The State of the Union speech by President Trump was, regrettably, all too predictable. It was as full of lies, obfuscations, and embellishments as expected and the smug delivery was at its annoying best. But the most shocking aspect of that night was the press coverage.
The official Democratic response from Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass), who spoke from the Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, got a couple of paragraphs in one story on an inside page of The New York Times. Otherwise, the entire press coverage was a long symphony and variations on the word “Trump.” The Times even managed to misreport Kennedy’s speech as “A Bilingual Salvo.” It is true there were a couple of sentences in Spanish but the headline writer seemed to want to convey the idea of Democrats as immigrant lovers. As if inclusion and respect for different ethnic groups is somehow un-American.
Let us stand back and give Rep. Kennedy some well-deserved space for what was a deeply moving speech. A tribute to the values of the Democratic Party, his inspiring words bear repeating.
“This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us – they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection. … They are turning American life into a zero-sum game. Where, in order for one to win, another must lose….
We are bombarded with one false choice after another: …
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.
–We choose a better deal for all who call this country home.
–We choose the living wage, paid leave and affordable childcare your family needs to survive.
–We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford.
–We choose a health care system that offers mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction.
–We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices and brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right….
Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future….
Out of many. One.”
Rep. Joe Kennedy, Fall River, Mass.
–WNDC Committee on Public Policy and Political Action