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Steve Bannon may be gone from the Oval Office, but Breitbart, where he landed on his feet, loomed large in defeating our Hillary Clinton online offensive in 2016. Those of us on the social media campaign bus tried our best to get Hillary Clinton’s message out. When you look at the first few graphics in this report, you may be stunned, as I was, at how little media attention her issues received.

The study illuminates the degree to which opposing sides used social media differently – and postulates as to why. It also shows which major media sources played important roles and how we, the electorate, used them. That Breitbart even figured in as “major” came as a surprise to me.

I am neither a data analyst nor a campaign strategist. I am not sure what we could have done differently based on the results of this study. What I do see is that we failed to battle the Breitbart offensive effectively. It was astoundingly successful. Click on the upper right link on the page to download the full pdf text.

Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Title: Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Author: Benkler, Yochai; Roberts, Hal; Faris, Robert M.; Etling, Bruce; Zuckerman, Ethan; Bourassa, NikkiNote: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.
Citation: Faris, Robert M., Hal Roberts, Bruce Etling, Nikki Bourassa, Ethan Zuckerman, and Yochai Benkler. 2017. Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society Research Paper.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: In this study, we analyze both mainstream and social media coverage of the 2016 United States presidential election. We document that the majority of mainstream media coverage was negative for both candidates, but largely followed Donald Trump’s agenda: when reporting on Hillary Clinton, coverage primarily focused on the various scandals related to the Clinton Foundation and emails. When focused on Trump, major substantive issues, primarily immigration, were prominent. Indeed, immigration emerged as a central issue in the campaign and served as a defining issue for the Trump campaign.

We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.

Our data supports lines of research on polarization in American politics that focus on the asymmetric patterns between the left and the right, rather than studies that see polarization as a general historical phenomenon, driven by technology or other mechanisms that apply across the partisan divide.

The analysis includes the evaluation and mapping of the media landscape from several perspectives and is based on large-scale data collection of media stories published on the web and shared on Twitter.

Read the full report – click the Download Full Text link >>>>

There were stories here that I never encountered, e.g. the one about immigrants with “blistering STDs.”

There are lessons here. Maybe our team did not spend enough time in the slime of the opposition websites to battle their disgusting lies. We thought the opposition, like us, actually accessed traditional sources, which, as the study shows, did not give Hillary’s issues any kind of fair hearing because, you know, her emails!

I must thank Jen Michigander for sharing this study with me. She is the intrepid one who has spent a lot of time moving among the shadows at the opposition pages.

 

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After touring the Futuramic Tool and Engineering facility in Warren, MI, Hillary delivered remarks addressing her plans for the economy in contrast to the very hazy, foreshortened bullets (I hesitate to call them plans) offered by Donald Trump. Bullets are great on a memo or a meeting agenda.  The American people want to hear how candidates plan to boost the economy.  Hillary presented a detailed, multifaceted, intersectional set of initiatives that, working in concert, will benefit all Americans and American families, not just those at the top.

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Just a note on Trump’s latest lies and other words. He told a crowd this morning that Hillary talks for 10 minutes and then goes home and sleeps.  Everyone here knows that is not true, and we actually often wonder if she ever gets a chance to sleep. His speech consisted largely (he thinks bigly is a word) of reading off a series of numbers from notes in his hand.  They were just numbers out of context. They meant nothing, and it was mystifying.  Hillary, in interview situations, for example, and town halls, can rattle off numbers from her head, without knowing a particular question is coming, and relates the numbers to concrete realities.  Trump held up a graph that he stared at more than he showed it to the audience.  It was a shabby imitation of Ross Perot who at least really knew the graphs and what they showed.  Perhaps Perot even made those graphs himself.  Trump looked at the graph and read the numbers as if they were alien to him and he had never seen them before.  In one instance he said, “I agree with this one.”  What an unprepared puppet of the billionaire boys club that he calls his economic advisory team!

Here is Hillary’s plan.

Stronger Together: Hillary Clinton’s Plan for An Economy That Works for Everyone, Not Just Those at the Top

Earlier today, Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in Warren, Michigan, posing four questions that should make voters’ choice in this election crystal clear. First, which candidate will actually stand up to those at the top and restore balance and fairness to our economy? Second, who has a better plan to create good-paying jobs? Third, who will really go to bat for working families? And, fourth, who can break through the dysfunction in Washington deliver real results for the American people?

Donald Trump fails each of these tests. Instead of restoring balance and fairness to our economy, he wants to provide trillions in tax breaks to corporations and the super-wealthy, exploding our deficit while leaving working families to hold the bag. Instead of creating good-paying jobs, his economic proposals would produce crisis and recession, resulting in 3.4 million lost jobs according to independent analysts who also projects that the economy would create 10.4 million jobs under Hillary Clinton’s plans. Instead of standing up for working families, Trump has made a career out of stiffing small businesses and outsourcing jobs. Instead of breaking through Washington gridlock, Trumps’ temper tantrums and name-calling would just make things worse.

Unlike Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has the agenda, experience, and know-how to restore fairness to our economy, create good-paying jobs, stand up for working families, and break-through Washington’s dysfunction to deliver real results for the American people. She understands that we are stronger together when we grow together—when we all contribute to our prosperity and we all share in the rewards. While we have worked our way back from the Great Recession, too many Americans are still left out and left behind. Instead of growing together, we’re in danger of growing apart – with too few good-paying jobs, too much inequality, and a lack of basic economic security and fairness for working families.

We can meet these challenges. We can spur more economic growth, which will create more good-paying jobs and raise wages. And we can have more economic fairness, so the rewards are shared with everyone. Hillary Clinton is running for President to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. As she laid out in her speech last month in Raleigh, North Carolina, she is setting five big goals to get there:

  1. Break Through Washington Gridlock to Make the Boldest Investment in Good-Paying Jobs Since World War II
  2. Make Debt Free College Available to All Americans
  3. Rewrite the Rules to Ensure That Workers Share in the Profits They Help Create
  4. Ensure That Those at the Top Pay Their Fair Share
  5. Put Families First by Matching Our Policies to How Families Live, Learn, and Work in the 21st Century Economy

A summary of Hillary’s economic agenda is below. You can read about all of these proposals in greater detail at https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/.

I. BREAK THROUGH WASHINGTON GRIDLOCK TO MAKE THE BOLDEST INVESTMENT IN GOOD-PAYING JOBS SINCE WORLD WAR II

Our country has a strong bipartisan tradition of investing in our future—from Eisenhower’s Interstate highway system, which unlocked the potential of the American economy and drove the rise of the middle class, to the Apollo program, which put a man on the moon and fueled giant leaps forward in technology and innovation. Hillary Clinton will break through the gridlock in Washington to make these investments, which have been a hallmark of American prosperity, once again possible.

