Former President Barack Obama (D) is encouraging Americans of all backgrounds to not give up on American democracy.
“This president and those in power – those who benefit from keeping things the way they are – they are counting on your cynicism. They know they can’t win you over with their policies,” Obama said during remarks at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night.
“So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter. That’s how they win,” he continued.
“We can’t let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy,” he added.
Watch Obama’s remarks below:
He encouraged viewers to plan ahead to make sure that their vote is counted and to encourage their friends and family to vote as well.
Obama referenced Americans who previously fought for civil rights, who he said had “a right to believe that this democracy did not work, and could not work.”
Despite the hardships they faced, Obama continued, “They joined together and said somehow, some way, we are going to make this work. We are going to bring those words, in our founding documents, to life.”
“I’ve seen that same spirit rising these past few years,” he said as he turned to activists who have taken to he streets in recent months to demand an end to police brutality and racism.
“To the young people who led us this summer, telling us we need to be better – in so many ways, you are this country’s dreams fulfilled. Earlier generations had to be persuaded that everyone has equal worth. For you, it’s a given – a conviction. And what I want you to know is that for all its messiness and frustrations, your system of self-government can be harnessed to help you realize those convictions.”
He argued that young Americans can “can give our democracy new meaning.”
“You can take it to a better place. You’re the missing ingredient – the ones who will decide whether or not America becomes the country that fully lives up to its creed,” he said.
“Any chance of success depends entirely on the outcome of this election,” he continued. “This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win.”
Finally, he urged Americans to vote “like never before – for Joe and Kamala, and candidates up and down the ticket, so that we leave no doubt about what this country we love stands for – today and for all our days to come.”
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