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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 18, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 47
Harry Reid's blistering farewell to the Senate
Section One
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Harry Reid's blistering farewell to the Senate

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Harry Reid, veteran senator from Nevada and Democratic minority leader, is retiring from the US Senate after more than 30 years.

Having secured the election of a hand-picked successor, Catherine Cortez Masto, Reid seems determined to exit the national stage in a blaze of outrage at President-elect Donald Trump. In a pair of speeches - on November 11 and again on November 15 - Reid ripped into Trump and his chosen advisors.

Trump is a 'sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate,' Reid said on the Senate floor November 11.

Reid added that he fears for Latinos, African-Americans, LGBT people, Muslims, and young girls under President Trump.

'We as a nation must find a way to move forward without consigning those who Trump has threatened to the shadows. Their fear is entirely rational, because Donald Trump has talked openly about doing terrible things to them,' Reid said.

'Every news piece that breathlessly obsesses over inauguration preparations compounds their fear by normalizing a man who has threatened to tear families apart, who has bragged about sexually assaulting women, and who has directed crowds of thousands to intimidate reporters and assault African-Americans. Their fear is legitimate, and we must refuse to let it fall through the cracks between the fluff pieces...

'Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try,' Reid added.

'If Trump wants to roll back the tide of hate he unleashed, he has a tremendous amount of work to do, and he must begin immediately.'

Reid returned to the Senate floor November 15 to respond to Trump's appointment of Breitbart CEO and notorious white nationalist Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.

'I have been in politics for five decades, and I have not seen anything like what we are seeing today in America,' Reid said.

'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.

'His election sparked a wave of hate crimes across the nation. This is a simple statement of fact...

'Outside this Senate chamber, workers can be heard hammering away on the platform for the inauguration ceremony. It will take several months to do it, but it will be done right.

'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.

'But even as those workers hammer away on Trump's platform, and even as we as leaders accept the results of this election, we must also give voice to those who are afraid.'

Reid then recounted stories from personal friends and acquaintances who had been harassed by Trump supporters in the wake of the election, some of them Muslims, all of them people of color.

'If Trump is serious about seeking unity, the first thing he should do is rescind his appointment of Steve Bannon,' Reid concluded.

'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.

'So I say to Donald Trump: take responsibility. Rise to the dignity of the office - president of the United States - instead of hiding behind your Twitter account.

'And show America that racism, bullying, and bigotry have no place in the White House or in America.'

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