From her first day in office to her last, Hillary will make it a central priority to make sure that every American can find a good-paying job, with rising incomes across the board. That’s why she will make the largest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II. These investments will not just create good jobs today, they will unlock the potential of our businesses to create good-paying jobs in the future. And she is setting a goal of a full employment, full-potential economy, where we break down barriers and create good-paying jobs in every community, for people across the country willing to work hard. Hillary will:

  • Launch our country’s boldest investments in infrastructure since we built the Interstate highway system
  • Make audacious advancement in research and technology, creating the industries and jobs of the future
  • Establish the U.S. as the clean energy superpower of the world—with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term and enough clean renewable energy to power every home in American within ten years of her taking office
  • Cut red tape, make small business tax filing as easy as keeping a checkbook, and expand access to capital so small businesses can grow, hire and thrive
  • Ensure that the jobs of the future in caregiving and services are good-paying jobs, recognize their fundamental contributions to families and to America
  • Pursue smarter, fairer, tougher trade policies that put U.S. job creation first and that get tough on nations like China that seek to prosper at the expense of our workers – including opposing trade deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that do not meet a high bar of creating good-paying jobs and raising pay
  • Commit to a full employment, full-potential economy and break down barriers so that growth, jobs, and prosperity are shared in every community in America, no matter where you live and no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability
  • Appoint Fed governors who share the belief that maximum employment is an essential prong of the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate

II. MAKE DEBT FREE COLLEGE AVAILABLE TO ALL AMERICANS

An economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, is based on the idea of equal opportunity and a belief that anyone can rise. That vision of our nation only works if we renew our commitment to education at every level. That’s why Hillary will fight for transformational investments that prepare the next generation for the jobs of the future—starting with debt-free college:

  • Eliminate tuition for working families and provide debt-free college to all Americans—because debt should never be a barrier to equal opportunity
  • Ease the crushing burden of student debt for 40 million Americans by allowing students to refinance at lower rates and making sure that none of them have to pay more than they can afford

III. REWRITE THE RULES TO ENSURE WORKERS SHARE IN THE PROFITS THEY HELP CREATE

Businesses thrive all over our country by seeing employees as assets to invest in, not costs to cut. They’re building companies, not stripping them, and creating good jobs, not eliminating them. But too many corporations take the opposite view. They seem to have forgotten that one of the biggest assets on their balance sheets is America itself. Hillary will make it easier for companies that take the “high road,” like sharing profits with their workers and investing in them over the long term. And she will make it harder for them to take the “low road,” by mistreating their workers and customers or walking out on America to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

  • Reward companies that share profits with their employees, not just their executives
  • End the tyranny of “quarterly capitalism” and encourage companies to invest in America for the long-run
  • Reform our tax code to reward businesses that invest in jobs in the United States, and impose an exit tax on companies that move overseas to avoid paying their taxes
  • Strengthen our antitrust laws and enforcement so businesses get ahead by competing and benefitting their customers – not by unfairly concentrating markets
  • Eliminate write-offs and claw back special tax breaks when companies ship jobs and production overseas, and use the proceeds to invest in America
  • Pursue worker-friendly policies to make it harder for companies to race to the bottom in search of profits

IV. REWRITE THE RULES AND MAKE SURE THAT THOSE AT THE TOP PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE

Our tax code is rigged for those at the top, making it harder to invest in our future, whether it’s in infrastructure, education or healthcare. We need policies to address these discrepancies in our tax code and go after all the scams, loopholes, and special breaks exploited by corporations and the mega-rich, like the carried interest loophole that lets some hedge fund managers pay a lower rate than a teacher or a nurse. She believes that by making sure the most fortunate and corporations pay their fair share, we can afford to pay for the ambitious progressive investments she has put forward, in a fiscally responsible way, without adding to the debt.

As President, Hillary will make sure that corporations and the most fortunate play by the rules and pay their fair share – because they can afford it, and we’re all in this together. She will:

  • Reform our individual income tax code to make sure that no millionaire pays a lower tax rate than a middle-class family and impose a surcharge on the incomes of multi-millionaires
  • Close tax loopholes and special breaks that make it possible for the wealthy and corporations to avoid paying their fair share
  • Charge a risk fee on major Wall Street institutions
  • Close the “carried interest” loophole for Wall Street money managers – acting without Congress if it will not move forward on its own

V. PUT FAMILIES FIRST AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE SECURITY AND OPPORTUNITY THEY NEED TO THRIVE IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

When we forged the basic bargain of our economy, with guarantees like Social Security, minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor laws, and other protections we count on today, our economy was very different. Most families got by on one income, and workers could expect to hold a steady job with good benefits for an entire career. Despite massive shifts in how our economy works today, too many of our policies are outdated and basic protections have not kept up. We need policies that match how we actually live and work in this 21st century economy. That means updating the basic bargain and putting families first. Hillary will:

  • Provide universal, affordable healthcareincluding offering a public option choice in every state, letting people over 55 buy into Medicare, and investing in community health centers
  • Work to ensure no family pays more than 10 percent of their income on child care by making the Child Tax Credit more generous for working families, making preschool universal for every 4 year-old in America, and significantly increasing our investment in high-quality child care programs
  • Break down barriers to make affordable housing and homeownership possible for hard working families

 

And now this!

David Cay Johnston:  Is a Crook Hiding in Donald Trump’s Taxes?

STAND

 

 

 

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Hillary Clinton is a grandma and she loves babies.  Donald Trump kicks babies out of his campaign events.  Hillary has held many campaign events with babies and young children in attendance. The zika virus can lead to heartbreak, and it has.  A baby girl died.  Hillary heard about it, and she has something to say before this crisis outgrows all manageability.

The time to take action against Zika is now
Hillary Clinton

For months, experts have warned that Zika — a disease linked to devastating birth defects — would spread to the United States this summer, and now it has. There were nearly 1,900 confirmed cases across the continental U.S. as of early August, and now we’ve seen the first locally transmitted cases in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami.

I know how scary that must be for young parents, particularly those who are expecting. This week, a father wrote to me to say that his wife is 23 weeks pregnant and they are alarmed because her office is in Wynwood. And yesterday, we heard the heartbreaking news that a baby girl born with Zika-related birth defects died in Houston.

I had the chance to visit the Borinquen Medical Center in Miami yesterday, where physicians, nurses, and researchers are on the frontlines working to prevent and treat Zika. It’s a serious challenge — one that we need to mobilize to address before the virus spreads further.

Everyone has a role to play in preventing this disease. As one doctor said in our discussion, if you prevent yourself from being bitten by a mosquito, you prevent a mosquito from reproducing.

Read more and respond to Hillary here >>>>

STAND

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Hillary appeared with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken yesterday in Minneapolis.

At AFT Convention, Clinton Pledges to Work with Educators to Strengthen America’s Public Schools

At the AFT Convention in Minneapolis on Monday, Hillary Clinton reiterated her commitment to ensure every child receives a world-class education, regardless of their ZIP code. Clinton pledged to partner with teachers in the White House to repair our crumbling schools, invest in training and support for our educators, and provide every student in America the opportunity to learn computer science.

Clinton argued that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president. Trump wants to “largely” eliminate the Department of Education, believes we invest too much in public education, and selected a running mate who slashed funding for schools that served Indiana’s most vulnerable students. As Clinton said, “Neither Mike Pence nor Donald Trump should be anywhere near our children’s education”

Clinton’s remarks, as transcribed, are below:

“Hello!  Hello, AFT!  My goodness, I was listening in the back and I heard Randi at the end of her remarks say, ‘And I’ve known her for 25 years.’ Wow, it’s been fun, hasn’t it?  Gone by fast.

