
Now, Young can be a part of that reckoning, because the Canadian-born musician is officially an American citizen—which means he can vote against Trump in November.
His wasn’t the smoothest path to citizenship. Young’s application was initially delayed when he admitted to marijuana consumption. “I have been told I must do another test, due to my use of marijuana and how some people who have smoked it have exhibited a problem,” he wrote on his website in November.
“I sincerely hope I have exhibited good moral character and will be able to vote my conscience on Donald J. Trump and his fellow American candidates,” he added.
Luckily, his pot use didn’t stymie his citizenship application for long. “I’m happy to report I’m in,” Young wrote on Instagram earlier this week, captioning a photo of himself standing beside an American flag and a folding table bearing a “Democrats register to vote here” sign. “Vote your conscience.”
While Neil Young is definitely not a big fan of the president, Trump has professed his love for Young’s music. “His voice is perfect and haunting,” Trump told Rolling Stone of Young in 2008. “He’s 63 and I don’t think it’s changed. It’s more important than his playing, ’cause you have so many great players — but there’s just one voice like that. Whatever the hell ‘it’ is, he’s got it.”
Gabrielle Bruney is a writer and editor for Esquire, where she focuses on politics and culture.