Duckworth Speaks Out Against GOP Attempts to Overturn the Will of the Voters
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) spoke out on the Senate floor today against her Republican colleagues’ attempts to overturn the will of the voters and undermine the bedrock principle our nation was founded upon: a government of, by and for the people. In her remarks, Duckworth spoke of what her own military service meant to her and urged her Republican colleagues to remember the oaths they swore to defend and protect the Constitution before further damaging a nation that so many brave patriots have sacrificed to build and defend. Video of the Senator’s speech is available here.
- “I lost my legs fighting in a war I didn’t support, on the orders of a President I didn’t vote for, because I believed in the values our nation was founded upon—because I believed in a government of, by and for the people. Where voters choose who leads them, not the other way around.”
- “With no evidence of their own, they’re asking us to ignore court rulings, ignore Republican election officials and, even worse, ignore the will of the voters across this nation.”
- “But today, we have the opportunity to prove that here, in this country, truth matters. That right matters. That the will of the people matters more than the whims of any powerful individual.”
Duckworth’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
In 2004, I packed up my rucksack, laced up my boots and deployed to Iraq…
Ready to sacrifice whatever was asked of me…
Prepared to hear the “tap, tap, tap” of gunfire against my Black Hawk…
Willing to lose my life, if necessary …
All because I loved this nation and believed in the sanctity of our electoral system, which had declared George W. Bush my Commander-in-Chief…
I lost my legs proudly fighting in a war I didn’t support, on the orders of a President I didn’t vote for, because I believed in the values our nation was founded upon—because I believed in a government of, by and for the people. Where voters choose who leads them, not the other way around.
I’ve spent my entire adult life defending our democracy. But I never—never thought it would be necessary to defend it from an attempted violent overthrow in our nation’s own Capitol Building.
Well, I refuse to let anyone intent on instigating chaos or inciting violence deter me from carrying out my Constitutional duties.
When my Army buddies and I raised our right hands and vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, we didn’t qualify our oaths by saying we’d follow orders only when our Commander-in-Chief was someone whose election we were happy with.
Just like when every Senator in this chamber was sworn into office, we didn’t mutter under our breath that we’d discharge our duties only when it served our political interests or helped us avoid the wrath of a petty, insecure wannabe tin-pot dictator on the precipice of losing power and relevance.
Unfortunately, today… several of my Republican colleagues seem to have either forgotten or abandoned their oaths…
Choosing to rip at the seams of the Constitution they swore to protect against all enemies foreign and domestic…
Trying to rip apart the Union that our nation’s founders so carefully built, brick by brick.
There is no ambiguity here.
Joe Biden won the election with a record number of votes.
Republican officials nationwide confirmed those results, including in Arizona. As has judge after Trump-appointed judge.
Even Trump’s Attorney General admitted that the U.S. Department of Justice hadn’t found widespread fraud that would’ve affected the outcome.
Yet still, many of my Republican colleagues are asking us to ignore all that.
With no evidence of their own, they’re asking us to ignore court rulings, ignore Republican election officials and, even worse, ignore the will of the voters across this nation…
By trying to overturn this election, they’re placing more trust in Reddit conspiracy threads over the Constitution…
Proving that appeasing Trump is more important to them than protecting the most basic tenet of our republic: the adherence to free and fair elections.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that my buddies and I didn’t sign up to defend our democracy in warzones thousands of miles away only to watch it crumble in these hallowed halls here at home.
Yet that’s what this Republican effort amounts to: an attempt to subvert our democracy—and in the process, they’re threatening what makes America American.
Because in this country, the power of the people has always mattered more than the people in power.
That’s the ideal this nation was founded upon.
It’s why a few patriots threw some tea into Boston Harbor… why Washington crossed the Delaware.
It’s why suffragists were arrested a century ago... why John Lewis crossed that bridge in Selma in 1965… and why millions spent a Tuesday in November standing in line, braving a pandemic to make their voices heard.
Listen, this Administration has always had an adversarial relationship with the truth. Trump always cries conspiracy… always foments chaos… whenever something doesn’t go his way.
But today, we have the opportunity to prove that here, in this country, truth matters. That right matters. That the will of the people matters more than the whims of any powerful individual.
I have no tea to throw into any harbor tonight. I have no rucksack to pack. No Black Hawk to pilot. Nor I am asking for any grand gesture from my Republican colleagues.
All I’m asking is for them to reflect on the oaths they’ve sworn… on the damage done to our Union today… and on the sacrifices made by those who’ve given so much to this nation…
From the servicemembers at Arizona’s Fort Huachuca and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma to the marchers who bent America’s moral arc a little more toward justice with every step they took, every bridge they crossed.
Then ask yourself whether the democracy they were willing to bleed for… the country that each of us in this Chamber has sworn to defend… is worth damaging in order to protect the porcelain ego of a man who treats the Constitution as if it were little more than a yellowing piece of paper.
I think we all know the right answer.
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