Well, I’m thrilled to be here, and it is only fitting that AFT is celebrating your centennial right here in Minnesota, a state with a proud tradition of public service and great public education.I am thrilled that former Vice President Walter Mondale is here with us. He was one of my earliest inspirations, and I am always grateful for his life of service.  And I also want to say a word about Governor Wendell Anderson.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the countless people whose lives he touched.  Minnesota has a great tradition of electing terrific public servants. And I am so proud to be here with this state’s dynamic duo.  You got a preview, a taste of the combination that Amy and Al represent, but I can tell you that the two senators from Minnesota are among the greatest that Minnesota has ever sent to Washington, and among the greatest to have ever served in the United States Senate. And I just said exactly what they told me to say.  I’ve known Al a long time.  He handed me this slip of paper on the way in.  But no, I consider them both great friends and I am so excited about being able to work with them again starting next January 2017.And Randi, thank you for that introduction, but much more than that, thanks for standing up to injustice in all of its forms.  As Randi said earlier, these have been difficult days for our country and the world.  Just over a week ago, Philando Castile died in a police incident outside St. Paul.”\

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  “Hands up, don’t shoot.  Hands up, don’t shoot.  Hands up, don’t shoot.”

HILLARY CLINTON:  “And I just had the great honor – the great honor and the great privilege of meeting with his mother and meeting with two of his uncles and his sister.  And I had heard a lot about Phil, because that is what they call him.  And I share – I share the urgency and the commitment to actually address these issues.

But let me tell you, my friends, let me tell you, we cannot let this madness continue. A lot of people are still in pain right here, including his courageous family, his coworkers and students at the St. Paul public schools.  And to our AFT brothers and sisters in the Twin Cities who knew him as a fellow educator who cared deeply about this community and its children, his mother was telling me how he never wanted to miss a day of work.  He drove 30 miles from their home in Minneapolis to the school where he worked.  Nothing could stop him from being there.  And his death, his loss is ours as well.  Our country has been confronted – our country has been confronted with tragedy too many times recently, hasn’t it?  From St. Paul to Orlando, from Dallas to Baton Rouge, where we saw three police officers murdered yesterday in an apparent ambush.  This hate, this violence cannot stand.  Killing police officers is a crime against us all.  There can be no justification, no looking the other way, and this must end.  And it can. It can be true both that we need law enforcement and that we need to improve law enforcement to get back – to get back to the fundamental principle that everyone in every community benefits when there is respect for the law and everyone is respected by the law.

The service and sacrifice of your fellow public employees is crucial to keeping our communities safe, and these murders threaten the painful, essential work we have to do as a nation.  And for many of the people in this room, that work includes explaining these incidents to our children.  Something you’ve had to do more and more this past year.  So to every single AFT member, I say thank you.

Thank you for caring for all of our children no matter what they look like, where they come from, or who they are.

And thank you for being one of the essential partners in everything we’ve got to do to move our country in the right direction.  Thank you for fighting to reform our broken campaign finance system.  I will stand with you and propose a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Thank you.  Thank you for fighting to defend and improve the Affordable Care Act – and I will work with you to keep pushing for universal health care coverage. Most of all, thank you for a century of fighting for fairness and opportunity – the teachers, paraprofessionals, school-related personnel, the nurses, and public service employees of AFT.

I know that you have some of the hardest, most important jobs in the world.  And I want to say right from the outset that I’m with you. When I am president, you will have a partner in the White House and you will always have a seat at the table. Because just like you, I get up every day and I ask, how can we do better for America’s kids?  I am committed to making sure every child in this country receives a world-class education with good schools and good teachers, no matter what ZIP code they live in. And I know that starts with supporting parents to be their child’s first teachers. And expanding access to high-quality childcare and universal preschool for every single child.

I know that means repairing our crumbling schools and investing in training and support for our educators, because when we invest in education, we invest in our country’s future.  And you know what?  We also then invest in a stronger economy.  Some of you may know that these issues aren’t new to me.  My first job out of law school was working for the Children’s Defense Fund.  I went door to door in New Bedford, Massachusetts, talking with families whose kids had disabilities that made it hard or impossible for them to go to school.  Our work helped convince Congress to guarantee access to education for all students.  And years later, when my husband was governor of Arkansas, he put me in charge of working to improve our schools, and we held hearings in every county and we came up with a plan, then we fought hard to raise standards and get schools more resources and to get teachers the raises they deserved, which was the highest increase of any state in the country at that time.

So, you see, along with my personal experience, I carry these lessons.  If we work together, we can give schools and educators the resources you need to succeed.  My plan to strengthen public education comes down to TLC: teaching, learning, and community.  America is asking more of our educators than ever before.  Some of you heard the impassioned plea from the police chief in Dallas when he said our society is asking so much more of our police to deal with so many problems.  Well, it’s true of our teachers and our educators as well.

We look to you to fill in gaps that we, as a country, have neglected, like helping low-income kids, English-language learners, kids with disabilities thrive.  And we ask you to help right wrongs, from poverty and homelessness to the legacy of racial inequities stretching back centuries.  We ask so much of you and we don’t give you enough in return. As president, I will launch a national campaign to modernize and elevate the profession of teaching.  I want all educators, at every stage of your careers, to know you’ll be able to keep learning, improving and innovating.  And we also need to be serious about raising wages for teachers and support staff.  Anyone who works full-time in America should be able to earn a living wage without taking second and third jobs just to get by.

And the last thing a teacher needs when you’re just starting out is a mountain of student debt.  When I’m president, future students won’t have to borrow a dime to attend public colleges or universities.  For families making less than $125,000 a year, we will eliminate tuition at public colleges and universities altogether. And for the millions who already have student debt, you will be able to refinance your student loans so you never have to pay more than you can afford.  And if you go into public service, which includes teaching, any remaining debt will be forgiven after 10 years.

Now, we need to make college more affordable, but we can’t cut costs at the expense of talented, committed educators at colleges across the country, including adjunct faculty members.  (Cheers and applause.)  They also deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have a strong voice with a union. If we are serious about supporting educators, we need to support unions.  And I will fight back against attacks on working families in America, and I will defend your right to organize and bargain collectively, and we will not stand for attempts to privatize public services.

Now, here’s what I know.  I know these things can only be done with you in partnership.  So I’m asking you, asking educators across the country, to work with me; asking you to advise me and to hold me accountable; to keep advocating for your students, your profession, and your communities.  Because together, we are stronger, and we can produce results if we get up every single day, make up our minds we’re going to keep working to achieve the goals that I have set out.

The second piece of TLC is learning.  We need to educate our children for the future, not the past.  We want our children to be creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, critical thinkers who can collaborate and communicate within their communities and around the world.  That means we need to be reaching together for new heights, not rehashing old arguments.  It’s time to stop focusing only on, quote, ‘failing schools.’  Let’s focus on all of our great schools too.  When schools get it right, let’s replicate their practices across America. There’s a lot we can learn from each other, and I intend to make sure that we have the best research, the best evidence, no matter where it comes from – that you then can put to work on behalf of your students.

