In a direct, impassioned messaged to voters on Monday, Michelle Obama urged people to take the upcoming election seriously, warning that the situation facing the United States would only worsen if Donald Trump is reelected.
“If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me — they can, and they will, if we don’t make a change in this election,” the former First Lady said.
In getting to that blunt assessment of the state of things, the former First Lady first addressed “when they go low, we go high,” the phrase she introduced in 2016 that some have since criticized as not meeting the moment. “Over the past four years, a lot of people have asked me, ‘When others are going so low, does going high still really work?’ My answer: Going high is the only thing that works,” Obama said. “But let’s be clear: Going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted with vicious cruelty. Going high means taking the higher path, it means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top. Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences.”
“And going high means unlocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can truly set us free: the cold hard truth. So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can,” Obama continued. “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”
“Now I understand that my message won’t be heard by some people. We live in a nation that is deeply divided, and I am a Black woman speaking at the Democratic Convention. But enough of you know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling. You know I hate politics. But you also know that I care about this nation.
“You know how much I care about all of our children. So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me — they can and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”
Watch the full speech above or below:
If we want to end the chaos and division—and keep alive the possibility of progress on the issues we hold dear—we’ve got to vote for @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris like our lives depend on it. Register today by texting VOTE to 30330. https://t.co/xPu5o0SYLJ
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 18, 2020