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Michelle Obama warns ‘our democracy is fading’ in speech boosting voter turnout


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Former first lady Michelle Obama spoke at the Culture of Democracy Summit on Monday, where she said democracy in the United States is “fading away.”

Obama made the remarks as part of the summit’s opening speech. When We All Vote, is a voter registration campaign launched in 2018 with help from Obama.

The campaign and summit aim to encourage voter registration, participation and activism.

“No one has the luxury of sitting down or staying home just because you don’t feel energized enough. If you don’t vote, other people will,” Obama said.

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Michelle Obama, Founder and Co-Chair of When We All Vote, delivers the keynote address onstage at the inaugural When We All Vote Democracy Culture Summit on June 13, 2022 in Los Angeles.
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“I’ve said this before, but it’s important for all of us to remember that it’s not just about who you vote for. It’s not about whether you’re Republican, Democrat or Independent. “said the former first lady.

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Obama warned audience members that there could be a gap between how they imagine democracy in the United States and the reality of the election results.

“It’s so much bigger than that, because right now when we look around us at everything that’s going on with voting and our democracy, it’s clear that we see a deep disconnect between what we says about this country and what we see with our own eyes.”

She further made a series of remarks about a “change” both in the conception of American democracy and in the way voters “participate” in democracy.

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“I want to implore every American who cares about our democracy not to get angry or down. I want you to be active,” she said. “We have to change the way we think about our democracy. And we have to change the way we participate in it. Not just every two or four years, but as a routine in the way we all live.”

Other celebrity guests at the summit included Democratic allies Janelle Monáe, Tracee Ellis Ross and Selena Gomez.

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Obama redoubled his campaign for voter registration after a draft Supreme Court opinion showed justices could consider overturning Roe v. Wade.

“State lawmakers will have the power to deny women the right to make decisions about their bodies and health care,” she wrote in May.

In his larger message, Obama expressed his opinion on how women can lose the right to make decisions about their own bodies.

“But we must not sit idly by while others try to turn back time,” she continued. “I’m so inspired by everyone marching today. And I know we’re going to see so many people carry that energy into the November election and every election after that.”


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