Lone Democratic Speaker at Trump's Inauguration, Chuck Schumer, Makes a Gutsy Statement
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer set the tone for Democrats when he threw some unexpected shade at Donald Trump during his inaugural speech on Friday.
"My fellow Americans, we live in a challenging and tumultuous time," Schumer told the crowd gathered to see Trump sworn into office.
The lone Democratic speaker in the ceremony then warned of "a rapidly changing economy... a fractured media... and threats, foreign and domestic."
"In such times, faith in our government, our institutions, and even our country can erode," Schumer stated. But, he expressed confidence in the American people nonetheless, garnering applause.
"We Americans have always been a forward-looking, problem-solving, optimistic, patriotic, and decent people," he explained.
Then, drawing on Trump's campaign rhetoric, Schumer said this:
"Whatever our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, whether we're immigrant or native-born, whether we live with disabilities or do not, in wealth or in poverty, we're all exceptional in our commonly held yet fierce devotion to our country and our willingness to sacrifice our time, energy and even our lives to making it a more perfect union."
Schumer finished by speaking of a time America was even more divided than today; during the Civil War “when the North and South were lining up for their first battle." The Senate minority leader then read a letter from Maj. Sullivan Ballou, a Union officer in the Civil War who sacrificed his life for his country at the war's start.
"My love of country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield," Ballou had written to his wife just one week before he died.