“Hope and change” are apparently difficult campaign promises to deliver. Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the famous “Hope” poster of Barack Obama in 2008, told Esquire that he’s disappointed with the President.
Fairey said Obama is “not even close” to having lived up to the ideals that inspired the iconic “Hope” poster. “I mean, drones and domestic spying are the last things I would have thought [he’d support].”
However, the street artist, now working as an executive producer for an MTV web series, was quick to cast blame on almost anyone other than Barack Obama. Saying that “Obama has had a really tough time,” Fairey alleged that many of the President’s failures have been dictated by things out of his control.
A large part of the problem, according to the anti-establishment artist, is that the public hasn’t continued voting for liberals. “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.”
Turning his attention to the upcoming 2016 elections, the self-described rebel seems to be pinning his hopes on Hillary Clinton. Despite his tentative support for the woman who may end up running America’s first multi-billion dollar presidential campaign, Fairey took the opportunity to complain about money in politics.
“I do think the entire system needs an overhaul and taking money out of politics would be a really good first step,” he told Esquire. “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.” At least the liberal icon said something that might have bipartisan agreement.
Overall, the street-artist-turned MTV producer doesn’t seem to have strayed from his liberal roots. In fact, most of his dissatisfaction with the president seems to stem from the notion that Obama has failed to be as liberal as promised.
Trying to temper some of his leftist rhetoric, Fairey included a tepid defense of America’s capitalistic economy. “I’m not anti-capitalism. Capitalism just needs better referees.”
It’s still unclear why he ever thought a politician from Chicago would be a good referee for capitalism.