Drop the mic. One of President Barack Obama’s greatest strengths has been his audacity to hope. He brought that hope to Philadelphia as he spoke at the Democratic National Committee Convention as the party’s leader. He also brought with him a dash of scorn and a scoop of rebuke for Donald Trump.
Obama has had some electrifying speeches during his eight years operating as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief. But the one he delivered on Day 3 of the DNCC just might be his best.
He was spot on the entire way. Obama brought his big stick with him and dropped his hammer on Trump’s head. Pick a line from the President’s mercurial speech, and chances are any one of them can be tweeted.
“Anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end,” Obama stated near the end of his speech.
There it is. Stumping for Hilary Clinton, Obama handed Trump a history lesson on the meaning of being presidential. He reminded the Republican presidential nominee all night with crisp, sharp criticism that democracy is not about one person.
That would constitute as a dictatorship. America is certainly not in the business of allowing that to happen, Obama said.
“Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order,” Obama said. “We don’t look to be ruled. Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago; We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that together, We, the People, can form a more perfect union.”
It takes a village to make a country great. America is great. That has been the Democratic Party’s theme all week. Obama added his outlook on what the country looks like now compared to when he took over the Oval Office nearly eight years ago.
It’s a better looking picture than what Trump and the Republican Party painted during their national convention in Cleveland.
“What we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican – and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world,” said Obama. “There were no serious solutions to pressing problems – just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.
“And that is not the America I know. The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous.”
Obama also knows the hateful rhetoric coming from Trump mocking those with disabilities, degrading an entire ethnic group (Latinos) and the businessman playing up to the idiocy of the great white way to “Make America Great Again,” is totally opposite on how he views the country’s melting pot of cultures.
“I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together – black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young and old; gay, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love. That’s the America I know,” Obama said.
Obama only has a few more months left in his presidency. With his time frame dwindling down by the second, Obama made sure he left the DNCC with something to think about. He gave America and the rest of the world a re-work to the tyranny bubble that Trump lives in.
Was it great theater? You bet. Like all the delegates and the people attending the convention, it was good to finally hear substance over soundbite. It was nice to listen to Obama’s measured speech rather than getting an earful of loud and empty bluster coming out of Trump’s mouth.
This is what Clinton and the Democratic Party needed. It was what we all needed. Obama was that ace in the hole Clinton that Trump didn’t have at the Republication Party malfunctioned show. Trump has so alienated and splintered the Republican Party that neither President George H. Bush and President George W. Bush bothered to show up at the RNC for support.
The same goes for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney or sitting Ohio Gov. John Kasich. And so Obama’s argument for Clinton to be the next President of the United States carried that much more weight.
“You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office,” said Obama. “Until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war. But Hillary’s been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions. She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, the soldier, and the veteran. Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.”
Obama made a strong case for voters to cast their ballots for Clinton, who would become the first woman President. He made an even stronger case why people should stay away from voting for Trump with a blistering verbal take down.
“And then there’s Donald Trump,” said Obama. “He’s not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated. Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice? If so, you should vote for him.”
If you listen to Trump with wide-eyed delusion, America is trending down to become some Third World country. Obama sees a different America.
“America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump. In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person. And that, in the end, may be the biggest difference in this election – the meaning of our democracy.”