When President Donald Trump won the US election in 2016, the whole world was in shock. But imagine being the ones to have to personally hand the reigns – and eight years of immense hard work – over to him, knowing full well that he’ll endeavor to undo the progress you’ve made and battles you’ve won.
Despite Democratic nominee, and former Vice President, Joe Biden, being officially declared the President-elect on November 7, Trump has refused to concede. Instead, the President is continuing to spread false information and lies about the validity of the election, a stance that is deeply dividing the nation and threatening democracy – when almost half of the country is being fed, and potentially believing, lies about a rigged system, it’s hard to say how far-reaching the impact will be.
Now, after four years of keeping silent, former First Lady Michelle Obama has finally had enough.
“This week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on where I was four years ago. [Hillary] Clinton had just been dealt a tough loss by a far closer margin than the one we’ve seen this year,” Obama wrote on Instagram. “I was hurt and disappointed—but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won. The American people had spoken. And one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do,” she continued, no doubt in reference to Trump’s current stance.
“So my husband and I instructed our staffs to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power—one of the hallmarks of American democracy. We invited the folks from the president-elect’s team into our offices and prepared detailed memos for them, offering what we’d learned over the past eight years.”
Obama went on to reference Trump’s racist “birther” accusations against her husband, which threatened the livelihood of her family, saying that it wasn’t easy for her to get past the lies, but that for the sake of America, she still gracefully welcomed him and his wife, Melania Trump, into the White House.”
She continued, “I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me. Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger. That wasn’t something I was ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside.”
“I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do—because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego,” Obama wrote. “Our love of country requires us to respect the results of an election even when we don’t like them or wish it had gone differently—the presidency doesn’t belong to any one individual or any one party. To pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories—whether for personal or political gain—is to put our country’s health and security in danger.”
Obama finished her poignant post by writing, “This isn’t a game. So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.”
One more time for the people in the back.