Barack Obama blasts Trump as Richie Rich, saying he's no John Wayne
I can’t believe conservatives like Richie Rich! Barack Obama blasts Donald Trump as a ‘complaining, lying, doesn’t take any responsibility character’ and mocks he’s no John Wayne
- Barack Obama lashed out at Donald Trump Monday, calling the president a real-life Richie Rich who complains, lies and doesn’t take responsibility
- The former president said Trump is far from the traditional ideal of American manlihood, which he likened to John Wayne and Clint Eastwood types
- ‘If we were going to have a right-wing populist in this country, I would have expected somebody a little more appealing,’ he said
- Obama has come out more strongly against President Trump ever since the media called the presidential election for Joe Biden earlier this month
Barack Obama tore into Donald Trump during an interview published Monday where he said the president is a ‘Richie Rich’ type and far from the traditional ideal of American masculinity – like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, he noted.
‘I think about the classic male hero in American culture when you and I were growing up: the John Waynes, the Gary Coopers, the Jimmy Stewarts, the Clint Eastwoods, for that matter. There was a code,’ Obama told The Atlantic, ‘the code of masculinity that I grew up with that harkens back to the ’30s and ’40s and before that.’
The former president said he thought if a ‘right-wing populist’ would rise to the presidency, he thought it would be someone ‘more appealing’ than Trump.
‘I’m not surprised that somebody like Trump could get traction in our political life. He’s a symptom as much as an accelerant,’ Obama said, adding: ‘But if we were going to have a right-wing populist in this country, I would have expected somebody a little more appealing.’
‘There’s a notion that a man is true to his word, that he takes responsibility, that he doesn’t complain, that he isn’t a bully—in fact he defends the vulnerable against bullies,’ Trump’s predecessor detailed of American manhood.
Barack Obama lashed out at Donald Trump Monday, calling the president a real-life Richie Rich who complains, lies and doesn’t take responsibility
Obama said that Trump is far from the idol of American manlihood, which he claims are more like the types John Wayne (left) and Clint Eastwood (right) played in movies
On the other hand, Richie Rich is a character (portrayed by Macaulay Culkin here in 1994) who was the richest kid in the world and got everything he wanted
‘And so even if you are someone who is annoyed by wokeness and political correctness and wants men to be men again and is tired about everyone complaining about the patriarchy, I thought that the model wouldn’t be Richie Rich—the complaining, lying, doesn’t-take-responsibility-for-anything type of figure,’ Obama said.
Richie Rich was a comic character created in the 1950’s and was the world’s richest kid, getting anything he could possibly want – and was dubbed ‘the poor little rich boy.’ The comics were made into a TV cartoon and eventually were adapted into a movie starring Macaulay Culkin in the 1990’s.
Obama says Trump is more Richie Rich than John Wayne, nicknamed Duke, an actor who became a popular icon through his starring roles in Western films and whose expansive career spanned from the 1920-1970’s.
The former Democratic president said in his interview with The Atlantic, ‘I did not believe how easily the Republican establishment, people who had been in Washington for a long time and had professed a belief in certain institutional values and norms, would just cave’ to Trumpian populism.
He added, however, that the populist shift in the Republican Party really garnered traction in the 2008 election, when he and Joe Biden ran a successful campaign against John McCain and Sarah Palin.
‘The power of Palin’s rallies compared with McCain’s rallies—just contrast the excitement you would see in the Republican base,’ Obama noted. ‘I think this hinted at the degree to which appeals around identity politics, around nativism, conspiracies, were gaining traction.’
Obama and former first lady Michelle have become much more outspoken as the 2020 election approached, and since the results came back projecting Biden as the victor over Trump, they have upped their attacks on the sitting president.
Trump has still refused to concede to Biden, insisting he is the true winner of the election and claiming his lawsuits in several swing states will prove so in the coming weeks.
Two weekends ago, Biden declared victory after multiple media outlets called him the winner once enough states projected him winning their Electoral College votes – putting him over the 270 vote threshold needed to win the White House.
Since Election Day, Trump has spent his weekends at his golf club in Sterling, Virginia as he continues to refuse to concede to Joe Biden, claiming he was the rightful winner of the election
Obama claims the populist right-wing movement was able to garner much more traction due to social media, which he suggested should be treated like a digital media company rather than a third-party facilitator of open speak.
‘I don’t hold the tech companies entirely responsible, because this predates social media,’ Obama said. ‘It was already there.’
‘But social media has turbocharged it,’ he added. ‘I know most of these folks. I’ve talked to them about it. The degree to which these companies are insisting that they are more like a phone company than they are like The Atlantic, I do not think is tenable. They are making editorial choices, whether they’ve buried them in algorithms or not. The First Amendment doesn’t require private companies to provide a platform for any view that is out there.’
‘If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. And by definition our democracy doesn’t work. We are entering into an epistemological crisis.’
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