11/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

John Mellecamp's Political Discontent

John Mellencamp, one of the first to oppose the war in Iraq, has an interview in the LA Times talking about his new music and his political discontent while promoting his new album "Life Death Love and Freedom:

"I have felt that the government has betrayed most people in turning their back on the working class." He said, "Deregulation has destroyed so many things that worked so well, destroyed the airlines, destroyed trucking, destroyed, as we see now, Wall Street. . . .

"We've got to have guidelines, and strict guidelines, that are enforced by the government. That's the government's job. Now, their idea of making law is 'We're allowed to tap your phone, we're allowed to enter your house without a search and seizure.' That's wrong."

He blames the strong nationalism that clenched the country after Sept. 11.

"When people are for the country right or wrong, America right or wrong, it's a lot like Germany. Nationalism is a bad thing. And when you have a mob mentality over a country, over a swastika, over the Führer, over the Iraq war, the outcome is not going to be good."

He said he played a show in Boston two days after Sept. 11 that "frightened" him.

"I write a lot of songs that could be interpreted as big patriotic songs, but in reality they're questioning the direction the country is going," he said. "After every song in Boston, 20,000 people were going, 'USA, USA.' I thought, man. I almost asked them to stop, stop doing that. I don't like it. I don't like hearing that chant."

He decided not to and kept on singing.

"I know why they were doing it," he said. "There's a part, a small part of me that understands that we all need to rally together after a tremendous disaster. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that that's the only time this country rallies together."