So yes, we are going to do everything possible to work with schools across America.  I’ve been in a lot of those schools.  I used to have what I called the Chelsea test. Now I’ve got the Charlotte test. And that test is pretty simple.  Would I want my daughter, and now my granddaughter, and soon my grandson, to go to school here? I’ll tell you what.  I have walked into a lot of schools where I said, boy, would I be happy – would I be happy to have the most important child in the world to me attend here.  But I’ve also walked into schools where literally the building is falling down, where you can see the holes in the ceiling, where you can see the mold, where you walk into a library and there’s not a single book and there certainly is not a computer.  We can’t tolerate that.  We can’t let any one of America’s precious children – I don’t care who they are – attend a school that shows we don’t care about them.

And that’s why we are not going to go in the direction of letting people on the outside foist for-profit schools on our kids.  We are going to continue to oppose vouchers that drain resources from public schools and undermine their ability to provide the education our children deserve. Where there are public charter schools, we will learn from them.  But what we’re interested in is making sure that every child in our country has the chance to attend a great public school. And I believe part of that rests on working together to find the right balance on testing.

Now, look, you know; you’re the experts.  Tests can provide critical information to teachers and parents to find out how kids are doing, how schools are doing to help them improve.  But when you are forced to teach to a test, our children miss out on some of the most valuable experiences they can gain in a classroom during their school years. I personally have no time for these so-called education wars.  It’s time for those of us who believe in public education to sit at one table, around it together, and listen to you – the teachers and support paraprofessionals who actually are with our kids all day long.

And let’s start making decisions about what’s best for our kids not in accordance with some entrenched ideology.  Consider this:  Right now, there are more than half a million open jobs that require computing skills across the country, in every major industry.  But you know the majority of our schools don’t offer computer science.  That’s partly because there’s a shortage of computer science teachers, it’s partly because our educators don’t have the time or resources to learn how to integrate digital tools into their curriculum.  And we can do something about that.  And on top of it, more than 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires broadband access, but more than 5 million children don’t have it.  We’re just taking this digital divide and making it a huge problem in the lives of 5 million kids.  And we can do something about that.

As president, I will be your partner to take on these challenges.  We’re going to make sure every child in America has the opportunity to learn computer science.  We’re going to work to close the homework gap by making every student has broadband access that they can use to do their homework. So let’s use all the tools at our disposal, including technology, to give kids an education that will meet the skills needed for the jobs we’re producing.

And finally, there’s C in TLC, community.  So much of what happens inside your classroom is determined by what happens outside.  Too many of our public school students are living in poverty.  For the first time ever, it’s a majority.  51 percent.  That’s on all of us.  But you see students coming to school hungry or exhausted from a long night in a shelter.  So many kids have the weight of the world on their little shoulders.  And we need to tackle all the problems holding our kids back.  And we need to do it together.

I’ve had so many meetings and conversations with teachers, it just breaks my heart, as they tell me about kids who come to school in the dead of winter, no coat on their back.  Come to school unable to even look in their teacher’s face because of what just happened at home or on the way to school.  Go home from school dodging gangs trying to recruit them.  That’s a stain on all of us.  Let’s create more community schools.  More partnerships between schools, social services, and nonprofit organizations.  Let’s pledge that we’re going to give children who need it the mental health services that they deserve.

And you should not have to be from a wealthy family to join a soccer team or have access to extracurricular activities that can develop your confidence and your feeling that you are an important person in the world in the eyes of those who are looking at you.  So we’re going to have to work together.  There is no choice.  From the community level all the way to the White House.  That’s just one of the many reasons why this election is it so important.  I’ll tell you what.  If I weren’t running against him, I would ask Randy to invite me here so I could rail against him.

Because it’s no surprise, my friends, that Donald Trump has a very different take on all of this.  He has said that America spends too much on education.  This is coming from someone who wants to give millionaires a free trillion dollar tax cut over the next decade. At least.  I’d like to hear him explain that to parents in Detroit, where students are trying to learn in crumbling, rodent infested classrooms.  He wants to, and I quote, ‘largely eliminate the Department of Education.’  But he says maybe he’ll leave some tentacles out there, whatever that means.

Now look, that agency may not always get it right, but it provides support for vital programs, from pre-K to Pell grants, and crucial resources to help low income students, students with disabilities, and English-language learners.  So Donald Trump would leave our most vulnerable students to fend for themselves.  If you want to know what kind of president Donald Trump will be, just look at who he’s chosen as his running mate. A Tea Party politician who has worked to undermine the rights of women, workers, LGBT Americans, and immigrants.

Mike Pence is one of the most extreme vice presidential picks in a generation.  And he’s one of the most hostile politicians in America when it comes to public education.  As governor of Indiana, he cut millions from higher education while he was giving huge tax cuts to corporations.  He turned away millions of federal dollars that could have expanded access to preschool for low income children, and slashed funding for schools that served Indiana’s most vulnerable students.  Neither Mike Pence nor Donald Trump should be anywhere near our children’s education.

And one more thing.  Parents and educators across America are already worried about what they’re calling the Trump effect, with bullying and harassment on the rise in our schools.  Last week, a mother in Wisconsin wrote me a letter saying that her adopted son had turned to her and said, if Trump becomes president, he’s going to make me go back to Ethiopia.  That’s the kind of fear Donald Trump is creating in the heart of a 10 year old boy.  What do our children think when he calls women pigs, or mocks a reporter with a disability?  Or when he talks about banning one and a half billion Muslims from entering our country?  What do our kids take away from his racist attack against a federal judge, or when he encourages his supporters to punch protesters in the face?  You wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior in your home or in your classroom.  How can we stand for it from someone running to be president of the United States?

Well, we know America’s a bighearted, fair-minded country, and that with your help, we’re going to continue to stress to our kids this is one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  Not just for people who look a certain way, or worship a certain way.  We’re stronger when every child has the chance to live up to his or her full potential.  And public education gives our kids that chance.  So that’s why I’m counting on you. I’m counting on the AFT.  I’m counting on the American public to make sure as many people as possible get registered to vote, get educated, and get mobilized.

Today I announced a nationwide effort by my campaign to get more than 3 million Americans to register and commit to vote in November.  We would love your help. Please go to Hillaryclinton.com/vote to get involved.  And then let’s keep going.  Let’s keep making our case, working for better schools, more resources, more support, to give all of our kids the chance that they deserve.  With your help, we’re going to make sure we get to work on that agenda together, because we’re going to make sure we don’t turn our country over to Donald Trump.  Let’s go win in November.  Thank you all very, very much.”

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At the 107th Annual NAACP Convention at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati., Hillary Clinton spoke of recent shootings of civilians, assaults on police, and systemic racism.

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At NAACP Convention, Hillary Clinton Condemns Recent Shootings of Police; Reiterates Call to Work Together for Needed Reforms

At the NAACP National Convention in Cincinnati on Monday, Hillary Clinton forcefully condemned the recent police shootings, including the killing of officers Brad Garafola, Matthew Gerald, and Montrell Jackson in Baton Rouge. Clinton reiterated the pressing need to support our law enforcement officers, reform our criminal justice system, and pass common sense gun laws to keep our communities and police officers safe.  As Clinton said, “So now is the time for all good people who agree that the senseless killings must end to stand up, speak out loudly and clearly. [….] We must reform our criminal justice system because everyone is safer when there is respect for the law and when everyone is respected by the law.”

