President Barack Obama has been a model father during his eight years in the White House, and it's been a privilege to watch as his daughters went from bright little girls to graceful young women.
After Donald Trump won the election, many parents grappled with how they would explain the president-elect's victory to their children. Well, turns out Obama dealt with this too. In a new interview with New Yorker editor David Remnick, Obama revealed that he had a conversation with Malia and Sasha following the election. What he said is a reminder of his dignity and wisdom, and it might just make you a bit teary.
"What I say to them is that people are complicated," Obama said. "Societies and cultures are really complicated. ... This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it's messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. And you should anticipate that at any given moment there's going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish. And it doesn't stop. .... You don't get into a fetal position about it. You don't start worrying about apocalypse. You say, OK, where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward."
Obama also told Remnick that the cautious hopefulness he's displayed in recent weeks isn't just a facade.
"Look, by dint of biography, by dint of experience, the basic optimism that I articulate and present publicly as President is real," he said. "It's what I teach my daughters. It is how I interact with my friends and with strangers. I genuinely do not assume the worst, because I've seen the best so often. So it is a mistake that I think people have sometimes made to think that I'm just constantly biting my tongue and there's this sort of roiling anger underneath the calm Hawaiian exterior. I'm not that good of an actor. I was born to a white mother, raised by a white mom and grandparents who loved me deeply. I've had extraordinarily close relationships with friends that have lasted decades. I was elected twice by the majority of the American people. Every day, I interact with people of good will everywhere."
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