Tonight’s State of the Union Address from President Donald Trump was, perhaps, the expected rhetoric and agenda-pushing statements that many expected to hear from the president. In lauding his administration’s achievements in passing the horrific GOP tax plan, as well as subtly criticizing Democratic lawmakers on numerous accounts, Trump left no detrimental policy unturned.
In battling the president’s divisive policies and address, Democratic lawmakers chose Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-M.A.), as the individual to provide a response to the contents of the speech. Kennedy’s remarks focused on the forceful and bullying tendencies of the current administration, and the need to protect American democracy and values from the attack that it has come under.
In his transcriptions, as published by Chicago Sun Times, Kennedy states,
‘We all feel the lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken… A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day. Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets… And that nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs: this is not right. This is not who we are.’
Kennedy continues his response by claiming that the issues of the last year cannot be discounted by writing them off as mere partisanship or politics, but that the administration’s ongoing agenda is an attack on the very ideals that makes America, America.
The contrast between #Trump and @joekennedy could not have been more stark. #Trump talked about common ground and then hit divisive themes hard. Kennedy's speech was a hymn to solidarity across classes, races and regions.
And, yes, in my dear home town of #FallRiver!
— EJ Dionne (@EJDionne) January 31, 2018
Kennedy focused a great deal of his remarks around Trump’s “targeting laws”, which have singled out citizens and minorities around the country, to do away with their protections and basic rights. Such laws refer to the administration’s desire to repeal DACA, dismantling of Obamacare, restricting transgender individuals from enlistment in the military, and an array of other targeted policies that would leave specific groups of people without basic safety.
Grateful to hear @RepJoeKennedy’s encouraging words tonight. Thank you for making clear that the will of the American people is stronger than anything this President can or will do to divide us. Reminded me of the hope I felt hearing your grandfather and great-uncles speak. #SOTU
— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) January 31, 2018
The response by Kennedy also heavily likens the Trump administration to playground bullies. In doing so, he claims that such bullies may be able to land a punch or harm for a short-term, but that strength and unity in numbers has always overcome oppressors throughout American history. Kennedy wraps up his remarks by indicating unity with all the marginalized and targeted groups that have been effected by Trump’s agenda, and describing the state of the union as one that is “hopeful, resilient, enduring.”
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 31, 2018
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