DEE SNIDER on DONALD TRUMP's Immigration Policy: 'That's Not What America Is'

November 1, 2016

TWISTED SISTER singer Dee Snider has spoken to about his decision to ask Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump to stop using the band's signature anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It" as the "exit song" at the controversial politician's campaign stops. Snider — who knows Trump personally after appearing more than once on "The Celebrity Apprentice" — said: "Personally, I'm a Second Amendment guy, and I feel we should be stringent, and we should be strong on the borders, and we should be super careful, but to actually just block an entire religion or stop a race of people from coming into our country, that's not what America is. That's not what this country's built on, and I can't stand behind that.

"There have been the downtrodden masses since America started. It's always been somebody. It was Italians at one point; it was the Irish at another point. And now we're seeing the Syrians and Middle Eastern people coming over, and they're suffering, and it ain't easy. We should be as careful as we could possibly be [in allowing people to immigrate], but to actually just ban people, that's not what America is.

"Ask [U2's] Bono, who's not even American. He said, 'America is the greatest idea in history. It's the greatest idea ever. Don't lose that.' He said, 'Ireland's a country; England's a country. America is an ideal, and the world needs that ideal.' And we gotta remember our place in this world. We welcome people. We don't turn them away."

Asked if he thinks Trump believes all the things he says, or if he is just playing to the crowd, because he's playing to win, Snider said: "Well, we don't talk about those subjects, but we certainly spend time together, and I see how he acts, I see the man that he is, and I agree [with you]. He's a showman. He's got a well-versed WWE approach; he's done a lot of work with the WWE. That's the kind of thing he does. He knows that there is this part of America that responds. They're very reactive and very intense, and they've got some strong feelings, and he's feeding that. But perception is reality. And if you represent something dark and not positive, it doesn't matter if you believe it or not, you still are the figurehead for that movement."

Snider added that his bandmates were "uncomfortable" with Trump's use of "We're Not Gonna Take It". He explained: "Well, they had mixed feelings. Some are pro-Trump, others are not pro-Trump. But it was like, 'Hey, we're all being defined by this.' And that's not what the song was about. The song was sort of a song for everybody, not just for one voice."

Trump has gained endorsements from far-right and racist groups, but has been slow to distance himself from them.

Snider was fired by Trump on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice" in 2013.

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