Campaign News

MARTIN O’MALLEY ADDRESSES DALLAS DEMOCRATS JOHNSON-JORDAN DINNER

Dallas JJ

I am very glad to be here with all of you in Dallas tonight.

I know you are angry.

I know you are disappointed.

The first one hundred days of the Trump Administration has been an exhausting case of malice tempered only by incompetence!

Herbert Hoover once promised of a “chicken in every pot.”

Donald Trump’s cabinet looks more like a fox in every henhouse.

There was the first illegal Muslim travel ban, followed by the second illegal Muslim travel ban. Rolling back protections of clean air and clean water.  The criminalizing of all immigrant families in America; the criminalizing of American Mayors who resist.

But there is a new well-spring of activism rising up all across our country.

Darkness makes a great canvass.

And you here in Dallas are already showing us the way forward.

Turn to your neighbor, tell them, “it’s good to be a Democrat in Dallas…”

The Democratic Party of Dallas achieved some pretty important things this past election.

With your help, Democrats picked up four new state house seats – including Victoria Neave’s win in the 107th district.

Wasn’t she strong during the SB 4 sanctuary cities debate? — just the champion we knew she would be!

With your help, Democrats now hold every countywide office here in Dallas.

Democrats swept the straight ticket vote by more than 26 points.

And with your help, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump here by more than 25 points!

Further south, in Fort Bend County — home of the once notorious Tom Delay — our Democratic nominee also carried that county for the first time in decades!

Yes, the road ahead is long and tough, but the comeback has already begun here in Texas!

Tonight, I want to talk with you about our Nation — her promise, and her reality .

And I want to talk with you about the actions we must take as a Party to move our country forward again…

“It’s not too late to seek a newer world.”

You and I are part of a living, self-creating mystery, called the United States of America.

But the promise at the heart of that mystery is actually a very real and concrete thing.

It is the promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should get ahead;  you should be able to give your children a better life….

I have come to believe that for every positive action in politics — there is a negative reaction.

For every light, a shadow.

For every darkness, a light.

We must acknowledge irony of our times:

Thanks to President Obama’s leadership our country has now created the longest stretch of consecutive monthly job growth since 1932!

That’s 82 months in a row of positive monthly job growth…

And yet,… the number of white males suicides in our country has never been higher…

Why???

It is the economic, political, and spiritual question of our times.

Why?

Because most new jobs require more than a high school degree…?

Because the cost of rent, food, healthcare, and college continues to rise — while wages for too many of us continue to flat-line or decline…?

Because what I thought I knew about getting ahead in life is no longer true for me and mine…?

We’ve got to fix this. Only we can fix this. Our country is a very large idea — large enough to carry the hopes and dreams that all of us have for our children.

The great, poet laureate of the American Dream, Bruce Springsteen, once asked: “Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?”

The core of Donald Trump’s political success is fear — the fear that, for so many of our families, the American Dream has become a lie.

— fear that my family and I are falling behind

— fear that I will earn less, and be worth-less, in the days    ahead

— fear that my children will have lesser and fewer opportunities than my father and mother gave me.

Yes, the challenges are very real:

Income inequality, declining wages, a shrinking middle class.

Automation.

Trade.

Climate Change.

But the question for us as Americans is always the same — will the world change us, or will we change our world…?

When fear becomes the driving national emotion, otherwise decent people can be duped by scapegoating and fascist appeals.

Whisper and shout.

That minority group, over there, is stealing your freedom and and your job.

That religious group over there threatens your safety.

Immigrants are destroying your country.

Whisper and shout.

Implicitly, and sometimes not just implicitly, “we must make America white again…”

It is an illusion — a phony picture.  A passing, temporary thing designed to fool and mislead.  It is peddled as truth, but, it is a lie…

Concentrating wealth isn’t going to create jobs.

You aren’t going to lift up the middle class by holding down wages.

And, you cannot increase the well-being of Americans by pushing 24 million people off of health care!

The abiding truth is this:

“We the People” are stronger than any challenge we face!

Our diversity is our greatest strength!

We are all in this together!!

And just like the great big state of Texas, the best days for the United States of America are still ahead of us!!!

When I led my own state as Governor through a recession, we achieved the highest median income in the country, a faster rate of job growth than our neighbors to the north and south, and we made our schools the number one public schools in America for five years in a row.

It’s about actions, not words.

Educate. Innovate. Rebuild.

