Michelle Obama is no longer holding back any of her feelings about Donald Trump and his refusal to begin a transition of power
It’s now two weeks after Election Day in the U.S., and nine days after Joe Biden was declared the winner and the next president of the United States. And still, Donald Trump is fighting the results of the election, drawing criticism from major democrats. One of those is Michelle Obama, who just posted a scathing — but graceful as always — message to Instagram criticizing Trump’s conspiracy theories, his refusal to concede the race, and what she says are his attacks on the democratic institutions that make this country run.
Alongside a photo of herself and her husband on inauguration day in 2016, Michelle began by reminiscing about that day, and the transfer of power that occurred when Trump took office.
“This week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on where I was four years ago,” she wrote. “I was hurt and disappointed — but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won. The American people had spoken. And one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do.”
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, it wasn’t easy, she writes. “Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger,” Michelle wrote. But she and her family facilitated the transition because it’s a fundamental part of holding the most powerful office in the U.S. “I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside,” she said.
Now, with Trump doing everything in his power to stall the transition, even instructing government departments to refuse meetings with Biden’s transition team, the democratic principle of a peaceful transition of presidential power is in serious danger.
“I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do — because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego,” Michelle wrote of her and Barack’s thoughts on their 2016 transition period with Trump. “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.”
She then made maybe her most aggressive statement since the election, pointing out how futile it is that Trump keeps making claims of voter fraud and saying the election was “stolen” from him.
“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,” she wrote. “This isn’t a game. So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.”
Michelle Obama is certainly not the first major political figure to speak out about Trump’s refusal to concede the election and move on. However, despite the national security and public health risks of further delaying the transition, Trump shows no signs of budging, and many prominent republicans have refused to speak out against him. It’s still 64 days until inauguration day, and only time will tell how long lawmakers and other republican officials will allow Trump to keep this up.