Russell Brand: Reality under Barack Obama and Donald Trump will not be too different
Russell Brand has offered his perspective on Barack Obama’s presidency as the outgoing president prepares to bid farewell to the White House – and it’s a pretty damning verdict.
The actor and comedian suggests that despite President-elect Donald Trump appearing to be the antithesis of Obama, the reality for most people under the two presidents may not be too dissimilar.
“If you are not in arse-breaking poverty, you just want nice stuff to be said. And Barack Obama is a president that says nice stuff,” Brand said.
“At least we get to see a nice guy saying nice stuff, while those children are being bombed in other countries.
“If that’s what our democracy is reduced to – the stuff we listen to while the same thing happens – then that’s not a very good system is it?”
Brand didn’t neglect to mention the good Obama has done while in office: positive movement on tackling climate change, making healthcare affordable, and LGBTQ rights.
But there are also the negatives: a reported 2.5 million immigrants deported – something Brand pointed out Trump has threatened to do, to much outrage, but has already been happening – and an unprecedented expansion of drone war.
Brand’s argument is that things didn’t really change under Obama, and they won’t under Trump.
“Just remember that while Barack Obama was president the rich were getting richer, financial criminals weren’t getting persecuted (sic), people were getting bombed at an alarming rate – 10 times more drone strikes than Bush, and we all disliked him intensely,” he said.
“The story of Obama as a nice man is an easy one to believe in because on a personal level he is so likeable. And in the context of an emergent political figure like Donald Trump, who’s saying outrageous sexist things, outrageous racist things, you think well at least this guy fits in with our story of what the world is.
“But the story of the what the world is, is not the reality of what the world is.”