News & Insights 7 November 2012

All my life… watching America

barack obamaWe’ve toured to America numerous times, and having been based mainly on the East Coast have spent a great deal of time with Barack Obama’s supporters and campaigners (in fact, we were in the US just a few months before he was originally elected in 2008). And so, at the risking of confusing music with politics or being in any way partisan… WOO-HOO!! Congratulations America – you made the right decision.

It’s been a rough ol’ road for rockstar Obama. In a way I think one of the biggest challenges he faces is that his nation is experiencing something of an identity crisis at the moment. Traditionally the USA has always been about optimism, triumph, and prosperity, but with stories of evictions and bankruptcy dominating the news, suddenly the American Dream would appear to be showing substantial cracks. That said, as a nation Americans are hardy of spirit and indomitably patriotic, and however things pan out, I’d say that’s unlikely to change.

I’ve always had a problem with the prevalence in Britain of ‘America bashing’ – the assumption that because we speak the same language it’s somehow okay to make offensive, sweeping generalisations. Over here in Blighty we generally have a low tolerance for racism, but it is for some unfathomable reason still socially acceptable to say ‘all Yanks are fat and stupid’, which I think is completely appalling – especially given that my experience on The Lightyears’ US tours is that Americans are amongst the warmest, smartest and most welcoming people on earth.

Whatever happens in the next four years, I firmly believe the USA – and therefore the world – is in far, far safer hands under Obama than it would have been under Romney. It ain’t gonna be easy, but then I guess that must be why they call it the hardest job in the world…

Click here to see The Lightyears’ American Tour Photo Album
Click here to read my 2009 USA Tour Diary
– Click here to see The Lightyears playing live at Milkboy in Ardmore, Pennsylvania (or watch it below)

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