Leslie Odom Jr. & Sara Bareilles Imagine Barack Obama’s Reaction To Donald Trump & Their Song Is Worth A Listen — VIDEO
If you're even a little bit into podcasts, you probably tune into This American Life regularly — its mix of insight into current events and quirky take on mainstream topics make it a must-listen. So it's no surprise that This American Life delivered the one thing this election was missing: what Obama is thinking about Donald Trump. The show asked Sara Bareilles, who you might remember from multi-million-selling hits like "Love Song" to pen the song, titled "Seriously." It imagines "the thoughts Barack Obama is not saying publicly about this election and Donald Trump." Added to the mix are some skillful vocals, courtesy of Leslie Odom Jr., who sings as Obama. If you listen to one song today, make it this.
"Seriously" is a smart, nuanced take on an election that's got increasingly painful over the past few months. It's realistic about the state of America and suggests that, although this country is progressive enough to have a black president, it's also sufficiently bigoted; the ripples in response to Obama's presidency have "turned tidal wave" — leading to mass support of Trump, his racist policies, and the "rebirth of a nation's hatred." The song also spells out a fact that bears explicitly repeating: Trump's politics don't represent anything new, but "a demagogue flexing / he's history repeating."
The song's refrain "Seriously?" strikes a chord, since it suggests if Obama were to deliver anything other than a light-hearted, comic roast of Trump, he might get far too serious and disappointed for the news cycle in expressing his feelings about the way things have played out. That for patriotic and liberal Americans (and no, that's not an oxymoron), the only authentic response to this year's election campaigning has to be: Seriously? Seriously, the self-proclaimed "least racist person that you've ever encountered" has been completely explicit about his various offensive policies, including the promise he opened the campaign on — to build a "great, great wall on our southern border," and he's still the nominee? Seriously, the Republican candidate has been accused of sexual abuse on multiple occasions? Seriously, nobody took any of those women seriously until Trump himself was recorded explicitly spelling out his lack of regard for women's boundaries? Seriously?
If you're feeling full of rage and frustration, the soothing tones of Odom Jr. could be just what the doctor ordered. If Obama is feeling that way too, then you're only human.
Images: This American Life/Twitter