Michelle Obama just returned to politics with an incredibly powerful message.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Politicians are always telling us to vote without understanding why so many of us don’t. Michelle Obama gets it.

In a video about the importance of voting in the 2018 midterm elections, Michelle Obama first wants to make it clear she understands all too well why a majority of Americans don’t vote -- numbers that spike even higher during “off year” non-presidential elections.

“Why should I vote? Nothing ever changes,” she begins in a new PSA for the When We All Vote initiative. “The system is rigged. Why bother?”


“Whether you’re trying to get dinner on the table after a double shift, dropping baby off with grandma or studying for exams, voting can feel like the furthest thing from your mind.”

“You might even feel like it’s just not worth it. But that’s exactly what some people want you to think.”

Voting is a burden but it’s also a right and the only path toward making our country, and our lives, better for everyone.

Michelle Obama is a Democrat. That’s not exactly breaking news. But her message on the importance of voting should be heard by everyone because no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, the best way to get your ideas and values into the conversation and into action is by being an active citizen. Our leaders are meant to lead but they can only lead when we appoint them to do so through the power of the vote.

With more Americans working, and often working longer hours for less wages, making a trip to the polls doesn’t necessarily feel like a priority. The irony is that in all elections, but particularly in local and midterm elections, we have the power to directly affect change at the state and local level.

And even if it’s hard to measure the positive change of putting some people into office and kicking others out, the impact of not participating in our democracy is even more subtle yet profound in how it affects our lives.

“The truth is, when we stay home, things stay the same. Or, they get worse,” Obama says.

“But when we all vote, we get new ideas and new energy,” she adds. “Leaders who share our values and listen to our voices. That’s how we change America.”

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

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WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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