Politics

Stephen King Just Called out a Big Difference Between Trump and Obama

December 29th 2016

By:
Willie Burnley Jr.

The distinctions between President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump are probably too long to list.

obama-and-trump

However, acclaimed horror novelist Stephen King may have noted one distinguishing factor that accounts for their vast array of differences: a sense of humor.

Prior the White House correspondents dinner in 2012, funny man Jimmy Kimmel said that Obama "could probably be a comedian himself if he wanted to." In June of 2016, Salon declared Obama "the funniest president." The Washington Post argued that Obama is "the first postmodern humorist to hold the office," noting how the president had developed a self-deprecating style after fielding years of insults regarding his assumed religious affliation and place of birth.

The incoming-president, on the other hand, has been notoriously bad at taking jokes in recent years. Take for example the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which Trump attended perhaps without realizing that he would be ridiculed by comedian Seth Meyers and President Obama himself. Trump allegedly took the ribbing so so badly that many people believe it is why he ran for president in the first place.

Trump has also filed a lawsuit against comedian Bill Maher over a joke suggesting his mother was an organgutan, and reportedly barred comedians from joking about his past business failings during his Comedy Central roast.

The “Thanks Obama” meme itself — which sarcastically portrays everything as the president’s fault — is the perfect representation of President Obama’s ability to roll with the country’s jokes. He's even deployed the punchline a few times himself.

The fact that humor is endearing, that it humanizes, is one of many benefits to bringing it to any line of work. According to Taylor Lynn, a workplace expert who was quoted in Forbes, it can also help build productivity. She argued:

“Humor creates an upbeat atmosphere that encourages interaction, brainstorming of new ideas, and a feeling that there are few risks in thinking outside the box. All that leads to greater productivity,” Taylor explains. “It also stands to reason that if you’re in a more jovial atmosphere, you’ll have more passion for what you do. Your work ethic will increase, and your enthusiasm will likely be contagious. It’s a win-win for you and your employer.”

Of course, humor is subjective. While Obama's comedic timing and tendency to self-derecate is endearing to his supporters, his jokes don't always land with his partisan opponents. Likewise, while liberals may seem Trump's inability to laugh at his own failings as a sign of insecurity, his supporters likely see a serious-leader who doesn't take insults lightly.