Do you remember when our generation was younger and we would peek at the television and see whatever our parents were watching? Many of us had our childhood years in the midst of the Bush era, so everywhere that you look, someone would be making jokes about George. Saturday Night Live had impressions out the wazoo, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report affirmed their strength and most other shows found ways to really settle into some kind of political satire. Bush was an easy target and he did lots of things to upset people, so he was naturally joked about.
Speaking personally, I started watching The Colbert Report at too young an age, when I had no idea what he was talking about most of the time. Yet, I always understood his jokes about Bush being a silly dumb man. Those kinds of jokes made eleven-year-old me laugh. Though I had the basest understanding of politics, I was utterly lost in these episodes, but those rang true. Our president was dumb and everyone on television seemed to agree.
We reached our adolescence and eventual maturity under Obama and the tone of pop culture shifted. Obsession and devotion to him took over the television waves and many shows even sought out cameos of the people involved in the Obama administration (I’m looking at you, Parks & Recreation). I think, regardless of childhood political leanings, perhaps we had a more familiar feeling towards these people because the people we liked on television liked the people in charge as well. Things were different in the political scope of our childhoods.
Now, things have changed yet again, and I don’t need to tell you that. The people who were our age when Bush was elected are now in their mid-30s and I suddenly feel a kinship to those people who I loved on television at my childhood. They were creating television and movies and very poor quality YouTube videos to express just how much they disliked their president. When I was kid, I didn’t understand. He was just an odd old man, right?
I’m sure that children today think that Trump is hilarious, from whatever they’re allowed to see on television. He looks pretty funny, whether you like him or not. Plus, he’s abrasive and loud and makes weird voices. Plus, impressions of him are always funny.
Yet, this is disheartening to me. I know now that if I was my age now when Bush president, I would not have been a fan. However, when I see him around, I still have the old “Look, it’s our silly Texas uncle” feeling. I worry for the younger generation having this feeling that Trump is simply a clown, flouncing through pop culture and leaving chaos in his wake. I only hope that, when they are our age, they see him as the dangerous storm that we see him today so that, hopefully, we don’t ever elect someone like him again.
I recommend watching The Daily Show whenever you can. He brings a little peace of mind while making you laugh. Trevor Noah is the master of laughing at these ridiculous times.