After President Donald Trump delivered a State of the Union address marked by hateful rhetoric and inaccuracies, former Georgia State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams delivered the perfect antidote in the form of a heartfelt and personal rebuttal, during which she was poised, warm, and engaging as she held power to account.
Abrams, now the first black woman to ever deliver the official Democratic rebuttal to a State of the Union, started out her rebuttal address by speaking candidly about her family. Growing up in Georgia, she explained, her family went “back and forth between middle class and working poor.” Her parents worked long hours, and the family only had one car (so her dad sometimes had to hitchhike to work), but they always ensured that the values of faith, service, education, and responsibility were instilled in their children.
“I love our country and its promise of opportunity for all, and I stand here tonight because I hold fast to my father’s credo: Together, we are coming for America, for a better America,” Abrams, the former Democratic nominee for the governor of Georgia, said as she presented her response to the address.
During his speech, Trump again made demands for a border wall; in contrast, Abrams spoke of volunteering to distribute meals to furloughed workers during the recent government shutdown caused by his desire for said wall — which she said “defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people, but our values.” Trump spouted hateful rhetoric about immigrants; Abrams called for embracing that “America is made stronger by the presence of immigrants, not walls.” Trump lied about abortion law in New York; Abrams spoke of the “measure of reproductive justice” achieved through Roe v. Wade.
“Our progress has always found refuge in the basic instinct of the American experiment — to do right by our people,” Abrams concluded in her rebuttal. “And with a renewed commitment to social and economic justice, we will create a stronger America, together. Because America wins by fighting for our shared values against all enemies: foreign and domestic. That is who we are — and when we do so, never wavering — the state of our union will always be strong.”
This post has been updated.