Many parents across the nation faced a difficult challenge the day after the election: How do you we tell our children that Donald Trump will be out next president? Even President Obama found himself in that same predicament when he told his teenager daughters about his new predecessor.
“What I say to them is that people are complicated. Societies and cultures are really complicated…This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding,” he said.
President Obama added: “And you should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish. And it doesn’t stop…You don’t get into a fetal position about it. You don’t start worrying about apocalypse. You say, O.K., where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward.”
POTUS also admitted to The New Yorker’sDavid Remnick that he and other Dems had no plans for a Trump presidency, but that despite their initial shock and serious disappointment, this was not the sign of the “apocalypse.”
“I don’t believe in apocalyptic—until the apocalypse comes. I think nothing is the end of the world until the end of the world,” he stressed.
And somehow in this darkness, our first Black President continues to have deep optimism and honed in that his optimism is not an act.
“Look, by dint of biography, by dint of experience, the basic optimism that I articulate and present publicly as President is real. It’s what I teach my daughters. It is how I interact with my friends and with strangers. I genuinely do not assume the worst, because I’ve seen the best so often. So it is a mistake that I think people have sometimes made to think that I’m just constantly biting my tongue and there’s this sort of roiling anger underneath the calm Hawaiian exterior,” he said.
“I’m not that good of an actor. I was born to a white mother, raised by a white mom and grandparents who loved me deeply. I’ve had extraordinarily close relationships with friends that have lasted decades. I was elected twice by the majority of the American people. Every day, I interact with people of good will everywhere,” POTUS concluded.