Michelle Obama Destroyed Trump in a Really Kind Voice

Illustration for article titled Michelle Obama Destroyed Trump in a Really Kind Voice
Image: Chris Delmas (Getty Images)

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has a bone to pick with America. On Monday night she delivered a speech at the Democratic National Convention that was part reassuring and part, “How many times do I have to come to the rescue of this country” which is fair considering the woman gave up eight years of her life and proclaims to “hate politics.” Like most events in the last few months, the DNC was held virtually and Obama spoke directly into the void, starting off with a brief admiration of the “beauty and pain” in the American immigrant story. But once she was done patting America on the back, it was suddenly fuck-politics-o’clock. It was exactly the kind of energy America needs right now.

The queen of going high, Obama diverted from her usual elevated stance, taking a long stretch of minutes to descend into shitting on Donald Trump. She started off slow. “Being president doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are,” Obama said, stating that Donald Trump has had more than enough time to be the man we want him to be. But then Obama spelled it out plainly, “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He’s in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. It is what it is.”

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If anyone listening felt that Obama’s point was not clear enough she doubled down by adding, “If you don’t think things can possibly get any worse, they can and they will if we don’t make a change in this election.”

But Obama didn’t lay the entire blame for America’s current shittiness at the feet of its shittiest president. She spoke about the 2016 election and chastised everyone who chose not to vote, adding “we’ve all been living with the consequences,” of those decisions. Not only did she encourage everyone to go out and vote this year, but she specifically told voters not to try and make a statement by withholding their ballot or play childish games by “voting for a candidate who has no chance of winning.”

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At some point toward the end of her speech, she did talk about Joe Biden, the actual person running for president. According to her, Biden is a nice guy. But more importantly, he is not Donald Trump and that seems to be the most appealing thing about a Biden presidency, even for Obama, a woman who proclaims to be the man’s dear friend and former colleague. Obama also chose to bring back her signature catchphrase saying that she is frequently asked if “going high” still works? “Going high is the only thing that works,” she said.

All Michelle Obama wants from her legion of followers is that they go out and vote blue, which, considering how much anyone who is not a die-hard Republican claims to hate Donald Trump, shouldn’t be a tall order. Yet, as Obama reminded her audience, voting will be more mentally draining than ever this year. “Pack a brown bag dinner or breakfast if you have to,” she pleaded. Don’t let Michelle Obama down, she’ll know if you do.

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DISCUSSION

It will be interesting to see how they handle the rest of the virtual convention and how they will manage to continuously build up, but from what I saw I kind of liked that they just went with how weird this situation was. Instead of trying to pretend this was a convention or something like that, they just went with the production of it.

Also there was a point I saw made in that they did show Biden already during the first night instead of holding his appearance until the final night, but it was him being silent and listening. While I don’t think it is a big thing election-wise, I do think it was a really smart production choice and a way to portray him as the opposite of Trump in that sense.