Neil Young has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president, saying the Vermont senator is “the real deal” to win the Democratic nomination.
Writing on his personal website, the 74-year-old musician said that Sanders’ policies on climate change, student debt, healthcare and the minimum wage were the “big changes” required to beat Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
“I support Bernie because I listen to what he says,” he wrote. “Every point he makes is what I believe in. Every one. In 2016, if Bernie had run instead of Hilary Clinton, I think we would not have the incompetent mess we have now.
“The DNC will spread their talking point that ‘Bernie is divisive’ … That’s because Bernie is not with the DNC. Bernie is with you … I believe Bernie Sanders. I believe Bernie is the Real Deal.”
Young became a dual US-Canadian citizen in January. He told the LA Times last year that his main reason for applying for US citizenship was in order to vote against Trump in the election, specifically because of US government inaction on climate change.
Young’s praise for Sanders follows other musical endorsements from the rapper Cardi B, the pop stars Lizzo, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande, the indie musicians Weyes Blood and Jeff Magnum from Neutral Milk Hotel, and Young’s former bandmate David Crosby.
The Strokes, Vampire Weekend and Bon Iver performed at various campaign rallies for Sanders last month.
But the legendary rap group Public Enemy parted ways with their longtime hypeman Flavour Flav following a dispute after they agreed to perform in a Los Angeles rally for Sanders this month.
Both parties said the dispute was not about to Sanders’ politics, but what Flav saw as an unauthorised use of his “likeness, image, and trademarked clock” in promotional material. Flav clarified to the Guardian: “I don’t have anything against Bernie. I think he’s a good person and I wish him luck.”
Sanders has also been endorsed by the director Spike Lee, the actor Danny DeVito, the author Naomi Klein, the journalist Glenn Greenwald and the philosopher and academic Cornel West.
In politics, the Vermont senator has been endorsed by the congressional representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and the civil rights activist and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson Sr.
Sanders’ main remaining opponent in the Democratic race, Joe Biden, has been endorsed by the former presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg, the actor Alec Baldwin, the musician Cher and the fantasy author George RR Martin.