Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams showed exactly why her party selected her as its standard-bearer to rebut President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address fantasies about how he has made America “a winner, each and every day.”
We learned several things tonight from her response.
Abrams is prepared for the national spotlight. She wasn’t intimidated by the high-pressure assignment. USA Today noted that previous political rising stars who delivered a rebuttal of a president stumbled while on the big stage. Unlike those them, Abrams was smooth, focused and engaging.
Unlike Trump, Abrams has an economic vision that can lift all Americans. Trump tried to convince the nation that the US economy is booming thanks to him. However, what’s more accurate is that he’s overseeing economic growth that started under President Obama. Furthermore, the tax reform that Trump and Republican lawmakers enacted at the end of 2017 has mostly benefited the wealthiest Americans, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Abrams spoke passionately about an America where opportunity is possible for all. She talked about the values that her parents instilled in her of striving for goals while making sure others are not left behind.
“In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security…But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by the Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it,” she said.
Abrams doesn’t tiptoe around issues. Abrams was clear that Trump’s immigration policy isn’t really about security. “This administration chooses to cage children and keep families apart,” Abrams said. “America is made stronger by the presence of immigrants, not walls.”
The president vowed tonight that he will continue to fight for his wall and immigration policies–supposedly in the name of keeping the nation safe. But what’s really behind his immigration policies is preventing people of color from entering the country. Let us never forget his infamous “shithole countries” comment about Haiti and African nations.
Ending voter suppression is a top agenda. Abrams, who had a historic run for Georgia governor as the nation’s first Black woman nominee of a major party, was among the wave of Black women candidates in 2018 who displayed their ability to compete effectively for office despite the obstacles.
Abrams fell short of winning the governorship–in a contest that was plagued with voter suppression targeting African-Americans. She said the “next battle for our democracy” is ending voter suppression.
Not afraid to champion progressive values like expanding quality health. As a candidate, Abrams came close to turning deep red Georgia into a state where Democrats can compete and win because she was able to talk about healthcare, for example, an issue that matters to people of all walks of life. And she didn’t just talk about it with the base—Blacks, Latinos, and urban dweller. She also goes out to rural white Georgians who wouldn’t normally talk to a Democrats.
She raised the issue of Black maternal health. Black mothers, she said, “shouldn’t have to risk death to give birth.”