• Nathan Max

Empathy Returns with Obama Speech


Photo credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images.

Michelle Obama reminded the nation Monday night what it’s like to have a First Lady who cares about them.


In a highly emotional 18-minute keynote address that capped the first night of the Democratic National Convention, Obama defined empathy with glassy eyes and a shaky voice to millions of people who have likely forgotten what that’s like. One could hear and feel her frustration, as she pleaded with Americans to end Donald Trump’s regime.


In a message that resonated with those of us who are similarly repulsed by the current state of affairs in this country, Obama warned of a potential dystopian future should Trump be given another term in office. She encouraged voters to overcome whatever adversity they may face in order to cast their ballot, even if it means standing in line until the morning of Nov. 4.


It was a message all Americans needed to hear and fully comprehend.


“If you think things can’t possibly get worse, trust me, they can and they will,” she said. “We have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”


Obama’s address capped a virtual program that included mostly brief speeches from prominent Democrats, and a few appearances by Republicans as well. Sen. Bernie Sanders encouraged his progressive supporters to unite behind Biden, and delivered one of the most memorable lines of the night.


“Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs,” Sanders said.


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar were among the Democrats who addressed the nation Monday. Former GOP Ohio Gov. John Kasich also had a speech, preceded by three female Republicans, all of whom expressed their support for Biden.


But the night belonged to the former First Lady.


Drawing a stark contrast between her and current tone-deaf First Lady Melania Trump -- who famously wore a jacket that said, “I really don’t care, do u?” while boarding a plane to visit a detention center for child migrants on the border -- Obama expressed empathy for struggling and grieving Americans, while delivering a harsh indictment of the Trump administration. It has been a long time since anyone affiliated with this White House has put themselves in another person’s shoes.


“You simply cannot fake your way through this job,” she said. “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”


It has revealed Donald Trump as being a corrupt, dishonest, incompetent, thin-skinned and petulant man who is a danger to the nation. Joe Biden, on the other hand, knows all about the hardships and grief Americans currently face, because he has faced them himself, she said.


The most important message she delivered, however, was her attempt to get-out-the-vote. Obama warned that Trump is doing everything he can to prevent Democrats from casting ballots, and Biden supporters will need to go the extra mile to get the job done.


Message received, Michelle.


Loud and clear.

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