Former President Barack Obama shared with his wife Michelle on her inaugural podcast that he’s worried young Americans have become too distrustful of government.
“The danger for this generation is that they become too deeply cynical in government, not understanding that all government is is us, collectively, making decisions together,” the ex-commander in chief said.
On the back of her 2018 memoir Becoming, former first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday released the first episode of her new eponymous Spotify podcast. The series’ initial 50-minute installment features her husband as its guest star.
The couple, celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary this year, focused on their relationship with their community and country, relationships being the central theme of Obama’s podcast. They talked about wanting to return to a bygone era when the world was less “us versus them.”
“Let’s go ahead and re-embrace those values that made everybody better off back in the ’50s, and ’60s, and ’70s, except this time, let’s do it in a way that genuinely includes everybody,” Barack Obama said. “If you go back to that basic insight and just widen it. Take the blinders of racism, and sexism, and homophobia, and all those things off, and say, ‘Our tribe is everybody.’”
With the pair expected to assume prominent roles in presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign, Michelle Obama said that she too is concerned too many young people “question whether voting, whether politics is worth it.”
“I know a lot of you are hurting out there right now. A lot of you are confused. And that’s okay,” she said, reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd-inspired racial unrest.
She added, “But as I’ve seen, as Barack has seen, we can take that anger, that disappointment, and turn it into something useful. Perhaps even something hopeful. But we’ve just got to keep having those conversations because once we start the conversation, there is no telling where it will go.”
Obama also offered a veiled swipe at President Trump during the episode.
“As a former president who reads and knows history, let’s just take a moment to pause and think about that,” the mother-of-two joked to her husband.
Obama’s podcast is a collaboration between Spotify and Higher Ground, a production company the husband-and-wife team started in 2018.
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