With Election Day just over a month away, Rachael and former First Lady Michelle Obama have a conversation about voting—and how it's a privilege to exercise that right.
"When I was a girl, it was a really big deal to get your permit to drive a car. And then the next rite of passage was being able to vote," Rachael explains.
"And today, so many of my contemporaries, college-educated people, say, 'Well, my state is red or my state's blue. It's going to go this way or that way, so why bother?' Some people, and their folks or people in their family, say, 'I don't like either candidate all that much, I don't agree with 100% of anything either side says.' So how do we answer that?"
Mrs. Obama replies, "Setting that tone starts at the top. And the top isn't just the White House, it's all of us as parents and leaders and role models and icons.
We just don't have those discussions anymore about the importance of voting. A lot of civics classes have been taken out of the curriculum. A lot of young people aren't being raised with a conversation about our democratic process and understanding how our democracy works, and the three branches of government, and state and federal separation of powers, and what the Supreme Court stands for. So many people don’t know because we haven't made it a priority like we did growing up."
She recounts going to vote with her father, seeing even as a child how seriously he took the responsibility of voting.
"My father had MS. That meant he could only get around with the assistance of a cane or crutches, and later he was on a motorized cart. Even as he struggled to walk down to a polling place that wasn’t necessarily suited for somebody with a disability, my father never missed an election ever, ever.
I remember voting with him when we were little, and they had the machines with the little levers that you click. It would close the curtain and I thought, 'Oh my God, this is such an awesome responsibility, and my father is taking this incredibly seriously.' When it was time for me to vote, I did it with enthusiasm and pride."