I have been in politics for five decades, and I have not seen anything like what we are seeing today in America.
The man who lost the popular vote by two million votes is now the president-elect. Let me repeat that: the man who lost the popular vote by two million votes or more is now the president-elect.
Democrats want to work with Trump when we can. I understand and respect that impulse because Democrats like to get things done. It’s why many of us are in government – most of us, I think – in the first place.
We have a responsibility to be the voice of the millions of Americans sitting at home afraid that they are not welcome anymore in Donald Trump’s America.
We have a responsibility to prevent Trump’s bullying, aggressive behavior from becoming normalized in the eyes of Americans – especially the millions of young people who are watching and wondering, for example, if sexual assault is now a laughing matter.
In other words, we have a responsibility to lead.
In 65 days, Donald Trump will step onto that platform. For four years, he will wield the loudest and most powerful microphone in the world.
Every day for the past week, a majority of American voters have awakened to a difficult reality: not only did the man who lost the popular vote win the election, but his election sparked a rise in hate crimes and threats of violence.
The day after the election, my friend was at a restaurant in Las Vegas having dinner when a Trump supporter approached his table in a threatening manner and asked where he was from.
Those are only a few examples of what people close to me have related. But these kind of disturbing accounts have been heard across America.
I don’t believe anyone in this chamber wants to defend the hateful acts that are being committed in President-Elect Trump’s name.
If we fail to hold Trump accountable, we all bear a measure of responsibility for normalizing his behavior.
Our president is supposed to make our children feel safe. But on Wednesday, a seventh-grade girl awoke feeling frightened to be a woman of color in America because Donald Trump was president-elect.
If Trump is serious about seeking unity, the first thing he should do is rescind his appointment of Steve Bannon. Rescind it. Don’t do it. Think about this. Don’t do it. As long as a champion of racial division is a step away from the Oval Office, it will be impossible to take Trump’s efforts to heal the nation seriously.
And show America that racism, bullying and bigotry have no place in the White House or in America.