BET Awards 2020 / Contributor, Getty Images
In a November 16th Instagram post, Former First Lady Michelle Obama reflected on the transition she, former president Barack Obama, and the American public, went through in handing the country over to President Trump in 2016. Though Trump has officially been voted out of office and will be replaced by President-elect Joe Biden in January, he still has not conceded nor accepted the election results, and Michelle is calling on U.S. officials and her fellow Americans to trust the process and call for Trump to go through with a peacefully transition of power.
"This week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on where I was four years ago," Michelle wrote in the caption of her post—a photograph of herself and Barack during his time in office. "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."
Michelle wrote that she and Barack instructed their staffs to do as the Bush family had done for them: "run a respectful, seamless transition of power—one of the hallmarks of American democracy."
Though she admits "none of this was easy," Michelle said she went through the motions, as was expected of her and Barack. "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," and treated the Trump family with kindness, despite the heinous rumors Trump had spread about the Obamas.
"Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger. That wasn’t something I was ready to forgive," Michelle wrote. "But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside." She did, and she gave advice to Melania Trump about being First Lady and raising children in the White House. "I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do—because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego," she said.
"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," Michelle wrote in her post.
"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."
The votes have been counted, and the next president has been elected by the American people as was true of the president before him. There need not be any more division and distrust in the process.