Who Killed Barack Obama?

Today, the USA saw Donald Trump sworn in as their 45th President. It’s no secret to say that I despise the man and what he stands for, and think that this development is somewhat terrifying.

Eight years ago I was in a punk band called XPD. We wrote a song inspired by what were at the time recent events. I present the lyrics (and the MP3) below.

WHO KILLED BARACK OBAMA?

Everyone’s got hope so I’m sorry to disappoint
It might seem a brave new dawn, but I think you’ve missed the point
That nothing has really changed, all the attitude’s the same
And someone’s gonna want to keep the status quo

Who killed Barack Obama? Yes a culprit must be found
Can we blame the CIA or a subversive underground?
A terrorism plot to destabilise the West?
The responsibility lies with us

If you make a man an idol he is judged beyond his means
Bound by law and due process, more limited than he seems
Expectation weighs down hard, feel the pressure of the past
And all too soon resentment creeps back in

Luther King was shot down in his prime before the dream got stuck
Kennedy is best remembered for not knowing when to duck
Guevara’s face is selling shirts for market stalls and band adverts
A symbol now detached from all meaning

Who killed Barack Obama? Yes a culprit must be found
Can we blame the CIA or a subversive underground?
A terrorism plot to destabilise the West?
The responsibility lies with us

Who can save us now?
Who can save us now?

We killed Barack Obama, yes it’s time to take the blame
Unrealistic expectations helped him to his grave
Not a saint and not your saviour, just as human as the next
The responsibility lies with us

The responsibility lies with us

 

The song wasn’t just a literal-but-premature obituary to the 44th President, although we were there at band practice going “there’s no way the racists over there will allow this, will they? Surely someone’s going to kill him?”. It was also a musing on the fact that you cannot heap all your hopes and expectations onto the shoulders of one person and forget to do the work yourself, because you will be disappointed. That stands true: Obama lived through two terms, and did many good things, but there were also disappointments of the things he didn’t do (especially when the Democrats also had control of the Senate). He wasn’t perfect. He was never going to be.

While this is a far more depressing turn of events now, the important thing is to remember that the same is true in reverse (and also, for that matter, true in my country as we’re now mired in the ghastly clusterfuck of a Brexit negotiated by people who seem to have no grasp on reality): do not heap all of your fears onto one person. Do not give up. Do not forget to act.

Most things can pass in time. But some things can pass more quickly if you work to speed the process along, and can have less of a bite if you work against them.

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