Whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, or align yourself with a third party, there’s no denying the power and sheer importance of the speech that Michelle Obama just made.
And actually, we don’t particularly care if you are a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and you plan on voting along party lines this November 8th. You should still read this speech and check out the video at CNN, but if all you take away from it is one thing, it should be - what does it say about us as people that we’re even considering electing a leader who treats people the way that the Republican candidate does?
Politics aside, there’s no denying that the words our candidates use matter - and in the case of Donald Trump, they are pretty reprehensible, both in general and in regard to the way he talks about women (you’ve heard him already, and we won’t repeat his words here). Interestingly enough, Mrs. Obama never addressed him by name - perhaps also again proving that words matter more than personal political preference.
After all, we expect our leaders to be held to basic standards of human decency, no matter which side of the party line they fall upon. And Obama was right - it is painful to hear this kind of language from our leaders, who are supposed to be our best and brightest.
What Michelle Obama Actually Said
"I can't believe I'm saying a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women," Obama said on Thursday, October 13. And really, isn’t that what matters here? The fact that as a nation we’re seemingly okay with potentially electing someone to our highest office - and who therefore should be held to a higher standard - isn’t a problem for Democrats or the GOP - it’s a problem for we the people.
What’s more, she pointed out that we can’t just push it under a rug, or pretend it’s all just a bad dream, or that it will go away after the election. And it’s not just about the language that Trump used or anything else - it’s about this kind of speech and the associated divisiveness and vision of America going forward that is at stake in this election - and what that means for our society.
Our Leaders As A Measure Of Our Society
The current first lady of the United States pointed out that regardless of who is your preferred candidate for the next president of the United States, there’s something else to consider, and that like it or not, is the fact our leaders define our society.
All in all, as Michelle said herself, “it’s been a rough week in an already rough election”. And even though we’re almost at the finish line, what does it say about Americans in general that we’re willing to entertain this reality-show-trainwreck of an election process in 2016? And more importantly, what does that tell non-Americans? And perhaps even more importantly, what message does permitting (yes, silence, dismissing, or placating, or placating counts as permitting) that kind of speech from someone who’s aspiring to the highest office in the land and perhaps the world send to future generations of women and young people in general?
Something to think about as you plan to cast your ballot on November 8th.