California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom delivered a powerful speech to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016, arguing for Hillary Clinton as the best candidate for president to uphold fundamental American values: liberty, diversity, opportunity, while Donald Trump offers a “hostile takeover of the American Dream.” Here is hjighlighted transcript:
I’m proud to be a Democrat from the great state of California! Proud because today’s California is strong and getting stronger. A jet-propelled engine of job creation, the home court for creativity around the world. We’ve done it not just through innovation but by inclusion. Pro-immigrant, pro-environment, pro-women, pro-worker. Proudly pro-gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.
We aren’t the Golden State despite our values, but because of them. We don’t tolerate diversity, we celebrate it. Those values — liberty, diversity, opportunity — are fundamentally American values. Those values are under attack, not just by enemies abroad, but by a GOP that moved its fearmongering fringe to center stage.
What Trump presented last week wasn’t political discourse, it wasn’t even political incorrectness. What Trump presented last week was defeatist and retreatist. Never has a speech been so long, with so little substance, science, humanity, humor, or hope. His hostile takeover of the American Dream is built on two fundamental lies: That America is a dark and desperate place, and that he has any kind of a plan to make it better. Trump strangled the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan and replaced “tear down that wall” with the cynical bigotry of “build that wall.” Contempt for the Constitution, inhumane mass deportation, malice toward different views and different hues. Those are disqualifications from any office, let alone the highest office in the land.
While it’s refreshing to finally see an openly gay man speak at a Republican convention, it doesn’t remove the stain of selecting Mike Pence, America’s most anti-LGBTQ governor. Pence supported overt discrimination and even advocated diverting taxpayer dollars to so-called “conversion therapy.” That’s not “praying away the gay;” it’s emotional torture against our most innocent citizens, our children. Telling them that to live, they must lie. About who they are, and who they love. That’s fundamentally un-American. The age-old choice has never been more clear: We can live our fears or live our dreams.
Hillary Clinton has dedicated her life to putting the American Dream within reach. She believes in diversity over division. The hard work of pluralism over the “illusion of differences.”
And as a father of four, I want to say something to all the children who are watching and listening at home. When you hear people say that you and your family don’t matter because of who you are, or where you came from, or what you look like, or who you love, I want you to know one thing: The people in this room, and all across the country, believe that you matter.
Hillary Clinton believes you matter. We believe that you belong here. We need you here. We believe that you can be whoever you are, and become whatever you want to be. And we’re going to fight for you, not just over the next 100 days, but over the next 100 years. Because, no matter what people tell you, that’s what America is about, and that’s what makes America great.