Barack Obama gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night that carried an ominous warning about what might happen if President Donald Trump is re-elected in November.

The former president, nicknamed “No Drama Obama” because of his cool demeanor and reluctance to engage in rhetorical histrionics, spoke with unusual urgency, displaying both sadness and alarm at what has been wrought by the man who succeeded him in the Oval Office.

“I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies,” Obama said. “I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. But he never did.”

Obama made it clear he believes our American system of governance is at risk, and he pleaded with his listeners to take their responsibility as citizens more seriously than ever.

“This president and those in power – those who benefit from keeping things the way they are – they are counting on your cynicism,” he said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote does not matter. That’s how they win… That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

For anyone who did not hear Obama’s speech, it is worth reading online. It is an important message from a cool guy who can longer keep his cool in the face of a singular threat to American democracy.

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