It’s been two weeks since President-elect Joe Biden was chosen as the next President of the United States. While over 70 million Americans voted for change, a highly similar number voted for a continuance of bigotry. This is proof that the nation is bitterly divided, according to former President Barack Obama.
“What it says is that we are still deeply divided,” Obama told Gayle King in an interview on CBS Sunday Morning. “The power of that alternative worldview that’s presented in the media that those voters consume — it carries a lot of weight.”
This divide does not sit well with Obama, nor should it with any of us since “it’s very hard for our democracy to function if we are operating on just completely different sets of facts.”
During the interview with King, Obama also addressed and defended his campaigning for his former vice president.
“It is not my preference to be out there. I think we were in a circumstance in this election in which certain norms, certain institutional values that are so extraordinarily important, had been breached. That it was important for me, as somebody who had served in that office, to simply let people know, ‘This is not normal.'”
In a separate interview, reported by CNN, Obama touched on Trump’s difficulty accepting the loss and his alleged claims that the election was rigged.
“We would never accept that out of our own kids behaving that way if they lost, right?” Presidents are “temporary occupants of the office, by design. And when your time is up, then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests, and your own disappointments.”
Obama hopes for a peaceful transition. Saying, “it’s a temporary job. We’re not above the rules. We’re not above the law. That’s the essence of our democracy.”
However, the Trump administration is likely to hold off on a formal transition until “a Trump appointee certifies the election within the General Services Administration in a process known as ascertainment.”
Obama does not plan to join the President-elect’s White House staff, joking Michelle would leave him. But, he did pledge to help the President-elect in any way he can.
Obama’s interview with King is part of a series of interviews to promote the first volume of his memoir, “A Promised Land,” which will be available Nov. 17.