Last Friday I spoke a GOTV rally in Stafford, Virginia hosted by Qasim Rashid, Jess Foster and Joshua Cole. Hearing Sen Tim Kaine, Gold Star father Khizr Khan, former MI gubernatorial candidate Dr. Abdul ElSayed, and many others speak, a common theme emerged:
Democrats lead with compassion. That’s where our policies start. That is our compass.
In my remarks to the crowd, I told a story I had never publicly told before.
Last October, I was sitting in court with my client, a large, burly man from El Salvador.
He had a bright, cheery-eyed daughter, no more than 7. We’d just finished our asylum trial. I looked over to him, and saw him tear up. He turned to me quizzically.
I figured he would ask about his appeal rights, or some procedural question. But I’ll never forget what he said.
“I’ll go back if they let my daughter stay.”
The Republicans, locally and nationally, think our laws shouldn’t allow for that compassion.
They want to snatch away healthcare from the sick, deny a living wage to workers, refuse constitutional equality for women, and say no to the right to love and worship as we please.
They want to separate families and cage kids like my client’s daughter. And they think their cruelty makes them stronger.
But cruelty is weakness. Weakness of thought, weakness of policy, weakness of character.
Compassion is strength.
If you won’t vote for your own interests, vote to help someone like my client who can’t. Or the 1000s of undocumented Virginians, or the millions more of noncitizen Virginians, or those whose voting rights have been revoked.
Vote like your life depends on it. For many, it does.
Vote for candidates who lead with compassion, because your vote is an act of compassion.
Make history tomorrow, and let’s #FlipVABlue.
(P.S.: A few minutes after my client told me he’d go back, the judge granted him and his daughter asylum.)
Originally posted on Twitter. Re-posted with permission.
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