My fellow Americans –
Tonight it is time to reflect on the state of the American union, and that state is not good.
We have a criminal regime in government, headed by a corrupt, authoritarian, and mentally deteriorating president, supported by a spineless Senate eager to trade morals, laws, the Constitution, and the republic itself for absolute power. Confronted with hard evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, of corruption at the highest levels, and of an imminent threat to American security and world standing, that Senate refused to hear any evidence or allow any witnesses to testify to the truth of those charges. Instead they conducted an openly partisan whitewash and will congratulate themselves tomorrow on their empty success when they formally end this president’s examination – it cannot be called a trial – with a unanimous and depraved vote.
We have a regime that has made child abuse a federal policy and erected concentration camps on the borders of what was at one time referred to as the land of the free. We have a regime that throws around threats of war with the shallow disregard that cowards have for such things when they know other people will do the fighting and dying and suffering. We have a regime that turns national parks into industrial wastelands and clean air and water into smoke and sewers. We have a regime that refuses to admit that the world they know is burning and there is precious little time to save it. We have a regime that understands full well its own cruelty and revels in it.
We have a population where roughly forty percent of the people think this is just fine as long as it is applied to other people. To brown-skinned people. To Spanish-speaking people. To poor people. To women. To people who are not straight. To people who are not evangelical Protestants. To people who are not precisely like Them.
We have an economy explicitly set up as a shell game, one designed to take wealth out of the hands of the middle class, out of the hands of the workers, and deposit into the grasping claws of the already wealthy. We have unsustainable levels of inequality and an entire regime dedicated to making that worse. We have allowed corporate interests to hollow out our communities and our society in exchange for false promises of prosperity.
We once aspired. Now we fear.
We once inspired. Now we are pitied.
We once led the world, for better or worse. Now the world has discovered they can get along just fine without us and indeed they have no other choice for we have abandoned our responsibilities to things greater than ourselves at every level, from the world at large down to our own communities.
The times are grim.
But we are Americans. We are not afraid. These colors do not run. We built this nation once before and we will rebuild it now.
We rebelled against a mad king and will not suffer another to take his place two and a half centuries later.
We are a nation of volunteers, of builders, of communities that come together in hard times, of dissenters, troublemakers, immigrants, and families, and we will not be destroyed by grifters, tyrants, and madmen.
The work is mighty and it may well not be completed in my lifetime.
But it begins now.
Thank you, and may this country find its soul once again.