Their record is a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count. In the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government.
That is the American promise. Today that promise is being broken. As if the parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son will be beaten and bullied at school is any more or less legitimate than the parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of opioid addiction.
America, we carry that story on our shoulders. You swarmed Washington last year to ensure no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child's life. You proudly marched together last weekend--thousands deep--in the streets of Las Vegas and Philadelphia and Nashville. You sat high atop your mom's shoulders and held a sign that read: "Build a wall and my generation will tear it down."
It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics. But it's far bigger than that. This administration isn't just targeting the laws that protect us--they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.
[The Trump] administration callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away.
To all the "Dreamers" watching tonight, let me be clear: Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar. You are a part of our story. We will fight for you. We will not walk away.
For this administration, dignity isn't something you're born with but something you measure. By your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size.
[The American ideal that we are all equal]--today that promise is being broken. By an administration that callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away.
They are turning American life into a zero-sum game. Where, in order for one to win, another must lose. We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them for families tomorrow. Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland.
So here is the answer Democrats offer tonight: we choose both. We fight for both. Because the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world shouldn't leave any one behind.
The above quotations are from 2018 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the Republican Democratic Feb. 28, 2018.
Click here for other excerpts from 2018 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the Republican Democratic Feb. 28, 2018.
Click here for other excerpts by Joe Kennedy III.
Click here for a profile of Joe Kennedy III.
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