Remember back in 2008 when Senator Obama won the presidential election on the unique platform of “Hope and Change”? Shepard Fairey does. He should remember. He is the creator of the Obama icon, “Hope.” Unfortunately, the HOPE that inspired Shepard Fairey to create has been beaten down by the brutality of reality.
In an interview with Esquire, Fairey said, “I’ve met Obama a few times, and I think Obama’s a quality human being, but I think that he finds himself in a position where your actions are largely dictated by things out of your control. I’m not giving him a pass for not being more courageous, but I do think the entire system needs an overhaul and taking money out of politics would be a really good first step.”
He went on to say, “We also need a public that isn’t so uneducated and complacent. I hate to say Americans are ignorant and lazy, but a lot of them are ignorant and lazy.”
A word of advice to Fairey: It is not wise to make Messiahs out of your political leaders. Regardless of ideology, politicians will always let you down, and, while you are pushing against an open door with me about the American public being uninformed, the fact that you fell for “Hope and Change” disqualifies you from judging the American public’s awareness. One might accuse you of being uneducated and naive for falling for a trite campaign slogan that has been recycled more times than a Michael Bay movie plot.
George W. Bush – “We will carry a message of hope and renewal to every community in this country. We will tell every American, ‘The dream is for you.’ Tell forgotten children in failed schools, ‘The dream is for you.’ Tell families, from the barrios of L.A. to the Rio Grande Valley: ‘El sueno americano es para ti.’ Tell men and women in our decaying cities, ‘The dream is for you.’ Tell confused young people, starved of ideals, “The dream is for you.’”
William Jefferson Clinton – “My fellow Americans, I end tonight where it all began for me- I still believe in a place called Hope.”
George HW Bush – “My view, is let Mike Dukakis go around there and talk about pink slips, despair, pessimism in the United States. I’ll be the guy out there talking about hope and opportunity and challenge, and the fact that the United States is the best, the fairest, the most decent nation on the face of the earth. Let them apologize for America, and let me lead her to new greatness.”
Ronald Reagan – “The poet called Miss Liberty’s torch ‘the lamp beside the golden door.’ Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we’re here tonight. The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours… In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America’s is.”
Jimmy Carter – Nineteen seventy-six will not be a year of politics as usual. It can be a year of inspiration and hope, and it will be a year of concern, of quiet and sober reassessment of our nation’s character and purpose.
Richard Nixon – We do not fire a shot heard ’round the world but we shall light the lamp of hope in millions of homes across this land in which there is no hope today. And that great light shining out from America will again become a beacon of hope for all those in the world who seek freedom and opportunity.
For someone as informed as Fairley, he sure is susceptible to recycled campaign rhetoric. He is like the pre-teen girl crying after a breakup saying, “He said he loved me and that I was the only one!”
If Fairley is concerned about money funneled into politics via special interest groups and lobbyists, I wonder if he has been made aware of President Obama’s penchant for lobbyists?
What Fairley wanted was a leader to consolidate power at the federal level. Thomas Jefferson said, “The natural progress of things is for the government to gain ground and for liberty to yield.” Perhaps Fairley is one of these timid men who prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. In the face of liberty, Fairley opted for a leader who would take care of everything. That was his hope.
Fairley continued his lament by saying, ”but what frustrates me to no end are people who want to blame Obama or blame anything that is something that if they were actually doing anything as simple as voting, it might not be as bad as it is. There’s a lot of finger pointing and very little action and very little research into the dynamics that created the situation that they’re unhappy about.”
You know what, Fairley, I, too, wish that you were educated and informed. People DID vote for what you wanted. For the first two years, if you remember, President Obama had absolute control. He had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate.
The moral of the HOPE story is that the onus of hope should be placed on the shoulders of the one who hopes. When you put your hopes in another person, you are setting yourself up for failure, even if that person is a charismatic speaker and makes you feel good on the inside… so good that you make posters that have long since lost their sparkle. Let this be a learning lesson for you, Shepard Fairley; you got hoodwinked with sweet talk and promises too big to keep. Next time, vote for a president and not a sugar daddy. Vote towards Libertarianism.