Coming Out Swinging: A Model for How Democrats Should Immediately Put Republicans on the Defensive
"This race is not about Donald Trump.
Now, some of you might be surprised when I say that. After all, my opponent here is surely preparing to say it himself. He's prepared to distance himself from the man in the White House and to lay claim that he is an independent voice in the era of Donald Trump. He's prepared to share his own beliefs and policies in a way that makes him disassociated with the head of his very own political party. He will stand before you today and state, clear as day, that nobody tells him what to believe in or how to vote.
To my opponent then, I say this: prove it.
Prove to the voters of this district that you don't agree with the policies of this current administration. Prove that you don't believe it's right to discriminate against our Muslim brothers and sisters. Prove that you don't want to take away health care from those with pre-existing conditions. Prove that you think climate change is real and that we should act on it now to protect future generations. Prove that you respect the humanity of refugees by agreeing that they shouldn't be separated from their parents. Prove that you believe in human decency in that you don't want to deport 800,000 young men and women who are contributing to the betterment of their communities and their adopted country. Prove that you actually believe in the First Amendment and don't believe in punishing those who seek to draw attention to national issues through nonviolent protests. And prove that you think women should be heard and taken seriously when it comes to something as important as sexual assault.
Because the head of your party does not believe in any of these things. Yet here you stand before us, proudly donning the (R) attached to your name on this November's ballot. So the question is simple: do you or do you not support modern-day Republican values?
For myself, I can unquestionably say that I do not support the politics of the current leader of the Republican Party and his horrific views. I believe that we should not discriminate against our Muslim brothers and sisters. I believe we need to reinstate the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act to avoid the kind of blatant sabotage your party has committed. I believe that climate change is very real and is a national security threat, the likes of which threatens not only the present but future generations. I believe that the United States should live up to the ideals imprinted on the Statue of Liberty and that, through proper vetting, we should accept those huddling masses yearning to be free into our country and we should treat them with honor, respect, and dignity. I believe that we should continue to support the 800,000 DREAMers who are American in every way except in securing documentation that our current immigration system does not allow them to attain. I believe that the right to peacefully protest in a fundamental right in this country and that men and women have fought and continue to fight serve overseas to ensure that all citizens retain that right. And I believe that women's voices should be heard and respected and this includes giving them access to healthcare and the ability to make their own medical decisions.
These are my priorities. What my opponent stands for, remains to be seen. It will be up to him in the coming months to state, unequivocally, what he believes and why he believes it. It will be up to him to clarify his views on multiple important topics that affect the people of this great district. And it will be up to him to explain whether he is a free, independent thinker or if he simply toes the party line. In short, my opponent will have to define himself, and only himself, in the context of this race and he will have to answer this one, simple question: is he a Trump Republican or does he not support his party's standard bearer?
The people of this great district deserve that answer."
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