In addition, Clinton announced a nationwide voter mobilization goal to register and commit to vote more than 3 million voters to be a part of this campaign. In the kickoff week alone, Hillary for America and the state Democratic coordinated campaigns will host more than 500 registration or commit to vote events across the country.

Clinton’s remarks, as transcribed, are below:

“Hello, NAACP! It is so good to be here with all of you.

I want to start by thanking my longtime friend and colleague, my collaborator, and partner, and so many important causes; Hazel Dukes is a treasure. A treasure not only for New York, but for the NAACP and for our country. Thank you so much dear Hazel.

I want to thank your Chair, Rosyln Brock. Thank you so much Madame Chair. Your President and CEO Cornell Brooks, and everyone here today, including all the elected officials who have already appeared before you and those who will be addressing you during this convention.

And I have to start by saying we all know about that other Convention happening up in Cleveland today. Well, my opponent in this race may have a different view, but there’s nowhere I’d rather be than right here with all of you.

For more than a century, you’ve been on the frontlines, pushing America to become a better, fairer country. You and your noble predecessors have marched, sat in, stood up and spoke out – all to bring us closer to our founding ideals of equality for all.

And yes we have made progress, we see the results: in classrooms where children of all races learn side by side; in boardrooms and break rooms, where workers of all backgrounds are able to earn a living and support their families; at every level of government, where more and more the people we elect to represent America actually look like America.

And, of course, in the White House, with our wonderful President and First Lady and their daughters, Barack and Michelle Obama.

So as the President has said, and indeed, as he exemplified, we’ve come a long way.  But you know – and I know – that we have so much further to go.

We were cruelly reminded of that with the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two more black men killed by police incidents, this time in Louisiana and Minnesota. And then in Dallas, five police officers killed while serving and protecting peaceful protestors, targeted because they were police.

And we saw it again just yesterday, when three police officers were shot in an apparent ambush in Baton Rouge. This madness has to stop.

Watching the news from Baton Rouge yesterday, my heart broke not just for those officers and their grieving families, but for all of us.  Because we have difficult, painful, important work ahead of us to repair the bonds between police and communities, and between and among each other.  We need one another to do this work.  And we need leaders like the NAACP. We need police officers to help us do this work.  These murders threaten all of that.

Killing police officers is a terrible crime.  That’s why our laws treat the murders of police so seriously because they represent the rule of law itself. If you take aim at that, you take aim at all of us. Anyone who does it and anyone who helps must be held accountable.  And as president, I will bring the full weight of the law to bear in making sure that those who kill a police officer are brought to justice.  There can be no justification.  No looking the other way.  We all have to make sure and pray it ends.

The officers killed yesterday in Baton Rouge were named Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald, Brad Garafola.  When they died, they were responding to a call about a man with a gun.  How many families, how many more families, would pay the price if we didn’t have brave men and women answering those calls?  That’s why I’m haunted by the images of what the officers were doing in Dallas when they died.  Protecting a peaceful march, talking with the protestors. Where would our democracy be without courageous people willing to do that?

So we all need to be partners in making law enforcement as secure and effective as it needs to be. That means investing in our police – in training on the proper use of force, especially lethal force. How to avoid using force to resolve incidents.

Officer safety and wellness – everything they need to do their jobs right and rebuild trust with their communities.  I’ve said from the beginning of my campaign, that will be my priority as President.

Perhaps the best way to honor our police is to follow the lead of police departments across the country striving to do better.  The deaths of Alton and Philando drove home how urgently we need to make reforms to policing and criminal justice — how we cannot rest until we root out implicit bias and stop the killings of African Americans.

Because there is, as you know so well, another hard truth at the heart of this complex matter. Many African Americans fear the police. I can hear you, some of you in this room. And today there are people all across America sick over what happened in Baton Rouge and in Dallas. But also fearful that the murders of police officers mean that vital questions about police-community relations will go unanswered.

Now that is a reasonable fear isn’t it? All of this tells us very powerfully that something needs to change. Many police officers across the country agree with that. There’s a real opportunity here for cooperation.

But that can only happen if we can build trust and accountability. And let’s admit it. That gets harder every time someone else is killed.

So now is the time for all good people who agree that the senseless killings must end to stand up, speak out loudly and clearly. I know that the NAACP, and so many of you individually, will do all you can to help our nation heal and start the work together to meet these challenges.

We must reform our criminal justice system because everyone is safer when there is respect for the law and when everyone is respected by the law.

And let’s admit it, there is clear evidence that African-Americans are disproportionately killed in police incidents than any other group.  And African-American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men convicted of the same offenses.  These facts tell us something is profoundly wrong. We can’t ignore that. We can’t wish it away. We have to make it right.

That means end-to-end reform in our criminal justice system – not half-measures, but a full commitment with real follow through. That’s why the very first speech I gave in this campaign, back in April of 2015 was about criminal justice reform. And the next President should make a commitment to fight for the reforms we so desperately need. Holding police departments like Ferguson accountable. Requiring accurate data on in-custody deaths, like Sandra Bland. Creating clear, national guidelines on the use of force, especially legal force. Supporting independent investigations of fateful encounters with the police. So I pledge to you, I will start taking action on day one and every day after that until we get this done.

And you know what? When the 24-hour news cycle moves on, I won’t. This is too important. This goes to the heart of who we are. This is about our character as Americans. That’s why we also need to fix the crisis of mass incarceration. Eliminate the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine. Dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline that starts in school and diverts too many African American kids out of school and into the criminal justice system, instead of giving them the education they deserve to have. And we need to do, all of us need to do – and I look forward to working with the NAACP – we need to do a much better job of helping people who’ve paid their debt to society find jobs and support when they get out.

America is well known, and we want to be a land of second chances – but so many Americans never had a first chance to begin with.  So let’s give everyone a fair chance at rebuilding their lives.  As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Give everyone a fair chance in the race of life.’ My plan would make significant investments in reentry programs for the formerly incarcerated.  And I will ‘Ban the box’ in the federal government. People deserve a real shot at an interview instead of being told ‘No,’ right out of the gate.

Then beyond criminal justice, we must, we must fight for commonsense reforms to stop gun violence. This is by far, gun violence, by far the leading cause of death for young African-American men, outstripping the next nine causes of death combined.  The wrong people, the wrong people keep getting their hands on guns.  And not just any guns – military weapons, like the kind the Dallas shooter had, which allowed him to outgun the police.

That’s why the Cleveland police, yesterday, demanded that the state suspend open carry of guns on the streets during the Republican National Convention.  And last week, the extraordinary and inspiring Dallas police chief, Chief Brown, told lawmakers, ‘Do your job. We’re doing ours,’ he said.  He’s right.  When he went on to say we’re putting our lives on the line. We’ve got to do better.

People who should care about protecting of police officers should be committed to getting assault weapons off the streets to start with.  And they should join us in instituting comprehensive background checks because law enforcement officers are nearly 50 percent, nearly 50 percent, less likely to be killed in states where there are checks on the purchase of handguns.

