“Fuck You Energy” And Presidential Politics

Forget BDE. Well, you can’t, I suppose, or the E isn’t properly BD. What I’d like to tell you about is FUE — Fuck You Energy. The general election is a vibe check, and FUE always wins. I’ve explained this theory on a few different comedy shows and podcasts and people seem to agree, which is to say they don’t tell me I’m wrong, which is all I ask for in lieu of payment for appearing. Anyway.

a man who makes stovetop popcorn

Jimmy Carter did not have fuck you energy. He had Homeschooled Peanut energy, so he lost. It’s important to note that FUE is not a moral stance, it is a vibe, and can unfortunately be put to use by any political persuasion. Of course it intersects with shitty dudeness, though I think we are beginning to see its use by non-dudes as well.

Anyway, anyway. Carter lost to Reagan, whose whole thing, depending on how you viewed it, was either “fuck you, communism” or “fuck you, poor people”. His was a shadow of the Greatest Generation vibe, which had earned its FUE on the shores of Normandy, etc.

So Reagan wins again against Mondale. I know little about Mondale, and I refuse to learn. This speaks to his lack of FUE, and perhaps reveals the first rule of FUE: history remembers FUE.

Fuck You Energy’s nemesis, its shadow self, is Uhm-Excuse-Me Energy. This is the energy you would like your doctor to have. This is Fauci Energy. It’s what we all know, deep down, keeps the world turning — people of good will and vast knowledge fixing our problems so we can live our dumb lives without having to google “Who Was Mondale I’m 30”. And Fauci, in return for his devotion to alleviating human suffering, gets to enjoy the benefits of a “Fuck You” culture, namely guitar solos, interesting ice cream flavors, etc.

I’m a little all over the place, I know.

Ah — but what about George Bush the Elder, you say, because you are a piece of shit moron. Well, what about him? He was running against Dukakis. Both had little FUE, but Bush edged out Dukakis (hot) because he was running essentially on the fumes of Reagan’s decaying FUE. Bush the Elder wins one term and loses to arguably one of the highest FUE candidates in modern history, Bill Clinton. Say “fuck you” in his voice. Yeah. See?

Dukakis before getting edged by a guy famous for loving socks

So Bill Clinton, the saxophonist and Epstein Airlines Platinum member, beats Bush the Elder AND Bob Dole, who was so Uhm-Excuse-Me that he spoke in the third person. He was also 9000 years old. Dole’s lack of FUE speaks to the fact that it is a difficult vibe to bottle, as he had been shot by Nazis several times which was hardcore and Clinton had spent World War II in the aether, like a coward, meeting with intergalactic consultants to time his birth window for the ’92 Iowa Caucuses and to avoid war. Avoiding war to play saxophone is, of course, King Shit. I don’t make the rules.

Thus, since Carter, FUE is undefeated 5–0 by the end of the century. What happens next? Bush ’43 beats Gore. Gore would go on to professionalize the Uhm-Excuse-Me Movement with the release of his climate change DVD, “Uhm-Excuse-Me, Shit’s Melting” which, while true and important and criminally ignored, was not cool. Bush stood on a pile of bricks and yelled into a bullhorn about killing people. That is FUE.

Bush ’43 beats Kerry, who, like Dole, was in war but was tarnished by his own lack of personality despite being married to a ketchup heiress. The 2004 election was another low-FUE election, but both Bushes lucked out by running against weak campaigns. 7–0, FUE.

identical vibes or different? time will tell, jack

Barack Obama vs McCain is a test of the theory, because McCain was sort of positioned as a “Maverick”. “Maverick” is NOT the same as FUE. “Maverick” is one of the few vibes available to a 9000 year old man, and in a way, McCain did run better than Dole in the vibe check. Obama wins resoundingly, then is challenged by another corporate “Um-Excuse-Me” guy named Mitt Romney, who Biden is no doubt preparing to name to his cabinet. 9–0, FUE.

2016. Due to a confluence of factors Hillary Clinton loses the electoral college. This is where FUE intersects with shitty-dudeness, sexism, etc. Of course those contributed to her loss. I think naturally Hillary does have a good deal of FUE but was constrained by society (and her own actions/inactions) on how she could exhibit it. They also thought they had the thing in the bag. Her opponent, a shameless and crazy coke guy, had unfortunately the largest FUE ever detected in American politics.

Donald Trump is a terrible president and person, and his supporters are fools as are the people that play footsie with his blend of shitty-dude identity politics, authoritarianism, racism and corruption. BUT — and honest lefties should admit this, so they can defeat it — he does have an extreme amount of FUE, as any clinical narcissist born to great wealth would be expected to have.

Michael Moore predicted his win, saying something to the effect of “Trump will win because people want to throw dynamite into this system and this is the biggest way to say ‘fuck you’ in generations.” Now of course the Trumpian FUE is aimed at the wrong people and is fundamentally historically hack, scapegoating women and people of color and gay people and trans people and working poor people and anyone who isn’t a white guy who says things like “um excuse me this is a fallacy” in grouptexts. But he inarguably has Fuck You Energy.

Does Biden? I think he does, to a degree. I think the risk is that his Fuck You Energy is from the 1950s, so he says weird shit, jack. As the scope of the coronavirus disaster and moral failing of government at all levels widens, Biden’s campaign seems to be pivoting to a sort of “we’ll just do FDR” thing.

increasingly bright ties as his brain melts — a race against time

Vibe-wise, Biden may be able to pull this off. Whether he actually follows up with it policy-wise is not the point of this article. I’m not sure what is the point of this essay, to be honest, but it’s quarantine and, you know, fuck you. It’s a vibe.

There is nothing more American than “Fuck You”. Democrats running on “Uhm Excuse Me” will lose again and again. Warren has some “fuck you”, and I think despite her failing campaign, her vibe has forced the media and populace to confront the complexities of sexism in a way that has carried the ball forward. Same with Harris, who has some “fuck you” to her and will probably be on the ticket, or nominated for Secretary of Fuck You (Attorney General) in a Biden administration. Klobuchar has FUE, as any of her staffers will tell you.

Pete Buttigieg has literally no vibe at all, but he has shaved his head in preparation for a Military Guy vibe check as Secretary of Defense and will probably be given the role.

Senator Bernie Fucking Sanders ran on a very clear “Fuck You” platform, but chose to play nice to try to surmount the system and drive the Democrats to the left. In retrospect, for his campaigns failings, it is astounding how close he got.

Today, at least, I choose to be inspired by the fact that his campaign motivated a large chunk of a generation to finally say “fuck you” to the not-now-slow-down-excuse-me corporate crowd, the cynical fucks who center their entire political existence on the the greatest moral zeroes in history — “empathy moms/dads”, according to the Biden campaign, MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE THAT NEED TO BE CONVINCED not to vote for Trump (!) are called EMPATHETIC. Which might be why Biden wins.

politics is the avengers!

I’m a little lost here but those are some thoughts. Fuck you!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Max Barth

comedian, writer (Reductress, The Hard Times, Hard Drive, Slackjaw, Points In Case), Libra moon. All my stuff: https://linktr.ee/MaxBarth