Have you ever seen the movie “Inside Out”?
It’s a pretty adorable look at the imagined inner workings of the human psyche. Each human has a set of emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear) operating inside a command center (the brain). There’s also a vast bank of memories, and a smaller set of “core” memories. The core memories are those things that you remember no matter what—like your first day of school; the day you got your license; the first time you were really seriously afraid.
For a cartoon movie, I thought it was actually a decent way of explaining how our mind spins emotions and thoughts and memories to form our outlook on life and who we are.
To the point: one of my “core” memories (and for some reason I remember exactly what I was doing when I first heard this) was when now-First Lady Michelle Obama said of her then-candidate husband’s presidential aspirations: “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
“For the first time in your adult life you’re proud of this country?” I thought, stunned. It was so utterly jarring to me that it sort of “imprinted” on my memory and there it has sat for the last 8 years.
(And no, it’s not because I’m somehow blithely unaware of our warts, as if somehow we’re the only nation to ever screw up from time to time.)
I was just so shocked because in the global scheme of things, we’re so blessed in this country. We’re home to so many marvelous and unprecedented achievements—from the way we broke away from the most powerful empire in the world, all the way to setting foot on the moon, and beyond.
(You can read more about that incredible leap HERE.)
Not only that, but we’ve bucked societal tradition every step of the way when it comes to the right of all men and women to be free. Yes, despite MTV’s ridiculous assertion that this country was “never great” for anyone who isn’t a white dude, this has been the land of plenty for all people. For generations.
So let’s get back to the First Lady.
Fast forward eight years, and she’s staring rejection of her husband’s legacy in the face after Hillary Clinton’s epic loss.
And she’s back to talking about hope.
“…now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like … What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”
That was in reference to Donald Trump having won the election, as she sat down to talk about it in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Take her statement from 8 years ago, partner it with this most recent interview—and what are we to infer? That there was no hope prior to her husband, and that there will be no hope after his presidency so long as his legacy isn’t carried on?
What an abysmal lack of awareness. What complete and utter pompousness.
But that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that Mrs. Obama’s husband is the one who has left a giant chasm of hopelessness in his big government, political correct, racially divisive wake.
This isn’t just about party lines; this isn’t just that “my” party won and hers didn’t—and that somehow that’s what matters.
This is about real, tangible human collateral damage here. Real, tangible human collateral damage left in the wake of this presidency’s path.
You want to talk about feeling hopeless? You’re on.
How hopeless do you think the thousands and thousands of police officers and their families feel as your husband turned his back on them time and again in favor of a false narrative?
How hopeless do you think those who have lost their health insurance feel, thanks to your husband’s hijacking of the health insurance industry?
How hopeless do you think we all feel being saddled with more crippling national debt in 8 years through one president than ALL of his predecessors combined?
How hopeless do you think the nearly 10% of jobless and chronically underemployed Americans feel, thanks to your husband’s economic policies? (And no, for the millionth time, the unemployment rate is not 5%.)
How hopeless do you think the families of loved ones lost to terror in this country feel, thanks to your husband’s refusal to truly deal with the enemy?
How hopeless do you think the families of soldiers lost in the Middle East feel, now that your husband’s policies have squandered their sacrifice by allowing the region to fall into the hands of Islamic State?
How hopeless do you think the African American community feels after your husband’s policies have contributed to higher comparative unemployment and poverty levels?
How hopeless do you think we feel, knowing that your husband put the largest state sponsor of terror well on its way to its very own nuclear weaponry?
How hopeless do you think our veterans feel, because your husband has done nothing to fix the broken promises and abysmal conditions at the VA?
You speak of hopelessness, Mrs. Obama. Hopelessness now, as compared to what exactly?
Here’s a thought: why else do you think Donald Trump was elected?
As one writer so brilliantly put it, “How successful can Obama’s two terms be if Americans were willing to take a chance on an outsider who stands for everything he abhors?”
In other words, just exactly how hopeless do you think we all felt in order to so unquestionably reject your husband’s legacy? So hopeless, in fact, that quite a chunk of us ranked him as “the worst president since World War II.”
5 thoughts on “Dear First Lady Michelle Obama: Yes, Let’s Talk About Hopelessness”
Honest words that need to be said.
You nailed it & couldn’t have said it better.
Her statement early on, similar to “for the first time in my entire life, I am at this moment proud to be an American” made me ill and bothers me still. Such an insult. Such disrespect. Such a slap to the memories of those who gave so much that all Americans may live free. Free to make our own decisions and mistakes, harming others or not by our decisions and to live with the repercussions of both. These sacrifices are what makes me proud to be an American. Eight long and trying years later, it is with great pride & great relief that I say “Good riddance to bad rubbish”. Buhbye Felicia!!!
nailed it, thanks. not racist, not a bigot, just go to work and try to better my family. I know there is injustice everywhere but it’s not me, and everything on the news seems to blame me. I’ve never even heard of Ferguson!!!