Grushecky wrote the song around the time President Trump took office in January, he told the . “[Trump] lost me the moment he started making fun of special needs people. How could a person like that be president of the United States?,” asked Grushecky, who has long worked with special needs children, calling Trump's actions “appalling.”
Grushecky sent the song to Springsteen, who liked it, and then asked him if he wanted to sing on it. Springsteen then “gave it the Bruce treatment,” Grushecky said.
During the Women’s March in January, Springsteen proclaimed himself and the E Street Band to be the “new American resistance” to a crowd in Australia, where they were performing. In 2016, he told that “the republic is under siege by a moron.” "That’s What Makes Us Great” targets various aspects of the Trump administration, including immigration and alternative facts. At one point, Springsteen sings, “Don’t tell me a lie / And sell it as a fact / I’ve been down that road before / And I ain’t goin’ back.”
Classic Rock vs. Donald Trump