Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Today President Elect Trump gave a television interview and President Obama gave his final press conference. I caught a few minutes of each, and by luck I caught them each talking about the other, after having spent some time together in the transition process. Trump gave an almost glowing review of the proceedings, calling the Obamas very gracious and helpful. Obama wasn't quite as generous, but clearly his tone has changed regarding Trump. He spoke of the challenges Trump would face, and that he might end up coming to the same conclusions when finally met with the true complexities of the problem. This was a Obama being empathetic towards Trump. This is a long way from his typical speech where he depicts Trump as a buffoon or an inhumane oppressor. After months of seriously heated political battles that got quite personal and ugly, you'd almost suspect they're getting sweet on each other.

At the gym yesterday I heard an old Nickelback song, the one that was their first hit. And I got to thinking about it, since I don't have good mental focus in the gym. Nickelback got much more popular than they ever should have. They were a decent band, and a legitimate one too, as they spent 10 years as a bar band in Alberta before breaking out. They were a band that everyone could listen to. They were rock, but with simple and catchy melodies that pops fans could enjoy. They also sang about partying like rock starts so hip-hop fans might enjoy it too. The band had general appeal. Many different radio station played Nickelback because it wasn't going to drive anyone away. They soon got very big even though they weren't that good.

Soon people were hearing Nickelback everywhere. In all the bars, on many radio stations, it was all over. People started getting tired of it. They asked, what's the big deal with Nickelback anyway? There's way better music in [my favorite genre]. Hating Nickelback started to become a fad. People were shitting all over them even though maybe they weren't that bad.

Perhaps we see a similar trend with Obama who, with no real track record of success or executive leadership, became the center of a national swell of support, largely due to his promises to break from the Bush legacy and his fortune to be the first black/mulatto Presidential candidate. He was massively overhyped, and strolled into office with a large mandate and big promises. He got very big even though he wasn't that good.

Many who would naturally oppose his politics witnessed his unearned accolades and became even more irate. I have commented at length here at how frustrating it is that Obama got passes from the left to do the very things he was popular for promising he wouldn't do. Like extend the Bush Doctrine. In fact, I find myself much more angry at the establishment response than I do to Obama himself. Sure, he shouldn't have been elected, but who's going to turn the job down? He seemed to mean well, he was just largely in over his head. Obama is an idealist and a wimp, and politics is a dirty and vicious business. Maybe he fought the good side on battles that we'll never even know about. The stakes are much higher for a president than a Canadian rock band. They might put out a couple crappy albums; he might cause a couple refugee crises. So we developed a hatred for him and shit all over him, even though maybe he wasn't that bad.

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