NOFX frontman and punk figurehead Fat Mike has dictated an essay to Kerrang in which he considers the current political plight of the United States. Opining on the day Trump leaves the White House, the musician proffers his view of racism’s pervasiveness and faltering awareness in the country.
The argument’s an unsurprising one coming from Fat Mike, the songwriter and record label founder whose real name is Mike Burkett. After all, NOFX have made their stances clear on songs such as “We Called It America” and “The Idiots Are Taking Over.” But among the musician’s complaints about the state of America, he also highlights the positive attributes he sees among its citizenry’s widening ideological gap.
“I used to be scared of this country and embarrassed by this country,” Fat Mike says, “because it’s a religious nation. It’s a gun-toting Christian state. But what I didn’t understand was that racism is this huge. I knew it was there, but our country is just full of uneducated racist idiots, and that’s crazy. Because of that, we’re the last in everything.”
“That said,” the rocker adds, “our smart people are pretty smart. We do come up with a lot of new shit.”
Much like their contemporaries in Green Day, NOFX were highly critical of the George W. Bush presidency, especially on 2003’s The War on Errorism. To wit, Donald Trump might seem like good fodder for Fat Mike. But he still had to consider the political past to get a handle on the last four years.
“I’ve tried to get through this by looking at the history of the world,” Fat Mike continues. “There have been so many worse times than this, and shit happens. People are desperate and stupid. But I’ve tried to remember, also, that the U.S. is still a good place to live, and you choose to live where you want to. I live in LA — I used to live in San Francisco — and I would not choose to live in Mississippi. That’s a different country.”
Looking forward, the singer tips his hat to incoming President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. But he also maintains that, overall, whoever’s in the office doesn’t change a lot.
“As for what’s coming next, I don’t actually think that presidents do that much,” Fat Mike argues. “It doesn’t affect your daily life that much — except when Trump does a thing like outlawing transgenders from the military and turning the country toward civil war. There’s so much hatred that it’s crazy, and that’s what’s scary. But I think Biden is a decent man, and I do like Kamala, too.”
Further, the musician contends that, when Bush was president, it would take him “about 45 minutes to convert one of his supporters to a Democratic. I could do that; I was good at that. With Trump supporters, no, there’s just no way you can convince them of anything.”