Fear Not: A Speech by Michelle Obama
Speaking to a group of people in Iowa recently, Michelle Obama challenged people to THINK rather than to react just because someone said that we should be afraid.
Well, I thought.
I concluded that it is far more difficult to inspire people, to leave them full of hope and optimism, than it is to scare the hell
out them –
if you think about it...
August 16, 2007
Our main reason, at least the girls and I -
we are here for the state fair.
I don't know about you but we're going to get some stuff on a stick. I don't care what it is -a hot dog, a snickers bar -- we are eating everything on a stick today. But the other reason I'm here is to introduce my husband. You know the guy running for President.
Yeah. It's pretty good.
One thing I want to share with you today is that whenever I get in front of an audience I get pumped up because I am very passionate about this race. I am very passionate about my husband in this race because I know that, and I am trying to convey to all of you that, there is something very special about this man. This is why we are doing this. Because Barack and I talked long and hard about this decision. This wasn't an easy decision for us because we've got two beautiful little girls and we have a wonderful life and everything was going fine and there would have been nothing that would have been more disruptive than a decision to run for President of the United States.
And as more people talked to us about it, I mean the question came up again and again, what people were most concerned about I think was -
they were afraid.
It was fear. Fear again, raising its ugly head in one of the most important decisions that we would make. Fear. Fear of everything. Fear that we might lose. Fear that he might get hurt. Fear that this might get ugly. Fear that it would hurt our family. Fear.
But you know the reason why I said "Yes"? Was because I am tired of being afraid!
I am tired of living in a country where every decision that we have made over the last ten years wasn't for something, but it was because people told us we had to fear something. We had to fear people who looked different from us, fear people who believed in things that were different from us; fear of one another right here in our own back yards - I am so tired of fear and I don't want my girls to live in a country, in a world, based on fear.
That is why, and we have to admit it, we are in this war.
We are in this war because for eight years we were told to be afraid and everybody followed suit. Everybody cut and run because it was very unpopular not to be afraid; to talk about hope and possibility. But you know what, there is my husband, who at the time that many people in political life were moving toward fear, he sat on this stage at this anti-war rally at a time when it wasn't convenient for him to talk a different unconventional voice, he stood on that stage in the middle of a very hotly contested primary in Illinois -
looked a lot like this one because there was a billionaire in the race. He was buying up every sign, every politician, every minister in our state. There was a strong political family in the race. They had been there for years. People said that there was no way that Barack could build a political machine. There was another black candidate that had been thrown in the race. There was a woman -
everybody was in this primary and Barack Obama was not supposed to win.
"He couldn't raise the money"; "He had a strange name". People said "Fear him because he is different". But even in the midst of all that, at the core of all that when he could have lost, taking a stand, he stood on that stage and he called this war to a tee! He said "This is wrong! This will cost us millions! We are going after the wrong enemy", he said. And it was unpopular but he was right.
Because - he's special.
He's lived a broad life and the thing that I want you all to remember - please, please, please, don't base your votes this time on fear. BASE it on possibility. Think! Listen! The game of politics is to make you afraid so that you don't think and what we need right now isn't political rhetoric, isn't games playing. We need leadership. We need people with judgment. We need decent people, people with common sense, people with strong family values, people who understand the world. We need a man like Barack Obama who you know, on the day that he is elected to office, will change the way the world sees us. You know that! That is the possibility of Barack Obama.
So as I introduce to you today my husband, the man that I love who I would rather have at home with me, at the state fair, but whom I am willing to sacrifice because we have this window of opportunity.
We have a chance to make something real happen; something possible happen; to live beyond our fear. Think about that and help us. Help lift us up and help us fight this fight to change and transform this country in a fundamental way. This chance won't come around again.
So, please help me introduce and welcome the next President of the United States of America, my husband -