Long before Republican Donald Trump was declared the 45th president of the United States over Democrat Hillary Clinton, his predecessor urged Americans to be empathetic toward one another “no matter what happens.”
“This has been an exhausting, stressful and, let’s face it, downright weird election for all of us,” President Barack Obama said in a BuzzFeed News video on Tuesday. “But here’s what I want everyone to know: Our democracy has always been rowdy, and we’ve been through divisive elections before, and we’ve always come out stronger for it. That’s what makes American special, the idea that, while progress isn’t guaranteed, each of us has the power to choose our path, not just one nights like this, but every day in between.”
Obama called democracy a “beautiful and fragile gift” and urged Americans to “stay engaged” and push each other to do better.
“To vote, not just when a president’s on the ballot, but for Congress and mayor and school board and dogcatcher. To educate ourselves on the issues and join with our neighbors in tackling the ones that face our community,” he said.
After what had been arguably the most controversial presidential election in history, Obama urged citizens to view each other beyond the blue and red.
“To see each other not as Democrats and Republicans, but fellow Americans, to treat each other with the respect and kinship as that title commands,” he said, before ending the video with his trademark optimism.
“No matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning, and America will still be the greatest nation on Earth.”