In a bizarre approach to a get-out-the-vote appeal, former First Lady Michelle Obama chose to repeatedly stress the lack of knowledge of the young potential Democrat voters in the audience. The result was the impression that having an “opinion” is more important than having the facts when it comes to pulling the lever for candidates with a “D” next to their name.
At a Democrat rally in Las Vegas on Sunday, Obama told the young audience that they don’t need to be well-read or up on the news to vote. In fact, they could “know nothing about nothing” like she she says she did at age 18, and still vote Democrat. What matters is less about having the information on issues, than having their own “opinion” on issues.
After laying out the problem of lack of participation in elections, Obama said she knows one thing that is not causing it: it’s not that we don’t all care enough. “We all care about what happens in our communities,” she said. “Especially when things go wrong, we care. And it’s not that folks don’t have opinions on the issues. … We all have opinions.”
So why do so many people fail to participate in the democratic process? Obama floats some possibilities: they think the issues aren’t relevant to them, they believe the “system is rigged” so don’t bother, or they feel “overwhelmed” by the issues, believing they’re too complicated to understand.
After lamenting the “chaos” and “nastiness” of politics, which she said is “frankly, depressing,” she emphasized her opinion theme again.
“Here’s something I just want to make sure people understand: Voting does not require any kind of special expertise,” she said (around the 15:00 mark). “You don’t need to … have some fancy degree to be qualified to vote. You don’t have to read every news article to be qualified to vote. You know what you need to be qualified to vote? You need to be a citizen, you know, you need to be a part of this country. You need to have opinions about the issues in your community. That’s what qualifies you to vote.”
“Don’t let somebody intimidate you from being a part of this process,” she added. “I’ve been voting since I was 18 years old — and, trust me, I didn’t know nothing about nothing at 18 years old. But what you do know is what you care about. For all the young people, you do know you have a voice. You do have opinions about what goes on. That qualifies you to vote.”
She closed by touting her husband’s “great” presidency and reiterating the young rallyers’ “marching orders”: “You know, we need you guys. And I am here asking you for this. … Here’s what we have to do. If we want qualified people, who we trust … then people have to vote. You can vote some of the time, then sit out. We experienced that. We had a great president, but every couple of years, folks sat out … So you all have your marching orders.”