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Joe Kennedy III Democratic Response to State of the Union

Rep. Joe Kennedy III Sends a Message to Dreamers: "We Are Going to Fight For You"

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III was handed the task of delivering the official Democratic response to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address on Jan. 30. In his speech, the lawmaker offered a hopeful look forward, alongside a blistering takedown of a president he framed as vapid, callous, and not just chaotic, but dangerous. The 37-year-old Kennedy, a grandson of Robert "Bobby" Kennedy and a great-nephew of President John F. Kennedy, has served in the House since 2013.

In his speech, Kennedy repeatedly attacked the core values — or lack thereof — of the Trump administration. "For them, dignity isn't something you're born with, but something you measure — by your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size," he said. "Not to mention, the gender of your spouse, the country of your birth, the color of your skin, the God of your prayers. Their record has rebuked our highest American ideals: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal, that we all count in the eyes of our laws, our leaders, our God, and our government. That is the American promise."

Kennedy also encouraged Americans not to dismiss the negative impact of the Trump administration as sheer ineptitude. "It would be easy to dismiss this past year as chaos," he remarked. "But it's far, far bigger than that. This administration isn't just targeting the laws that protect us — they're targeting the very idea that we're all worthy of protection."

The politician also directly addressed Dreamers, several of whom attended the State of the Union as guests of Democratic lawmakers, in Spanish. "And to all the Dreamers watching tonight, let me be clear: Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar." (In English, those words translate to: "You are part of our history. We are going to fight for you, and we are not going away.")

Despite his harsh words for the current administration and his confrontation of serious social issues like economic inequality and racism, Kennedy's conclusion was full of hope. "Ladies and gentlemen, have faith," he implored the audience. "Have faith. The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, and enduring. God bless you. God bless your families. And may God bless the United States of America."

Watch the full video of Rep. Kennedy's address above.

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