Michelle Obama is explaining why voting should matter to everyone, especially young people.
During an interview with Shonda Rhimes for Harper's Bazaar published Monday, the former first lady shared the perfect question she asks young people who are unsure about voting.
"When I’m talking to young people, I like to ask them a simple question: Would you let your grandma decide what you wear on a night out to the club? Would you want her picking out the car you drive or the apartment you live in?" Obama said. "Not many people want someone else making their decisions for them, especially when that person might not see the world the same way as they do."
She continued, "That’s what happens when you don’t vote: You are giving away your power to someone else—someone who doesn’t see the world the same as you. You’re letting them make some really key decisions about the way you live. And the truth is, that’s exactly what some folks are hoping you’ll do. They’re hoping that you’ll stay home so that they can make these important decisions for you."
She also talked about the impact a vote has.
"Some folks don’t see the impact of their vote on their day-to-day lives—if the trains still run, the kids are still going to school, and they still have a job, what difference does one vote really make, right?" she said. "When you get whole families thinking like that, whole communities, then you start to see how the impact multiplies."
Staying Apart, Together:It's OK to admit you're struggling. I am.
She added that voting is "so much bigger than one election, one party, or one candidate."
"It’s great to feel inspired by candidates and the visions they put forth, but it is by no means a prerequisite to casting a ballot," she explained. "Because at the end of the day, someone is going to be making the decisions about how much money your schools get and how tax money is distributed. Voting gives you a say in those matters... When we all vote, in all elections, we get the kind of responsive leadership that speaks for our families and our communities."
Obama said she counts herself as part of those feeling "confused, or scared, or angry, or just plain overwhelmed" with "everything that’s gone on over these past few months," with both the coronavirus pandemic and the fight for racial justice.
"If you channel your frustration into our democracy with your vote and your voice, you can find your true north even in times of crisis," she added.
'Dear Class of 2020':Obamas, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga salute young protesters in YouTube ceremony
More:Barack Obama crashes Michelle Obama's weekly quarantine story time