As former President Donald Trump tries to cling on to what little power he has left, the former first lady describes what it was like to let that power go.
While President-elect Joe Biden has already chosen staff members for his transition team, former President Donald Trump is staging what many have called a coup. Despite counting all the votes—as you do in a fair and free democracy—the 45th President is yet to initiate a peaceful transition for the new administration. Therefore, former first lady Michelle Obama has weighed in on how she set her own anger aside in order to ensure a seamless transfer of power. Taking to Instagram, she shared a post reflecting on what took place four years ago, when Trump entered the White House, CNN reports.
"I was hurt and disappointed—but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won," she wrote. "The American people had spoken. And one of the great responsibilities of the Presidency is to listen when they do." The power of the people is, of course, the strongest facet of American democracy (though Trump himself had won through the electoral college). She continued, "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."
Though Trump wanted little to do with the memos his predecessor had prepared for his administration, even infamously ditching their pandemic task force, this is what ensures future Presidents can enter the White House with the information they need to effectively lead the American people. The most important part of this all is that Michelle Obama and her husband former President Barack Obama did this despite their known fears and anger over the results of the election. Our forever first lady reiterated nonetheless, "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."
Therefore, as any gracious first lady would, she "welcomed Melania Trump into the White House and talked with her about [her] experience, answering every question she had—from the heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it’s like to raise kids in the White House." Obama knew in her heart that this was simply the right thing to do. "Our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego," she noted. "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. This isn’t a game."
There is little hope that Trump and the members of his administration will pay heed to Obama's words. After all, he has shown no interest in listening to those willing to reason with him. As Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to enter the White House in January next year, the American people are left wondering if there is anything the Trump administration could possibly share with them. What is there to learn anyway from a man who is not ready to honor the country's long-standing electoral process?