But even if we succeed in passing these laws and implementing them, we’ve got to go even further than that.

We need to do something about the racial inequities in our healthcare system.  Right now, black kids are 500 percent more likely to die from asthma than white kids – 500 percent! Right now a black baby in South Carolina is twice as likely to die before her first birthday as a white baby.  Imagine if those numbers were reversed, and it were white kids dying.  Imagine the outcry and the resources that would flood in.

And let’s do everything we can to create more jobs in places where unemployment remains stubbornly high after generations of underinvestment and neglect.  I’m a big fan of Congressman Jim Clyburn’s ‘10-20-30’ plan – steering 10 percent of federal investment to neighborhoods where 20 percent of the population has been living below the poverty line for 30 years.

That should go nationwide because the unemployment rate among young African Americans is twice as high as for young white people. And because of that, my plan also includes $20 billion aimed specifically at creating jobs for young people. If you don’t get that first job, it’s hard to get the second job, and it’s hard to build that solid financial base.

And because of the Great Recession, the median wealth for black families is now just a tiny fraction of the median wealth for white families.  That’s why my plan includes steps to help more African-American families buy a home, which has always been one of the surest ways to build wealth and security for a family.

We will do more to support black entrepreneurs get access to capital. And I want to give a shout out to black women, who represent the fastest-growing segment of women-owned businesses in America.

I want to unleash all of that energy and all of that talent. We need to view all of these issues also as part of the struggle for civil rights. Rosa Parks opened up every seat on the bus: our challenge now is to expand jobs so that everyone can afford the fare.  And let’s ensure that the bus route reaches every neighborhood, and connects every family with safe, affordable housing, good jobs, and quality schools.

Now, I know none of this will surprise those of you who know me. I’ve got a lot of plans. You can go to my website, Hillary-Clinton-dot-com and read our full agenda.

Because you see, I have this old-fashioned idea: if you’re running for President, you should say exactly what you want to do and how you will get it done.  I do sweat the specifics because I think they matter.  Whether one more kid gets health care, one more person finds a job, or one more woman entrepreneur gets access to capital to follow her dream – those just may be details in Washington, but it really matters to those people and their families.

And the truth is, we need to plan because we face a complex set of economic, social and political challenges: they’re intersectional; they’re reinforcing.  We’ve got to take them all on. We can’t wait and just do one at a time.

But the answers won’t just come from Washington.  Ending systemic racism requires contributions from all of us – especially, especially those of us who haven’t experienced it ourselves.

I’ve been saying this for a while now – and I’m going to keep saying it, because I think it’s important.  We white Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day.

We need to recognize our privilege and practice humility, rather than assume that our experiences are everyone’s experiences.

We all need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes – to imagine what it would be like to sit our son or daughter down and have ‘the talk’ about how carefully they need to act around police because the slightest wrong move could get them hurt or even killed.

Let’s also put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous job that their families pray will bring them home safe at night. Empathy works both ways.  We’ve got to try to see the world through their eyes, too.

When you get right down to it, that’s what makes it possible for people from every background, every race, every religion, to come together as one nation.  It’s what makes our country endure.

And in times like these we need a President who can help pull us together, not split us apart.  I will work every single day to do just that. And what I’m about to say, I say with no satisfaction, the Republican nominee for President will do the exact opposite.

He might say otherwise if he were here.  But of course, he declined your invitation.

So all we can go on is what he has said and done in the past.

Donald Trump led the movement to de-legitimize our first black president, trumpeting the so-called ‘birther’ movement.

Donald Trump plays coy with white supremacists.  Donald insults Mexican immigrants, even an American judge born of Mexican heritage.  Donald Trump demeans women.  Donald Trump wants to ban an entire religion from entering our country.

And Donald Trump loves to talk to the press.  But let’s not forget, let us not forget: the first time Donald Trump was quoted in The New York Times was in 1973, when the Justice Department went after his company for refusing to rent apartments to African Americans.

It was one of the largest federal cases of its kind at the time. And when federal investigators spoke with Trump’s employees, they said they were instructed to mark rental applications from black people with a ‘C.’ A ‘C’ for colored.

By now, we’ve heard a lot of troubling things about Donald Trump but that one’s shocking.

This man is the nominee of the Party of Lincoln.  And we are watching it become the Party of Trump.  And that’s not just a huge loss to our democracy – it is a threat to our democracy.

And it all adds up, it all adds up to an undeniable conclusion:  I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent — Donald Trump cannot become President of the United States.

And that’s why we’ve got to work together to get out the vote this fall.

You know that better than anyone.  That’s why the theme of this conference is ‘Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count.’

I agree with both of that. And now I think your votes count more than ever.

That’s why we’ve got to stand up against any attempt to roll back the clock on voting rights.  Encourage everyone, everyone we know to stand up and be counted in this November election.

As Dr. King said, ‘Our lives begin to end when we become silent about things that matter.’  None of us, none of us, can afford to be silent with so much at stake.

That’s why, here today, I am pleased to announce a nationwide drive to get 3 million people to register to vote and to commit to vote in this election.

We are hosting more than 500 registration events this week, across the country. We’re going to minor league baseball games, college campuses, barbershops, hair salons, street corners. And with those we cannot connect with in person, we’ve created an online, one stop shop registration tool, in English and in Spanish.

And my team in Ohio wanted me to make sure you all know that we’re hiring.  We actually have a recruiter here today – he’s got a table set up in the hall.  We’re hiring paid organizers to help us get out the vote and get our message out all across Ohio. So please spread the word – we want great people on our team.  That’s the way we’re going to be successful. We’re not the red team or the blue team, we’re the American team, and it’s time we start acting like it.

I have no doubt we can rise to meet these challenges if we stand together– no doubt at all. And if we are looking for inspiration, let’s go to one of the officers killed yesterday. 10 days ago, Montrell Jackson, a young African American police officer in Baton Rouge, posted a message on Facebook, he wrote so honestly and powerfully about the struggle of being black and wearing blue in today’s America.

‘I’m tired,’ he wrote, ‘in uniform I get nasty, hateful looks, and out of uniform, they consider me a threat.’ He went on, ‘These are trying times, please don’t let hate infect your heart. I’m working in these streets, so any protesters, officers, friends, families, or whoever, if you see me,’ Montrell said, ‘and need a hug, or want to say a prayer, I’ve got you.’

That, my friends, is the strength of America. Men like Montrell Jackson. Despite all our challenges, that spirit of love and community must guide us still. We have to heal the divides that remain, make the United States what it should be, stronger and fairer. More opportunity for every one of our people. I would not be standing here on the brink of accepting the Democratic nomination if I did not believe, if I did not in my heart believe, that America’s best years are still ahead of us. So let us go forward with faith, with confidence, with optimism. Our children and our grandchildren deserve no less.

Thank you, God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”

 

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Hillary Clinton returned to the Old Statehouse in Springfield, Illinois today to address divisions in America and how to bridge them. It is her second campaign event in the historic hall where Lincoln delivered his “house divided” speech.  In March, Chris Matthews moderated her town hall in that historic location.

