On Monday night, Michelle Obama took the stage at the Democratic National Convention and stated,
When they go low, we go high.
Her husband, President Barack Obama, gave a speech on Wednesday that delivered on that notion in immeasurable ways.
The president's words stood in profound contrast to those spoken by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump last Thursday in Cleveland.
Trump weaved an apocalyptic and pessimistic narrative of both the state of America and the world. He painted a picture of an America in decline, declaring himself the only hope for a supposedly struggling country. Trump said,
Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.
The real estate mogul made his case for why the US must isolate itself from the world, and build walls between itself and its neighbors.
In Trump's America, one man is the solution to all of our problems.
President Obama's America couldn't be more different.
The president's America is full of hope, optimism and promise. The president's America builds bridges, not walls.
In his words,
I stand before you tonight… to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever.
This comes from a man who has been demonized by the opposition from day one, who's faced bigotry at every turn and whose patriotism and nationality have been questioned in spite of no evidence to support such assertions.
This comes from a man who's delivered far too many speeches on gun violence and watched Congress do nothing to prevent the next tragedy.
This comes from a man who came into office amid two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and in spite of ending both and preventing our economic struggles from becoming catastrophic, he's still been blamed as the source of the problem.
If he can remain optimistic in America, anyone can.
The American Dream is something that no wall will ever contain
While Trump has essentially portrayed himself as a one-man solution to all of our problems, Obama reminded us that we have the capacity to build a better country together -- we don't need a savior.
America isn't about yes he will, it's about yes we can.
We are better together.
While it is sometimes temping to give into despair, and it's no secret we face a convoluted array of problems, the president reminded people the "audacity of hope" pays off.
And while the struggles that lay before us might make us want to stand up and scream, the president made it clear we have other, far more impactful routes to bring about change.
Simply put, we have to remain active participants in this great national experiment if we hope to see our country improve.
The America President Obama knows doesn't quit, it keeps striving forward. It builds upon its past accomplishments and it does it as a family.
Division means the death of America, and we've come too far to allow that.
Trump believes in himself. Obama believes in us.