The 44th President of the United States (US) Barack Obama yesterday reminded Americans of the importance of the vote as a safeguard to democracy and toward the continuity of the Republic in the Donald Trump era.
President Obama invited Americans to recall that what is "essential to American democracy, is that in a government of and by and for the people, there should be no permanent ruling class. There are only citizens, who through their elected and temporary representatives, determine our course and determine our character."
Imploring Americans to vote, President Obama, in his speech to students at the University of Illinois, noted: "History shows the power of fear and the closer that we get to Election Day, the more invested in the politics of fear and division will work - will do anything to hang on to their recent gains."
However, the former president added: "Fortunately, I am hopeful because out of this political darkness, I am seeing a great awakening of citizenship all across the country" and he was encouraged by "watching so many people get involved for the first time in a long time. They're marching and they're organizing and they're registering people to vote and they're running for office themselves."
"You cannot sit back and wait for a savior. You can't opt out because you don't feel sufficiently inspired by this or that particular candidate. This is not a rock concert. This is not Coachella. We don't need a messiah. All we need are decent, honest, hard-working people who are accountable and who have America's best interests at heart. And they'll step up and they'll join our government, and they will make things better if they have support," President Obama advised.
"You're the antidote. Your participation and your spirit and your determination, not just in this election, but in every subsequent election and in the days between elections" is important, the former president informed. Why? He concluded: "Because in the end, the threat to our democracy doesn't just come from Donald Trump or the current batch of Republicans in Congress or the Koch brothers and their lobbyists or too much compromise from Democrats or Russian hacking. The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference, The biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism."
Noting that cynicism caused too many people to stay at home on Election Day, President Obama told students and all Americans to show up to vote.