Unlike the plutocrats and incompetents of the Trump Administration, we believe that our government should actually work!

And as Democrats, we understand that our economy is not money, it is people — all of our people.

Maybe this why job creation under Democratic Presidents since 1947 has out paced job creation under Republican Presidents by two and half times…

The more our workers earn, the more our workers spend, and the stronger our economy grows!

Therefore, we must fight:

To make the minimum wage a living wage.

To make affordable college a gateway to opportunity, not a trap door to life-long debt.

To make it easier for people to join labor unions and bargain collectively for better wages — because that helps all of us!

Overtime pay for overtime work.

Expanded Social Security and retirement with dignity.

These are the choices that strengthen and grow our middle class!

Equal pay for equal work for men and women — because when women succeed, America succeeds!

Americans don’t cower in the face of change, we harness the winds of change make them ours!

Climate change is the greatest business and job-creating opportunity to come to the United States in a 100 Years.

If Federal efforts are sidelined for the next four years, then Cities like Dallas, and States like California, Texas, Maryland, and others must lead!  Just as they have these last eight years!

We have lost — for a time —  American leadership in the White House; but that doesn’t have to mean the loss of leadership by Americans!

There is work to be done.

There are better jobs to create.

It’s time to rise up.

It’s time to take action!

In 1788, Alexander Hamilton warned that one day our country would be saddled with a candidate who was, “ambitious, avaricious, and desperate.”  One who would “possess” — for a time — the people’s “confidence more than” he deserved it.

Hamilton’s advice:

Withstand.

“Withstand the temporary delusion” Hamilton said.  Because one day, there will be “lasting monuments” built to honor those who had the courage to resist.

Which leads me to one final point I’d like to make about the actions that make our country — and that is the dignity we recognize in the lives, and the eyes, of our New American neighbors…

My own great grandparents were immigrants, probably like yours. Their first language was not English, but the hopes and dreams they had for their children were purely American.

In every generation New American immigrants remind us of a powerful truth — a truth that sometimes we forget.

And it is this:

The stronger we make our country, the more she gives back to us — to our children and grandchildren.

The same is true today.

Forcing 11 million of our neighbors to live and work in the shadows, might be a good for the short-term profits of Donald Trump’s hotels, but it’s not good for the cause of rising American wages!

For the good of our nation and the good of our economy, we must fight for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.

The America we love does not engage in torture!

The America we love does not build walls or for-profit prisons!

The America we love does not lock-up women and children in shameful immigrant internment camps!

Because the defining symbol of our nation is not the barbed wire fence. It is the Statue of Liberty!

We have allowed our National Party to become weak.

But we can make it strong again.

We have lost more Governor’s offices, Statehouses, and local offices over the last eight years than anytime in memory.

But it’s not how low you go, it’s how high you bounce!

There are 36 Governor’s race up in 2018, and hundreds and hundreds of state legislative races as well.

To govern the United States again, we must first win back our States again!

This is where our comeback starts.

So, don’t give up on your neighbors, Texas — or your family members, or your friends.

Share the truth with them. Keep inviting them back to the table of our democracy.

If they voted for Trump and still aren’t disappointed, don’t give up on them! — they will be disappointed soon enough…

One final story:

In 1952, the University of Texas at Austin, now a beacon of progressivism in the Lone Star State, was then still totally segregated, denying enrollment to African Americans.  That forced brilliant young people like Barbara Jordan to go to fine, historically black colleges like Texas Southern University.

Yet despite this and other civil rights barriers, Barbara Jordan overcame all odds to become the first African American woman elected to Congress from the South.

Her success, as she said herself, “My presence here . . . is one additional bit of evidence that the American dream need not forever be deferred.”

Now is not the time to silently accept injustice.

Now is not the time to accept hate, or religious bigotry.

Now is not the time to defer our children’s claim to the American dream!

Now is the time to stand up!

To Rise Up!

And Withstand!

Every person makes a difference.

Everything we do now lays the groundwork for what comes next.

Make no mistake about it.

This Democratic Party of ours will rise again – because we will never give up the fight.

What is resistance made of? It’s made of belief.

And this I believe with all my heart — our country is worth fighting for!

Our values are worth fighting for!

An American future for our grandchildren is worth fighting for!

Liberty, Justice, and Opportunity for All!

God bless you.

God bless Texas.

And may God bless and protect the United States of America.

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