 

In Springfield, Hillary Clinton Aims to Bridge Divides in America

Clinton Argued that Trump Is Transforming the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Trump

During a speech at the Old State House in Springfield, Illinois on Wednesday—the site of Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech—Hillary Clinton addressed the challenges we face as a nation—including on race, economic inequality, and divisiveness.  She also spoke of the need for a president who will bring us together, not tear us apart. From Trump’s ban on Muslims to his promotion of anti-Semitic images pushed by neo-Nazis, Clinton argued that a Trump presidency would be a threat to our democracy and have dangerous repercussions in America and around the globe. Clinton also acknowledged the one-year anniversary of Illinois native Sandra Bland’s passing, reiterating her call for rebuilding trust between law enforcement and communities.

Pointing to the need to unite against Trump’s fear-mongering, Clinton said, “If we do this right, and if we have the hard conversations we need to have, we will become stronger still – like steel tempered by fire [….] But in the end, if we do the work, we will cease to be divided. We, in fact, will be indivisible with liberty and justice for all. And we will remain – in Lincoln’s words – the last, best hope of earth.”

Clinton’s remarks, as transcribed, are below:

“Hello! Hi. Thank you all very, very much, please be seated, it’s wonderful being back here. It’s always a special privilege having grown up in Chicago in the suburbs to be here in the state capitol and especially here in this great historic place filled with so much meaning, not just for Illinois but for our country. And I’m delighted to have this opportunity to talk with you about the state of our country today.

Nearly 160 years ago, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in this statehouse that marked a turning point in the political life of our nation.

The question of slavery was being fiercely debated across America. Roughly half the states allowed it. Half abolished it. And some people – including Lincoln – believed that until it was gone entirely, our country would never be truly united and at peace.

So on June 16, 1858, when Mr. Lincoln kicked off his campaign for the United States Senate, he delivered an address on how slavery was tearing our country apart. And that it must go. Some thought that he ended up losing that Senate race because of that speech. But then he won the Presidency. And some thought it was because of that speech.

President Lincoln led America during the most challenging period in our nation’s history. He defended our Union, our Constitution, and the ideal of a nation ‘conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ His legacy included laws and amendments that enshrined those values for future generations. They protect and guide us still.

I’m here today, in this place, because the words Lincoln spoke all those years ago still hold resonance for us now.

Remember, he said, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect,’ he went on, ‘The Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall. But I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.’

The challenges we face today do not approach those of Lincoln’s time. Not even close. And we should be very clear about that.

But recent events have left people across America asking hard questions about whether we are still a house divided.

Despite our best efforts and highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished.  In just the past week, we saw black men killed by police and five police officers killed by a sniper targeting white police. There is too much violence and hate in our country. Too little trust and common ground. It can feel impossible to have the conversations we need to have, to fix what’s broken.

And despite being the richest country on earth, we have too much economic inequality – and that also undermines the foundation of our democracy.

Lincoln understood that threat, too. He deeply believed everyone deserved – in his words – ‘a fair chance in the race of life.’ He saw it as a defining feature of the United States, and believed it was vital that hard-working people be free to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. It’s one of the reasons he was so strongly against slavery – because it violated that entire notion. And as President, he took pains to use the tools of government to create more economic opportunity for Americans at every level of society. So, too, must we fight inequality and create opportunity in our time – not just for some Americans, but for all.

So I come today as a mother and a grandmother to two beautiful little children. Who, I want them and all our children to grow up in a country where violence like the kind we saw last week doesn’t happen again – and where the American Dream is big enough for everyone.

I’m also here as a candidate for President who is deeply concerned about the divisions that still hold our people apart and our nation back. I believe that our future peace and prosperity depends on whether we meet this moment with honesty and courage.

That means taking a hard look at our laws and our attitudes. It means embracing policies that promote justice for all people, and standing firm against any attempt to roll back the clock on the rights and opportunities that so many sacrificed so much to secure.

And all of that starts with doing a better job of listening to each other.

We need to listen to the families whose loved ones have been killed in police incidents. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are just the latest in a long and painful litany of African Americans dying after encounters with police officers. We remember Laquan McDonald, killed in Chicago a year and a half ago and Sandra Bland, who grew up in Illinois who died one year ago today. Time after time, no one is held accountable. And surely we can all agree that’s deeply wrong and needs to change.

And yes we do need to listen to those who say ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Too many black Americans, especially young men, feel like their lives are disposable. And they worry every single day about what might happen. They have reason to feel that way. And it’s absolutely unacceptable. Everyone in America, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Surely that is something we can all unite behind.

We need to acknowledge the five Latinos who also lost their lives in police incidents last week. Their stories didn’t get national media coverage, but their families and communities are mourning too.

And at the same time, we need to listen to the dedicated, principled police officers working hard every day to rebuild trust with the communities they serve and protect. Our men and women in blue put their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe and keep our democracy strong. Remember what Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa were doing when they died. They were protecting a peaceful march. They were people cloaked in authority making sure their fellow citizens could exercise their right to protest authority. And there’s nothing more vital to our democracy than that. And they gave their lives for it.

David Brown, the Dallas police chief, said that when it comes to overcoming systemic racism and so many other problems in society, we ask too much of the police and too little of everyone else. I think he’s absolutely right. This is our problem, and we all need to work together to solve it.

We also need to listen to the families crying out for relief from gun violence. President Obama’s trip to Dallas yesterday was the 11th time he has spoken to a city in mourning after a mass shooting. The wrong people keep getting their hands on guns. And not just any guns – military weapons, like the kind that the Dallas killer had, which allowed him to outgun the police. And the vast majority of gun owners agree: we have to come together around common sense steps to prevent gun violence. If we’re looking for common ground – this is common ground. And I hope that we will, from Washington, to Springfield to everywhere across America, come to agreement about that.

Now I understand that just saying these things together may upset some people. I’m talking about police reform just a few days after a horrific attack on police officers. I’m talking about courageous, honorable police officers just a few days after officer-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. I’m bringing up guns in a country where just talking about comprehensive background checks and getting assault weapons off our streets gets you demonized.

But all these things can be true at the same time.

We do need criminal justice reform to save lives and to make sure all Americans are treated as equals in rights and dignity. We do need to support our police departments that are trying to get it right, and honor the men and women who protect us every day. We do need to do more to stop gun violence. We may disagree about how to do these things, but surely we can all agree with those basic premises. And I hope and pray the past week has showed us how true they are.

Now, these are the issues on many of our minds right now. And if we stop there, that would leave us with plenty of work to do.

So I wish I could say that was everything that we must address.

But these events are taking place against a much broader backdrop of fear and anxiety. So I think we have to face all of it.

We do need to make sure our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. The changes that have roiled our economy over the past few decades are not just numbers on a page that economists study. They are real forces that families are dealing with up close and personal every day.

Not long ago, I met with factory workers here in Illinois whose jobs are being sent abroad, and heard how painful the consequences have been for them and their families. I’ve talked to workers across our country who’ve seen good jobs lost to technologies, who keep being told to get more training – even though that often doesn’t lead to a good new job on the other end.

