In a stirring speech following President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, Joe Kennedy delivered the official democratic response. The 37 year old third term congressman from Massachusetts, is the great nephew of President John F Kennedy and Robert Kennedy's grandson. He accused Trump of ushering in an era of divisiveness and hate. His speech advocated an inclusive America while attacking a rollback on civil rights by the current administration.

An inclusive America

The response delivered by Joe Kennedy invoked an inclusive America. Speaking directly to the Dreamers, in Spanish, he pledged to fight for them saying they are part of our story.

The fate of some 700,000 young immigrants whose parents brought them to the US as children now hang in the balance after the Trump administration withdrew Obama era legal protections for them. He blamed the president for rolling back civil rights and making it possible for hatred and supremacy to march the streets. Speaking from a student auto shop in Fall River, he described it as a proud American city built by immigrants.

Angry, anxious and afraid

Kennedy spoke about what he described as the fault lines on a fractured country and pointed out that many have spent the last year feeling afraid, anxious and angry and about hearing the voices of Americans who feel forsaken and forgotten. He elaborated by talking about a chaotic past year filled with partisan politics, the targeting of laws that protect the people and broken promises by an administration turning American life into a zero-sum game.

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Broken promise

The democratic response to Donald Trump's speech highlighted the American promise that is being broken because the administration rejects the belief that all are worthy and equal. Kennedy declared the Democrat's promise to fight for all dreamers and said that politicians will be judged by the promises they keep.

Who is Joe Kennedy?

He was an unlikely choice for a rebuttal to the State of the Union as Joe Kennedy has so far been an unknown in the political arena even though he is part of the Kennedy political dynasty. Prior to his election to Congress in 2012, he was a district attorney and did a two-year term as a member of the peace corps in the Dominican Republic. Until his spotlight on the national stage, the congressman had kept a low profile. Last year his speech in the House where he attacked the Republican's attempt to repeal Obamacare went viral. Since his speech, questions are now swirling around about a possible run for president in 2020.