The ABCs of Democracy

Congressman Hakeem Jeffeies, NY-8 official photo
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, (D NY-8)

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

After fifteen votes in the House of Representatives this past week, Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R CA-20) finally debased himself enough to “win” Speakership. It was an abject fight – for him. For us normal people, it was a horrific lesson in how much humiliation a person would endure to obtain power.

But then, we have Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D NY-8) with his “ABCs of Democracy” speech. Which cut the clearest possible contrast between House Republicans and House Democrats.

McCarthy gave away just about everything to the most extremist right-wing members of his conference in order to gain their votes. These would be the mostly same extremists who, two years ago on January 6, 2021, openly supported a violent insurrection in attempt to stop a peaceful transfer of presidential power. Effectively, the insurrectionists now control McCarthy and the House of Congress.

Democrats Rock

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side of the House, we have a relatively young person as House Minority leader. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, has represented this district only since 2013. Yet, in these nine years he has impressed his Democratic colleagues where, during the fifteen votes for Speaker, Jeffries earned unanimous Democrat votes fifteen times. He was voted House Minority Leader, following in the footsteps of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Once McCarthy finally crawled into Speaker of the House, Jeffries had his chance to talk. And talk he did, with a speech from the heart, defining the differences between modern Democrats and Republicans.

The ABCs of Democracy

Jeffries provided what I feel is the best comparison of Democrats to Republicans I’ve ever heard. It was simple, forceful, and delivered in the most memorable way. He delivered his “ABCs of Democracy.”

American values over autocracy.
Benevolence over bigotry.
Constitution over the cult.
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.

Hakeem Jeffries

The Full Speech

I’ve embedded the full speech for my reader’s listening pleasure. I suspect this person is a very possible future candidate for President of these United States.

A Question

After listening to this speech, and reading the transcripts, I’m left asking one final question. How is it that Democrats are able to gift us with soaring speeches that describe the best values of Americans, while Republicans are barely able to string together three words into a coherent sentence?

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