Chuck Schumer's speech subtweeted the Trump inauguration in the best possible way
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave the subtlest burn to Donald Trump during the United States presidential inaugurations.
The Senate minority leader made his remarks on Friday shortly before Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. In his speech, Schumer spoke in defense of diversity, inclusivity and the nation's democratic ideals during "challenging and tumultuous times" — a clear response to the values that the Trump administation represents.
"We Americans have always been a forward-looking, problem-solving, optimistic, patriotic and decent people," Schumer said. "Whatever our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, whether we are immigrant or native-born, whether we live with disabilities or do not, in wealth or in poverty, we are all exceptional in our commonly held yet fierce devotion to our country. And in our willingness to sacrifice our time and energy and even our lives to making it an even more perfect union."
This was clearly shade thrown on Trump's discriminatory policies and his association with xenophobes. It was a jab at his history of ridiculing women, mocking disabled news reporters and his antagonism toward the American press.
"Today we celebrate one of democracy's core attributes, the peaceful transfer of power," Schumer said. "And every day we stand up for core democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution: The rule of law. Equal protection for all under law. The freedom of speech, press, religion. The things that make America America.”
Schumer closed his speech with an excerpt from a letter that Union Army officer Sullivan Ballou wrote to his wife Sarah shortly before being killed in battle during the Civil War. In the letter, Ballou confessed his love to Sarah while also celebrating the Union Army's victory and the importance of a unified government.
Here's the letter in part:
My very dear Sarah, he wrote, the indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days, perhaps tomorrow. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us, through the blood and suffering of the revolution. And I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down all my joys in this life to help maintain this government and to pay that debt. Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me to you with a mighty cables that nothing but overwhelm nip tense can break, and yet my love of for your is country com like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly upon with all he's chains to the battlefield.
While he did not explicitly mention the divisiveness in the aftermaths of Trump's presidential win, by reading a letter that was written during one of the most perilous and divided times in history, Schumer sent a very clear and deliberate message — a subtweet, if you will.
Twitter users seem to agree:
Watch Schumer's full speech below: