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Our Culture Inchoate: Standing Her Ground #4

Updated: Oct 19, 2019

How a pro-life democrat could make Washington work for the people. Townhall campaign speech.


TOWNHALL TRANSCRIPT OCTOBER 8, 2018 ON YOUTUBE


TORRES (T): Good evening everyone! Thank you, Lacey, for the generous introduction, and to the volunteers and teachers who prepped the auditorium and gave us these beautiful flag displays (cheers). Much thanks to the McKinley High School Marching band (cheers) for its patriotic repertoire. Just awesome! Thank you!


T: Our congressional district is vast for New Jersey, from a stone’s throw from Bayonne, through Eastfield; yes, hometown girl! (cheers) and straight west hugging the Belt Connector. I’ll leave gerrymandering for another time (laughter) but this is our district, and I am proud to represent us!


SOMEONE SHOUTING (SS): “How come you support Kavanaugh?”


T: What I want to ask of you today is your confidence and support and vote.


SS: (Heckling garbled)


T: I’m sorry, but we’re not set up for Q&A.


SS: (Angry heckling garbled)


T: We have a lot of people here who didn’t come to hear you heckle, ma’am.


SS: (heckling)


T: Look, I am sympathetic, but we are a nation of laws…


SS: (Heckling)


AUDIENCE: (variety of shouting to drown heckler)


T: …and I think that laws are the product of good sense, community need, and civility.


SS: (Screaming)


T: I suspect even if I agree with you on all points you still want to shout and interrupt.


SS: (Screaming)


T: Please be still, respect your neighbors, or just leave.


AUDIENCE (agitation, shouting, some vulgarities)


T: I would prefer not to have you escorted out, but…


AUDIENCE: (Standing and singing the entire Anthem) "Oh, say can you see? By the dawn’s early light… "


T: That was awesome! Thank you, all of you, for leading that! Wow! We should start all of our rallies and meetings like this!


SS: (Heckling again)


T: That’s enough. Your heart is too cold, and your head is too hard. Please leave.


SS: (screaming profanities, leaves)


T: What a shame. My opponent doesn’t want to debate, but has no problem sending a proxy to agitate at our rally. Did she sing?


AUDIENCE: (shouts of NO)


T: No? Probably doesn’t know the words. But maybe that’s unfair. Look, there’s a point here I want to make and acknowledge. Doctor Ford made serious allegations from an event almost before I was born. She was credible and my heart went out to her. But Mr. Kavanaugh’s testimony was equally compelling. The timing of all of this is not just suspect, it’s painful. And as much as we democrats don’t agree with the president and can disagree with his decisions on justices, when you combine crazy allegations like Avenatti’s client, with seriously delayed allegations like Dr Ford’s, well, you have to ask… why?

The lack of civility in the confirmation process has been appalling. Yes, a credible witness came forward with a compelling and emotionally believable story. An allegation that is uncorroborated, and likely cannot be. And that’s the issue.

Everyone should be heard. I don’t think someone’s life should be destroyed without a thorough vetting of the facts and witness testimony. We have a process, the envy of the world, and it should be respected and followed.


AUDIENCE: (negative general shouting)


T: I don’t vote on nominees… that is not the job of congress, it belongs to the Senate. I would probably, as a democrat, vote along party lines against him. But much of all this is overwrought, much has been delayed, obstructed, and even weaponized. It is important just what the allegations against the jurist himself in his capacity of sitting on the bench entails. Not what he may have done, as a teenager, over a generation ago. Would we want ourselves to be held to that same standard?

Not all people will agree, chapter and verse, on the word of one person over another through the heavy gauze of 35 years. We won't draw the same conclusion on all things, and that is why we have triers of fact. What we cannot forget is that there is a process designed to protect the accused and it should be followed.


AUDIENCE: (general shouting)


T: Yes, I am pro-woman… you notice I am one. I support the spirit of the Me Too movement, in heart and soul. But that should not make us deviate from our institutions, our laws, and our civility.

I am pro-American, pro-truth, and pro-civil discourse. Hectoring, lecturing, and verbally assaulting those who disagree with an opinion is bizarre and unnecessarily emotional. It doesn’t make your position more right, and is unlikely to make a principled person change her mind.

Yes, you should expect your elected officials to listen effectively and act accordingly. We should all let reason, good judgment, and the rule of law guide our actions. Not screaming, not hectoring, not lecturing. But by listening, and acting appropriately, with confidence and concern for the aggrieved.

I believe our district sends me to Washington as our representative because you trust me and my judgment. I know that even in this room, a friendly crowd to be sure…


AUDIENCE: (Laughter)


T: (laughing along) …We will not agree on all the issues. I am the biggest proponent I know for law enforcement, education, labor, and affordable healthcare…


AUDIENCE: (wild cheering)


T: No one likes taxes, but the super-wealthy should pay a “more fair” share of the burden! And who likes those guys, anyway?


AUDIENCE: (Laughter)


T: I support all our veterans, old and new, and I embrace legal immigrants no matter where they come from… and, and… yes, I will say it, you have a right to know me even if at this stage you don’t…


AUDIENCE: (Mixed shouting, laughter, cheers)


T: I am pro-family, pro-life, and pro second amendment.


AUDIENCE: (Mixed shouting, laughter, cheers)


T: See? There are more democrats who are with me on those issues than the media would like you to think. And we can be civil about it. Not all issues should be in lockstep with a party platform. We have two parties, but we are one nation!


AUDIENCE: (Mixed shouting, cheers)


T: What I think we need more of is what I call the existential issues… the national debt, healthcare, and defense… that is why you elect federal candidates. Where do we stand on these issues? How will I vote? What will I champion?

I will support and work and demand accountability of our government in all three of these existential… that which is essential to our lives… these existential causes. We must act responsibly in all three of these, and your faith and trust is what I need the most. Look at my effort thus far, look at my stand and reasoning on other issues, and ask yourself: who do I trust more?

I know many of you vote for me because you just don’t like the other guy or gal. That is human nature. The current president beat the democratic candidate two years ago largely because of that reason. But that worm is turning, to be sure. Neither candidate would not, did not and will not improve the national discourse today. It’s a disgrace.

But you will! It’s your duty to your community and your obligation to your children. We can do better, and if the Washington entrenched elite can't make stuff happen, throw ‘em out!

Our districts are being eliminated , one by one, because people are fleeing New Jersey. It’s not the weather, and it’s not just about taxes, which are out of control.

It’s because opportunity is fleeing. That’s a sin. At the next redistricting, after the 2020 election, we will likely lose another district… a reduction of one almost every 10 years since 1980. 80, 90, 2010. It’s a shame… businesses and people flee because of lost opportunity, and I plan to bring that back.


AUDIENCE: (CHEERS)


T: This election, like all elections, is about whose judgment you trust. Who will look after your interests over her own, or over partisan tests of faith, or over personal political motivations of survival?

We will not agree on all the issues. We shouldn’t! Families don’t agree on all the issues at the kitchen table every night. But our job, our responsibility, is to make an informed vote. I am respectfully asking for your informed vote today. I do not expect it, and I want to earn it every day, through hard work, seriousness of purpose, and results that support the greater good while protecting the rights of the individual.

We are the greatest nation ever conceived! We love our land, our people, our communities, and our flag!

Hey, who’s from New Jersey??


AUDIENCE: (Roars approval)


T: Darn right! Thank you!

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