Stacey Abrams, one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party, delivered a sharply worded rebuttal of the State of the Union address calling out president Trump and GOP leaders. Abrams started by blaming the president for the recent partial government shutdown which was the longest shutdown in history. The 45-year-old who became the first black woman to deliver the Democratic rebuttal called the shutdown “a stunt engineered by the president.” She didn’t stop there though. The former gubernatorial candidate in the state of Georgia also accused the GOP leaders of losing touch with reality as far as American lives are concerned.
Abrams narrowly lost the Georgia race in an election that was full of voter suppression allegations. Despite that, she became a prominent name among Democrats and one of the rising stars in the party. Abrams also used the platform in the rebuttal to highlight the issue of voter suppression noting that this was actually a “real” problem that has been affecting a lot of states, not just Georgia. Abrams called on lawmakers present to do whatever they can to protect the right to vote saying that this would be “the next battle in our democracy.” She reminded the country that free and fair elections have remained the cornerstones of American democracy and the foundations of its moral leadership around the world. It’s, therefore, the duty of everyone to protect this sacred tradition.
There were several other issues in the Democrat agenda that were explained during the rebuttal. Gun control, immigration reform, and climate change were some of the hot topics though. Abrams, in particular, criticized the current administration for its reluctance to continue efforts in fighting climate change. She also called on a bipartisan approach in immigration reform arguing that current policies such as the separation of families will not solve the issue. Abrams said that careful and fair treatment isn’t the same as open borders and added that America has been made stronger by the presence of immigrants.
The speech was one of the most high profile appearances for her and it gave the Democratic Party a very good opportunity to directly counter the president in his address. Trump called for national unity during the address but still maintained his call for a border wall as part of the immigration reforms. The president also talked about the economy.
However, the rebuttal focused on emerging issues most of which weren’t talked about by Trump. Abrams, who’s said to be weighing a possible Senate run in 2020, also took the time to talk about the issue of racism in the US. She said that racism continues to be experienced in the country at very high levels adding that it’s time to start holding people accountable for this. The rebuttal comes as the Democratic Party continues to work out a plan to make inroads in rural America where it has lost significant support in recent years. There’s a lot of hope though based on the performance of Abrams and people like Beto O’Rourke in Georgia and Texas that this can be done.