These economic disruptions have stripped too many people of their sense of security and dignity. And that can have devastating consequences. We have to ask ourselves, why are drug addiction and suicide on the rise in parts of our country? That’s not just about economics. It’s about something deeper, that is connected to economics: a sense of dislocation, even a pessimism about whether America still holds anything for them or cares about them at all.

That’s why I’ve pledged that in my first 100 days as President, we will make the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II. We need more jobs you can support a family on, especially in places that have been left out and left behind from Coal Country to Indian Country to inner cities, to every place that’s been hollowed out when a factory closed or a mine shut down because everyone in America deserves that ‘fair chance in the race of life’ that President Lincoln described.

Now, I realize that our politics have contributed to the sense of division many Americans feel right now. And as someone in the middle of a hotly fought political campaign, I cannot stand here and claim that my words and actions haven’t sometimes fueled the partisanship that often stands in the way of progress. So I recognize I have to do better too.

I’m running for President with the belief that we need to face up to these challenges and fix them in order to become a stronger, fairer country. And in times like these, we need a President who can help pull us together, not split us apart.

And that is why I believe Donald Trump is so dangerous.

His campaign is as divisive as any we have seen in our lifetimes. It is built on stoking mistrust and pitting American against American. It’s there in everything he says and everything he promises to do as President.

It’s there in how he wants to ban Muslims from coming to the United States, and toyed with creating a database to track Muslims in America. It’s there in the way he demeans women, in his promotion of an anti-Semitic image pushed by neo-Nazis, and in the months that he spent trying to discredit the citizenship and legitimacy of our first black President. Last night in an interview, he said that he understands systemic bias against black people because – and I quote – ‘even against me, the system is rigged’ – unquote. He went on to say, ‘I can relate to it very much myself.’  Even this – the killing of people – is somehow all about him.

It’s there in his proposals on immigration. He says he’ll round up 11 million people and kick them out. He’s actually described a special deportation force that would go around America, pulling people out of their homes and workplaces, pulling children out of school. I got a letter from a mother the other day who said her adopted son asked her with a shaky voice if President Trump would send him back to Ethiopia. When kids are scared by political candidates and policy debates, it’s a sign something has gone badly wrong.

And we see it in the violence that Donald Trump encouraged toward protesters at his rallies, and the strange things he has said about the violence that will occur if we don’t elect him. He says that if he doesn’t win this November, we – and again I quote – ‘won’t even have a country anymore,’ America’s ‘not going to continue to survive.’  I do not know what he’s talking about. But I do know we don’t need that kind of fear-mongering – not now, not ever.

And he’s gone even further even than that. He has taken aim at some of our most cherished democratic values and institutions. He wants to revoke the citizenship of 4 million Americans born in this country to immigrant parents, and eliminate the bedrock principle enshrined in the 14th Amendment – that if you’re born in America, you’re a citizen of America. He said that a distinguished American, born in Indiana, a judge can’t be trusted to do his job because his parents were Mexican; he called him a ‘Mexican judge’ over and over again. He knew that the judge had been born in Indiana. But it was a cynical, calculated attempt to fan the flames of racial division. And designed to undermine people’s faith in our judicial system. Why would someone running for President want to do that?

And even that’s not all. He says, as Commander-in-Chief, he would order our troops to commit war crimes, and insisted they would follow his orders, even though that goes against decades of military training and the military code. He’s banished members of the press who have criticized him – is there any doubt he would do the same as President? Imagine if he had not just Twitter and cable news to go after his critics and opponents, but also the IRS – or for that matter, our entire military. Given what we have seen and heard, do any of us think he’d be restrained?

And he has shown contempt for and ignorance of our Constitution. Last week, he met with House Republicans in Washington to try to assuage their serious concerns about him. One member asked whether he’d protect Article I, which defines the separation of powers between Congress and the executive branch. Here’s the answer he reportedly gave: ‘I want to protect Article One, Article Two, Article Twelve.’ Well here’s the thing – there is no Article Twelve – not even close. That was a serious question, from an elected representative, and he either didn’t care enough to answer it seriously – or he didn’t know where to begin.

Even the most stalwart Republicans were alarmed by that. And well they, and we, should be.

The first thing a new President does is take an oath to ‘protect and defend’ the Constitution. To do that with any meaning, you’ve got to know what’s in it. And you’ve got to respect what’s in it.

I do wish Donald Trump would listen to other people once in awhile. He might actually learn something. But he’s made it clear – that’s not his thing. As he has said, he only listens to himself.

This man is the nominee of the Party of Lincoln. We are watching it become the Party of Trump. And that’s not just a huge loss for our democracy – it is a threat to it.

Because Donald Trump’s campaign adds up to an ugly, dangerous message to America. A message that you should be afraid – afraid of people whose ethnicity is different, or religious faith is different, or who were born in a different country or hold different political beliefs.

Make no mistake – there are things to fear in this world, and we need to be clear-eyed about them. But we are each other’s countrymen and women. We share this miraculous country. This land and its heritage is yours, mine and everyone’s – willing to pledge allegiance and understand the solemn responsibilities of American citizenship. That’s what ‘indivisible’ means – that big word that every grade school student knows – that we’re in this together, even if that’s not always easy.

So let’s think better of each other. Let’s hold together in the face of our challenges – not turn on each other or tear each other down.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to a dangerous job we need them to do.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of African Americans and Latinos, and try as best we can to imagine what it would be like if we had to have ‘the talk’ with our kids about how carefully they need to act because the slightest wrong move could get them hurt or killed.

And yes, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of Donald Trump’s supporters. We may disagree on the causes and the solutions to the challenges we face – but I believe like anyone else, they’re trying to figure out their place in a fast-changing America. They want to know how to make a good living and how to give their kids better futures and opportunities. That’s why we’ve got to reclaim the promise of America for all our people – no matter who they vote for.

And let’s be more than allies to each other. Let’s take on each other’s struggles as our own.

My life’s work is built on the conviction that we are stronger together. Not separated into factions or sides. Not shouting over each other, but together. Our economy is stronger when everyone contributes to it, and everyone can benefit from the work they do. Our communities are stronger when we all pull together to solve our problems and restore our faith in each other, and by doing so in the promise of America. Our country is stronger when we work with our friends and allies to promote peace, prosperity, and security around the world.

This is an idea that goes back to the founding of America, when 13 separate colonies found a way – despite their differences – to join together as one nation. They knew they were not stronger on their own, and neither are we.

I’ve had the great delight of seeing the musical “Hamilton.” And I hope more people at least get a chance to listen to the score and to hear the words. There’s a great song by the character playing George Washington who sings, ‘History’s eyes are on us.’ That was true then, and that’s true today.

If we do this right, and if we have the hard conversations we need to have, we will become stronger still – like steel tempered by fire. Now don’t get me wrong, fierce debates are part of who we are – they started at my dinner table with my father, and have continued ever since. It is who we are. You’re reminded of that when you read history, when you think about the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Debate over the right way forward.

And sometimes we have to balance competing values like freedom and order, justice and security, these are complementary values of American life. That isn’t easy. Previous generations have had to overcome terrible challenges. And no one more so than Abraham Lincoln. But in the end, if we do the work, we will cease to be divided. We, in fact, will be indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

And we will remain – in Lincoln’s words – the last, best hope of earth.

Thank you all very much.”

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