Watch Steve Beshear's Rebuttal If You Missed It, Because It Made Some Crucial Points — VIDEO
A 72-year-old white governor that's been out of office for more than a year doesn't seem like the obvious choice for the Democrats' response — especially given that their most recent presidential campaign was all about diversity and becoming "stronger together." And yet nonetheless former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear made some pretty good points — and presented it in a way that could win over some rural Trump supporters. If you didn't watch Steve Beshear's rebuttal, here's why you should. It's an important part of the Dems' message.
Now it may not be the argument that gets you fired up — for that you may want to watch Astrid Silva's Spanish-language response — but it's important to see what another part of the country responds to. The Democrats have decided to play up healthcare reform and the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act as the main battleground with President Donald Trump. But they're also making a pointed effort not to divide Americans on the issue. They're trying to paint bipartisanship and cooperation as the goal. As Beshear says:
We put people first and politics second. The America I love allowed a small-town preacher's kid to be elected governor. And it taught me to embrace people who are different from me, not vilify them. The America I love has always been about looking forward, not backward, about working together to find solutions, regardless of party, instead of allowing our differences to divide us and hold us back.
This may not be a blatant critique on Trump, but it brings home the message that the only way forward is by working with Americans of all backgrounds. And then he goes on to paint a picture of the people affected by the healthcare law. Kentucky saw half a million people gain coverage under Obamacare, and Beshear explains that they're normal people. You may even know one:
Look, they’re not aliens from some distant planet. They are our friends and neighbors. We sit in the bleachers with them on Friday night, we worship in the pews with them on Sunday morning. They’re farmers, restaurant workers, part-time teachers, nurses aides, construction workers and entrepreneurs working at high-tech startups. And before the Affordable Care Act, they woke up every morning and went to work, just hoping and praying they wouldn't get sick because they knew that they were just one bad diagnosis away from bankruptcy.
Sounds like a relatable message? These are real people whose healthcare would be taken away — and they're everywhere, even in states like Kentucky. And now that he has America listening, even some of the people who voted for Trump, he hammers home the other key part of the Democrats' message, that Trump is just not up for the job of president. Beshear criticizes his buddy-buddy relationship with Russia and goes in for the biggest critique:
President Trump also needs to understand that people may disagree with him from time to time, but that doesn't make them his enemies. When the president attacks the loyalty and credibility of our intelligence agencies, the court system, the military, the free press, individual Americans, simply because he doesn't like what they say, he’s eroding our democracy and that’s reckless. Real leaders don't spread derision and division. Real leaders strengthen.
The idea that Trump is not a real leader and is therefore threatening our democracy is vital to get across early — all without pitting one half of the country against the other. We need to hold the president accountable, but that can't happen if half the country, or even his devoted base, supports him blindly.
This response from the Democrats shows how they're planning to resist, and it might not look like you thought.