Stark choices

“An America where we all break apart”: Elizabeth Warren issues dire warning about divisiveness

Cajoling liberals to vote for Hillary Clinton, the Massachusetts senator declared Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump a selfish, spoiled, cheating man whose dark vision was of “an America of fear and hate”

Senator Elizabeth Warren walks on stage to deliver remarks on the first day of the Democratic National Convention on July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Following Michelle Obama’s blisteringly eloquent Democratic convention opening night performance is no easy feat but a steely Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren stepped up to the task, hammering Donald Trump relentlessly — as perhaps only a woman constantly vilified by him can.

Cajoling liberals who agreed the “system was rigged” to vote for Hillary Clinton, Warren — whom Trump again labeled “Pocahontas” in a late-night Tweet — declared the Republican nominee was a selfish, spoiled, cheating man whose dark vision was of “an America of fear and hate.”

“An America where we all break apart,” was how Warren put it. “Whites against blacks and Latinos. Christians against Muslims and Jews. Straight against gay. Everyone against immigrants. Race, religion, heritage, gender, the more factions the better.”

In a speech to the Democratic National Convention that received loud applause but was also intermittently interrupted and heckled by Bernie Sanders’ backers yelling “We trusted you,” Warren said America faced a stark choice. The options were “a man who inherited a fortune from his father and kept it going by cheating people and skipping out on debts. A man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone. A man who cares only for himself — every minute of every day” and Hillary Clinton: “one of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on the planet” who “fights for all of us”— women, health care, human rights.

Making a sophisticated play to the disgruntled Sanders crowd and the Democratic party’s more liberal wing, Warren described the struggles of ordinary citizens battling inequality, amid record corporate profits, special treatment for Wall Street and the big banks, and outsized CEO paychecks.

“Americans bust their tails, some working two or three jobs, but wages stay flat,” she said. “Meanwhile, the basic costs of making it from month to month keep going up. Housing, health care, child care — costs are out of sight. Young people are getting crushed by student loans. Working people are in debt. Seniors can’t stretch a Social Security check to cover the basics.

“And even families who are okay today worry that it could all fall apart tomorrow. This. Is. Not. Right!”.

“America isn’t going broke. The stock market is breaking records … There’s lots of wealth in America, but it isn’t trickling down to hard-working families like yours.

“Does anyone here have a problem with that? Well, I do too.

“People get it: the system is rigged.”

And, she pointed out, faithful to the night’s theme of  “Stronger Together”: “When we turn on each other, we can’t unite to fight back against a rigged system.”


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