Thursday, January 19, 2023

Hakeem Jeffries resurrects political oratory

In a speech that has gone viral, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries showed the world that American oratory did not die with Barack Obama (not that Obama is dead, but you knownwhat I mean). Using an alphabetic concept, Jefferies earned a standing ovation for his his farewell speech on handing over the Speakership to less-than-stellar Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Here is the main section:

"House Democrats will always put:

  • American values over autocracy,
  • Benevolence over bigotry,
  • Constitution over cults,
  • Democracy over demagogues,
  • Economic opportunity over extremism,
  • Freedom over fascism,
  • Governing over gaslighting,
  • Hopefulness over hatred,
  • Inclusion over isolation,
  • Justice over judicial overreach,
  • Knowledge over kangaroo courts,
  • Liberty over limitation,
  • Maturity over Mar-a-Lago,
  • Normalcy over negativity,
  • Opportunity over obstruction,
  • People over politics,
  • Quality-of-life issues over QAnon,
  • Reason over racism,
  • Substance over slander,
  • Triumph over tyranny,
  • Understanding over ugliness,
  • Voting rights over voter suppression,
  • Working families over the well-connected,
  • Xenia over xenophobia,
  • "Yes we can" over "You can't do it",
  • Zealous representation over zero-sum confrontation."

Perhaps Q, X and Z are (understandably) a little awkward, and M a little trite (although it did elicit the loudest cheers and boos), but I think that's pretty good. Incidentally, "xenial" means hospitable to strangers and foreigners, i.e. the opposite of "xenophobic".

Over to you, Kevin. Do your worst.

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