For many Americans, the election of Donald Trump to the presidency was not only a shock but a devastating blow.
President Barack Obama, who campaigned furiously for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, must have been disappointed as well, but in his remarks with Vice President Joe Biden the next day, he handled the news with cool aplomb.
As Obama repeatedly said on the campaign trail, much of his legacy depended on a Clinton victory. But when that didn’t happen, the president reportedly had some positive words of wisdom for his daughters, Sasha and Malia, the morning after, according recent to a profile in the New Yorker.
“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.
“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.”
Man, are we going to miss the level-headed optimism of Barack Obama.