Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic caught so much flak for expressing support for President Donald Trump this week that he temporarily switched his Facebook page to private and deleted his Twitter account entirely. The backlash occurred after a screenshot of a pro-Trump post on Novoselic’s personal Facebook account started to make the social media rounds.
Novoselic was commenting on Trump’s "law and order" speech — the president’s first public remarks since the police killing of George Floyd and the subsequent nationwide protests over the weekend. During that Monday evening press conference, Trump said he would "mobilize all available federal resources, civilian, and military, to stop the rioting and looting" and then posed in front of a nearby church while holding a Bible. The scene sparked all sorts of comments on social media, but Nirvana fans probably didn’t expect one of the positive comments to come from the ex-bandmate of Kurt Cobain.
“Wow!!! I know many of you can’t stand him, however, Trump knocked it out of the park with this speech,” Novoselic wrote in a lengthy statement, which can be read in full above. While Novoselic agreed that “the president should not be sending troops into states – and he legally might not be able to anyway – nevertheless, his tone in this speech is strong and direct.”
Novoselic continued: “I have been watching the images in the media and thinking about how polarized our country is. I mean, even wearing medical masks in public can be seen as a political statement! The violence (and not the protests) appear as a leftist insurrection. Imagine if so-called ‘patriot militias’ were raising this kind of hell? If this were the case, left wing people would welcome federal intervention. Most Americans want peace in their communities and President Trump spoke to this desire. Never mind the legal details that few understand — Trump said he would stop the violence and this speaks to many.”
While Novoselic has apparently quit Twitter, at least for the time being, angry fans have continued to post their disillusionment regarding the grunge icon’s statement.
Poor dude totally misunderstood what it meant when Trump said he loved Bleach. https://t.co/bulmsBpsXi— PJ Vogt (@PJVogt) June 2, 2020
Kurt used to tell stories about how he would go vandalize cars in conservative towns by spray painting “God is Gay”. Hard to believe he’d be in favor of the military to counter vandalism. But who knows. Money and fame change people when they become the elite.— Tyler James (@tylerliamjames) June 3, 2020
anyway kurt cobain would be there protesting with people right now if he was alive ... this dude goes against everything nirvana stood for pic.twitter.com/asVlQk0FNo— MEDICINE◟̽◞̽ 1312 (@twoheartslh) June 2, 2020
A quick reminder that Krist Novoselic wrote approximately 0% of Nirvana's music. pic.twitter.com/ItJyNfLsq6— The Pro-Wrestling, Anti-Fascist Yuppie #Biden2020 (@GregYuppie) June 2, 2020
For those of you still mad about Guns 'N Roses v Nirvana fights from high school as to who's the band for reactionary homophobes and who's the tool of corporate ogres, the seating arrangement has been changed. pic.twitter.com/dx61AbWe9N— ben schwartz (@benschwartz_) June 2, 2020
Never in a million years would I have guessed that Axl Rose would end up being a woke lefty and Krist Novoselic would end being hard core law and order righty. Never. Kurt would be disgusted. pic.twitter.com/4cg5o17tCY— Sergio 🌹 (@_SRG24_) June 2, 2020
On Wednesday, Novoselic responded to the controversy in a Facebook post that he made public, saying, “To clarify a few things: As an avowed independent, I don’t endorse a major party or candidate. And it feels insane to have to say this, but I don’t support fascism, and I don’t support an authoritarian state. I believe in a civilized society and that we all have to work toward that. Love and thanks to anyone who cares to read this.”
Novoselic has actually been politically active since the ‘90s, founding the JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee), advocating for electoral reform as the chairman of FairVote, writing a book called Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy!, and even once considering a run for Lieutenant Governor of Washington as a Democrat. But while he supported Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, he revealed in a 2014 interview with Reason TV that he had since split from the Democratic Party, and described his not-easily-categorized current political leanings as “anarcho-capitalist, socialist, moderate.” Before he switched his Facebook page to private, in a response to comments on his initial post he revealed that he had voted for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in the 2016 presidential election, and said his page was “certainly not a partisan echo chamber.”
Nirvana’s late frontman Cobain was known for his liberal social and political views and outspokenness against sexism, racism, and homophobia (the band often played benefit shows supporting LGBTQ and reproductive rights); this is probably why Novoselic’s Trump support shocked so many fans, who believed Cobain would disapprove of what Novoselic had said. As for Nirvana’s other surviving member’s opinion of Donald Trump, Dave Grohl — whose father was a Republican speechwriter on Capitol Hill — told GQ UK in 2018 that he was “ashamed” of the president’s stance on immigration, adding, “Listen, who cares what I think about guns or religion, but the thing about Trump that stings the most is this: He just seems like a massive jerk.”
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