I have always liked Michelle Obama. I admire her personal story and respect how she conducted herself as our First Lady. I find her smarter, more authentic, and more good-humored than her husband. Although I strongly disagreed with her school lunch program and wrote about it extensively, I always prefaced my criticism by saying she was well-intentioned. In principle, there is nothing wrong with respected leaders trying to encourage children to eat healthier and get more exercise, even when we may criticize the poor science behind and ineffectiveness of particular policies.
Still, I guess the respect I’ve always had for Mrs. Obama is not reciprocated. Not only does she not like me, it seems Mrs. O. is of the opinion that I don’t like me, either.
During a speaking event in Boston on Wednesday, the former first lady expressed her disapproval of women who, like me, voted for Donald Trump:
As far as I’m concerned, any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice. To me, that doesn’t say as much about Hillary . . . and everyone is trying to wonder, well what does this mean about Hillary? No, no, no, what does this mean about us as women? That we look at those two candidates, as women, and many of us said, that guy [scoffs], he’s better for me. His voice is more true to me. Well, to me that just says, you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like. The voice you’re told to like.
But Obama didn’t stop there. She went on about how us po’ womenz have been programmed to do what the menfolk tell us to do.
We have been socialized to sort of sit there and be quiet. We think 12 times before we open our mouths, we argue with ourselves in our head, and we think, before I can speak up, it has to be perfect. While the guy is like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. He’s not thinking about perfect, right, or anything, he’s just like, “I’m used to hearing my voice.” That’s what happens to a lot of people.
Gee, I wonder to whom she might be referring. Projection isn’t always as evident to the speaker as it is to the audience. Or perhaps she’s watched too many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale?
Presumably, even though Mrs. Obama was making big bucks to speak in front of a rapt and attentive audience about the ways in which women have been silenced (irony alert!), it’s not as if she was saying something original about the presidential election. In fact, she was pretty much just repeating what Mrs. Sore Loser offered recently about why the majority of white women voted for Donald Trump. In an NPR interview, Hillary Clinton relayed a discussion she had with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: “And Sheryl ended this really sobering conversation by saying that women will have no empathy for you, because they will be under tremendous pressure—and I’m talking principally about white women—they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for “the girl.””
Putting aside the arrogance of these two women, focus on this singular fact: They are famous, powerful, and rich almost entirely because of their husbands! As a female Trump voter, I am somehow supposed to be shamed by two women who are only in a position lecture me because their husbands were once president? Please.
Moreover, I wonder if the Michelle Obama of 2008 (who, we must presume, voted in the primary for her husband) needs to have a talk with the Michelle Obama of 2017? Was the 2008 Michelle guilty of scorning her own voice?
Hillary Clinton quit her law career to support her husband’s political career. Michelle Obama quit her law career to support her husband’s political career. Both women traveled around the country—twice—to stump for their husbands. They gave speeches other people wrote to say how great their husbands are. They gave interviews for years talking on and on—not about themselves—but about their husbands. And we all know the extra humiliation Hillary Clinton suffered at the hands of her husband, yet she stayed with him nonetheless.
Now they are lecturing me about being controlled by men? Spare me, sistas.
It isn’t just these two former first ladies who are still lamenting that the majority of white women (and 46 percent of college-educated white women) voted for Donald Trump. In an exchange between CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and Dana Bash about Mrs. Obama’s comments, Bash painfully recounted her experience with female Trump voters just before the election:
I go back to being in the suburbs of Philadelphia right after the “Access Hollywood” tape came out…hearing from woman after woman after woman that they didn’t care about the “Access Hollywood” tape, that’s just Donald Trump, they just don’t like Hillary Clinton. Woman after woman would say, we just want the person that’s going to be best for Americans. Even at that point, just a couple of days after “Access Hollywood” came out and the now-president said what we now know he said, they didn’t care. And I think that is a reality that a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters, Michelle Obama on down, still understandably have real trouble wrapping their minds around.
It is obvious Bash is having that problem, too.
Maybe I can explain to the first ladies and the sad CNN gals why nearly all of the suburban women I know voted for Trump. With multiple policy preferences and varying degrees of enthusiasm, and though few of us voted for him in the primary, there was one thing we all had in common: we did not want Hillary Clinton to be president. It was not because she is a woman; that’s ludicrous. And it was not because our husbands told us not to vote for her. They didn’t have to. It was simply that, over the course of two decades in the public eye, Clinton repeatedly squandered any trust we may have had in her. It was because she is a political liberal who wanted to expand the cost and power of the federal government and we are Republicans who strongly oppose that. It was because her presidency, essentially, would have been a third term for Obama, a president we largely consider to be a failure. And because, as Clinton continues to prove on her book tour, she has no regard or respect for our values, our priorities, or our points of view. She considers herself to be our superior and if we are of no use to her politically, we are of no use to the country, period.
We saw that. We noted it. And we acted accordingly.
That is the bitter truth Hillary Clinton refuses to accept and Michelle Obama now tries to shade because her husband is as much to blame for Trump’s victory as Hillary is. Ladies, if you really want to know why we voted for Donald Trump, get a mirror.