Addressing the Democratic National Convention on opening night, Michelle Obama made history by her scathing denunciation of a sitting president by a former first lady. “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” she declared. “He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment.” And “whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy.” This, she claimed, was simply “the cold hard truth”—“the only thing that can truly set us free.”
Here is the cold hard truth I witnessed shortly after her husband took office as president in 2009. The occasion was a public briefing at the UN Commission on the Status of Women by the US delegation led by Obama appointees, there to do the bidding of the newly elected president. While we who were present knew there would be a change from the policies of the previous administration, yet the in-your-face abruptness of the Obama personnel was startling as they denounced with great disdain the Bush policies, to be immediately supplanted by the enlightened principles of the new administration.
The zeal with which they announced this sea change was matched by their zeal in implementing it over the next eight years. Those of us working in the United Nations to protect family, faith, and life found ourselves doing battle not just with the EU and the powerful NGOs we had long fought, but now also with our own government as the Obama delegates attempted to impose on the world, America included, their misguided social agenda of abortion, sexual rights, gay marriage, and curtailment of religious freedom. The contrast with the Bush years was striking, an unforgettable lesson about the widespread influence of the American president far beyond our borders.
Such cold hard truths offer a revealing contrast to what is behind Michelle Obama’s rhetoric. “You know how much I care about all of our children,” she claimed, emphasizing that “the truest form of empathy” is “not just feeling, but doing; not just for ourselves or our kids, but for everyone, for all our kids.” The words ring hollow in light of what the Obama administration, including Joe Biden as vice-president, actually did in promoting the abortion of countless unborn children. Nor is the ailing Biden, who would be 78 by the time he took office, the only threat to family, faith, and life; he has chosen a running mate whose antipathy to these foundational pillars exceeds even his own, as evident in the recent exposé by our Frank Schubert, a resident of the same state as Kamala Harris.
Fortunately, another sea change came with the election of Donald J. Trump, whose courageous defense of family, faith, and life has been unprecedented, even among his Republican predecessors. Last year at the UN General Assembly, as we have previously noted, he hosted the historic Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom, in which he stated, “Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.” Days later in the General Assembly he declared that “every child— born and unborn— is a sacred gift from God,” and that Americans will “never tire of defending innocent life… Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life.”
Michelle was, however, right about one thing: “There is no perfect candidate, no perfect president.” Even so, the fast-approaching election of our next president is not merely about politics; it forces us to take a stand on society’s most fundamental and foundational issues. As our Luca Volontè has shown about the Democratic challenger in this election, “The candidate’s actions and public statements impose an obvious duty on us: no believer can support Joe Biden.” At stake is not merely the safety and prosperity of America. We are choosing not just our nation’s president and not just the leader of the free world, but the individual who will wield the greatest influence in protecting— or undermining, if we choose amiss— family, faith, and life around the world.