- - Wednesday, December 21, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Michelle Obama, in her final interview at first lady, spoke to Oprah Winfrey for an hour, and the headlines make quite clear what her message is: After eight years of her husband’s “hope” agenda, hope is now suddenly gone.

Sadly, here is a woman who is a role model for so many, who has an opportunity to further her husband’s agenda of bringing hope through encouragement but instead declares hope dead.

As a feminist, gay woman and fiscal conservative, my circle of friends is diverse — conservatives of all stripes, but also liberals and libertarians. What unites us is our commitment to wanting the future to be better than the past. But after Mrs. Obama’s comments, I started receiving calls from my liberal friends in a sort of depression developed by a myriad of completely false premises.

“He’s controlled by Russia! Hillary lost because of Russia and racism!” And the concerns of my gay friends, “He’s going to overturn gay marriage!” One gay couple who has adopted two fabulous children were actually beginning to panic about President-elect Donald Trump wanting to take their children away. Neither of those things are true, of course.

Case in point: Hillary Clinton didn’t lose because of the Russians, she lost because people who voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 and 2012 voted for Mr. Trump this time, and millions of Democrats stayed home. According to the Washington Examiner: “The reason Trump was able to win the presidency with fewer votes is a collapse in the Democratic coalition that sent Barack Obama to the Oval Office twice. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton received about 6.56 million fewer votes than Obama’s nearly 66 million votes in 2012.”

So Mrs. Obama, arguably, was right, but not in the way she meant. It was the Democratic Party’s losses that exposed how Americans did lose hope after realizing hope is not a plan of action, but an assuagement when things go wrong. Democrats stayed home because they’re not better off now than they were eight years ago.

In her comments to Ms. Winfrey, Mrs. Obama said as much by noting, “We feel the difference now. Now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary. … What else do you have if you don’t have hope?”

This, you see, has been the problem. Many Americans respond to that by noticing they don’t hope because they don’t have a job; they don’t have security at home; they don’t have enough income so they can restart their savings account or college fund; they’re not sure they won’t be attacked by a terrorist at the mall or at a night club; they don’t know if their child will come home from school with tuberculosis or a strange new form of polio; they also don’t know if they’ll ever get a doctor’s appointment with their insurance plan that is bankrupting them.

As a feminist, I’ve grown increasingly appalled at the headlines and facts illustrating the result of the Obama hope-based agenda:

• 3.7 million women have been pushed into poverty due to Mr. Obama’s policies.

• Suicide rates are up, surging to a 30-year high, especially among women.

• The heroin epidemic and suicide are major contributors to the first decline in American life expectancy in 22 years.

• A record 95,055,000 Americans are out of the workforce entirely.

• Nearly half the young black men in Chicago are out of work and out of school.

• Black teen unemployment rate is nearly 6 times the national average.

• 46.3 million Americans are on food stamps, 1 in 5 Americans are on food stamps or other government aid.

So enter Donald Trump, the first Republican nominee and now president–elect, to embrace the gay pride rainbow flag at a public event. He’s made clear he has no intention of changing, somehow, gay marriage which is the law of the land.

He does intend to make our immigration system more orderly, he will secure the border and has pledged to keep out unvetted individuals from terrorist-sponsoring countries. Considering the terrorist attacks in Europe and committed by jihadists who infiltrated France and Germany through the refugee stream, to say nothing of the attacks here at home, this is an obvious national security priority.

He will also deport the more than 2 million criminal illegal aliens roaming our streets. This is helpful for everyone, including the women who deserve to not be murdered like Kate Steinle, shot by an illegal alien repeat felon as she was walking along the San Francisco pier with her father. Her last words? “Help me, Daddy.” She later died at the hospital.

So when my liberal friends call me, distraught at what Mr. Trump might bring as a supposed homophobic, misogynist agent of the Russians, I point out the real threat to individual freedom has been more than clear if you don’t allow yourself to be distracted by bizarre conspiracy theories from the same people who would rather you not notice what they’ve done to us for the past eight years.

• Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.

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