First Lady Michelle #Obama, in her last televised interview to be aired on Monday, told #Oprah Winfrey that in the aftermath of the election of #Donald Trump to the presidency, that we now know "what not having hope feels like." The First Lady explained that her husband brought hope to the country and she pointedly asked, "What else do you have if you don't have hope?" Ms. Obama discussed the importance of having an "adult in the White House" who can reassure the nation when things go wrong or when crises arise and tell Americans, "Hey, it is going to be OK."

Leadership is predicated upon hope

Michelle Obama, for whom a political action committee (PAC) has been formed in case she decides to run for President in 2020, was referring to the fact that hope is the bedrock upon which leadership is based.

Advertisements
Advertisements

A leader brings out the best in people, challenges people to strive hard and attain difficult goals, and inspires people to imagine how great things can be if they work together. President John F. Kennedy called his administration "The New Frontier" and challenged young people to study science, to dedicate their lives to public service, and to imagine a future that was limitless so long as they continued to imagine. President Ronald Reagan referred to America as a "shining city on a hill" and often said that America's best days still are "ahead of her."

The hopelessness of Trump

Ms. Obama was contrasting the hope brought out by several presidents, including her husband, to the hopelessness and despair that is portrayed by Trump in his daily diatribes on television, radio and Twitter. Instead of uniting people and bringing out the best in people, Trump divides people, ridicules and attacks people, and threatens people, i.e., his attacks upon Hispanics and Muslims, his misogyny, and his very frequent Twitter attacks upon people who exercise their First Amendment rights and dare to criticize him.

Advertisements

Trump's slogan, "Make America Great Again," seems to be referring to a return to the days of overt racism, Jim Crow laws and cross burnings by the Klu Klux Klan (KKK). As this observer sees it, it is no accident that white supremacist David Duke is one of Trump's most ardent supporters.

Is a revival coming for America?

Meanwhile, Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2016 GOP primaries against Trump and 15 other candidates, has his own version of hope for America. He s claiming that America is about to undergo a "revival," even though, as he stated, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is to blame for "all of America's problems." It will be interesting to see who Cruz is blaming for America's problems after a couple of years of Trump. Of course, by then, America most likely will be burdened by so many other issues that Cruz's opinion most likely will be of little relevance in the national spotlight.