With fewer than 40 days remaining as first lady, Michelle Obama is continuing to reflect on the legacy she and President Obama will leave after having occupied the White House for the last eight years. In a new interview with Oprah Winfrey, the first lady addressed the election outcome and suggested that the U.S. is entering a time of hopelessness.
“We are feeling what not having hope feels like,” Obama told Winfrey in response to a question about whether President Obama had achieved the “hope and change” he promised while campaigning in 2008. As she often did while campaigning for Hillary Clinton, she didn’t mention President-elect Donald Trump by name. But she alluded to the contrast many in the country are feeling since he won the election last month. “We feel the difference now,” she said, noting that her husband had succeeded in keeping his campaign promise of fostering hope. “Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept,” she elaborated. “And Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believed that … what else do you have if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”
While I've strongly disagreed with Mrs. Obama's political leanings, I felt she, for the most part, handled being First Lady with dignity and decorum. But I have to admit that reading this excerpt of her interview with Oprah makes me quite angry. No, it's not because of the passive aggressive swipe at the incoming Trump administration. As I've said many times on this blog, I'm not all that enthused about the new occupants of the White House myself. But to suggest that the only way to have "hope" or give your kids "hope" is based upon who is President of the United States is stunningly arrogant. I submit that putting faith in a political philosophy (i.e. left-ism) run by those who believe they're our betters will always leave folks disappointed.
The insinuation that people in this country should now feel hopeless because Obama is leaving office is also an insult to those who voted for Trump and another validation as to why they supported him. I wonder how the First Lady would respond to those who felt hopeless during her husband's administration. After all, many Americans felt their standard of living decreased due in large part to Barack Obama's policies. And many were made to feel ashamed of freely practicing their religion or legally owning a gun due to the condescending tone struck by Mr. Obama. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Oprah really didn't approach that line of inquiry.
Bottom line is if you believe the only way to feel "hope" is based upon who is sitting in the Oval Office, I contend that you are doing life incorrectly.