Michelle Obama DNC Speech: A Call for Leadership

Updated: Aug 25

Michelle Obama, a top speaker choice at the DNC this week, has some powerful words for the state of America. In a call for leadership, she rated at a 2.12 (Calculation) on our duality factor scale. As our first analyzed speech, we’ll soon see how that stacks up against others.

A Call for Empathy

The former first lady focused on four things in her pre-recorded speech:

  1. Empathy

  2. Leadership

  3. Trump

  4. Biden

As she called on Americans to go to the polls as they did in 2008 and 2012 for her husband, the need for empathy has the brightest spotlight. It became a cure-all answer for fixing the issues from racial issues to the pandemic. As she focused on its importance, she also emphasized how simple it is—something “we teach our children.”

It came to no surprise when she showed disappointment for a country that has lower its standards as we have stopped “requiring empathy of one another.” After expressing her frustration with the current leadership, she pointed us toward Biden to find the empathy “we are all yearning for.”

Two America’s

Throughout the speech, Michelle Obama made a stark contrast between two sides of a deeply divided America. She points to “goodness and the grace that is out there in households and neighborhoods all across the nation.” However, it wasn’t long before that, where she said her children, like others, “are looking around wondering if we’ve been lying to them about who we are and what we truly value.” She paints a world where there are “people shouting in grocery stores, unwilling to wear a mask to keep us all safe.”

Throughout her 18 ½ minutes, there are various contrasts between an empathetic America, and one filled with entitled and greedy individuals. As we look deeper into her two visions, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate her disdain of leadership from fellow citizens.

Biden Expectation

As she shifted her message towards Biden, she developed empathy for him in many ways. Speaking about the loss of his wife, daughter, and son, she tells a story of the democratic nominee filled with pain. This hardship is her foundation for why he will bring stable leadership to the country, as he will bring a sense of understanding to American citizens.

She made it clear she believed Trump was the “wrong president for our country,” a man who is “clearly in over his head.”

With hefty expectations, she tells America that Biden will push us forward in healthcare, education, and equal rights. She noted how he is our only chance to pursue the “most basic requirements of a functioning society,” and “keeping progress alive.”

Where’s the Empathy?

As she prided herself on her empathetic message throughout the speech, she spoke on how hard the presidency was and why Biden was the better answer. However, there’s one question that she doesn’t answer.

Where’s the empathy?

The silent majority, hinted at throughout her speech, goes with no empathy from the former first lady. Garnering understanding is easy when individuals think and act like us, but not for those we don't understand. And she gave some hefty persecutions to those she opposes. From "emboldening white-supremacists," to "intimidating voters."

She claims the high road is the “only way,” but degrades an opposition with the infliction of entitlement and greed. She claims the high road but shows no empathy for a police force that uses pepper spray and rubber bullets on peaceful protestors for “photo-ops.”

And so, we must wonder about these inconsistencies. They make for a palatable speech to your peers, but hard to swallow perceptions for the opposition. Why is it when empathy can heal the American divide, she looks at her opposition in such a dim light?

And why is it that empathy should be required of the current leadership when it isn’t there in return?

Is empathy not for healing divides? Or is it just for uniting a single side?

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