Exodus Frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza: “I Love the Country I Live In, I Support It and I Support the President.”
Remember when Trump was first elected, there were all these people who were like “Even if I don’t love Trump, I love America, and I’m rooting for him to succeed”? It was a well-intentioned, if misguided, position, ostensibly asserting a “United we stand, divided we fall” mentality while ignoring the fact that Trump represents the nadir of humanity and thus was never, ever going to “succeed” (at least at anything worthy of success; if being an embarrassing dingus 24/7, eroding basic American institutions, and bring the United States’ global reputation to an all-time low was his goal, by all means, give the dude a medal).
The thing is, a position that was well-intentioned-if-misguided nearly two years ago now seems naive at best. Donald Trump gives zero fucks about America; Donald Trump gives zero fucks about anyone save for Donald Trump. To support the president no matter what simply because of his title is the same sort of loyalty-before-brains thinking that enables police brutality. You’re on the playground, and your best friend is getting pummeled by a bully. You can help your friend, or you can help the bully; the bully is not going to “come to his senses” or “listen to reason” or whatever. That’s where we’re at.
Which brings me to Exodus vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza, who recently said this to Impact Metal Channel (video at the bottom of this post):
“The economy in the United States … the unemployment is the lowest it’s ever been in the history of the United States. I think [Trump] making the attempt to go to meet [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un, I think that’s great — that’s what you need to do. People need to touch together, not do it through channels. I love the country I live in, I support it and I support the president.”
Okay. Let’s pretend that unemployment and meeting Kim Jong-un were the only metrics by which we might gauge Trump’s success as a world leader, and that we don’t care about all his other heinous policies, reprehensible behavior, disregard for the law, and total lack of intelligence and common sense. Trump would still be a failure.
Souza’s first statement, about unemployment, is sort of correct — unemployment is the lowest it’s been since 2000, which, in turn, was the lowest it had been since 1969. Thing is, according to The Washington Post, Trump is characteristically taking too much credit for this achievement:
“Trump inherited low unemployment numbers from Obama. Since 2011, the unemployment rate has steadily declined from a high of 9.6 percent following the Great Recession. It was 4.8 percent in January [of 2017], when Trump took the oath of office, and it was 4.1 percent in the December employment report.”
In other words, it takes time to feel the effects of economic policies, and what’s happening now is very much a result of the work that President Obama did while in office.
Meanwhile, meeting with Kim Jong-un may have indeed been a good idea, but it’s one Trump seems to have stumbled into accidentally, and which ultimately brought about, uh, not much. From The Guardian:
“The president adopted hazy North Korean language on denuclearisation, ditching more precise US arms control terms, defended Kim over the regime’s appalling human rights, and presented him with a gift in the form of a unilateral concession, the suspension of military exercises.
“‘The summit statement is big on hyperbole and short on substance – it reads like it was written by the North Korean negotiating team,’ said Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at the New America thinktank who has led back-channel contacts with North Korean officials.”
So Souza found two nice things to say about Trump, neither of which had much basis in reality, and he didn’t acknowledge the sixteen trillion other things Trump has done wrong. Cool cool cool.
In semi-related news, I now feel much better about the fact that Souza was always my third favorite Exodus vocalist.