If you listen to Donald Trump, you might think America is a failed state that desperately needs to be rescued by a Mussolini-style dictator. But if you listened to Michelle Obama last night, you must have realized how wrong Trump is.
This is an imperfect society. But it is a work in progress, not a failed experiment.
In her moving address to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, the First Lady made a compelling case for America’s progress over the years. She said:
That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.
No thoughtful person could dismiss that speech as mere political rhetoric.
No thoughtful person could accept Trump’s version of America’s history after listening to Michelle Obama.
Trump, and people like him, are threatened by the evolution of American society. They do not applaud a black woman in the White House. They equate America’s greatness with white domination. And they desperately want to turn back the clock.
But I believe America is better than that. I believe America is a great country and will become even greater – if we listen to people like Michelle Obama and ignore people like Donald Trump.
Yes, America is a work in progress. And yes, there are glaring imperfections. There is grotesque income inequality, for example. And persistent bigotry and intolerance and hypocrisy. But at their core, most Americans are decent human beings who would “do unto others as they would have others do unto them.”
With Mrs. Obama, I I believe Hillary Clinton is a decent human being, who – as President – will earnestly endeavor to correct the injustices and inadequacies of our democracy. And I believe that under Hillary’s leadership, America will continue the progress toward that “more perfect union” the Founding Fathers envisaged.