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Paul Street – It Takes a Ruling-Class Village to Staff the White House

A recurrent theme in major speeches given last month at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia held that Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look to “we the people” instead of rich, powerful and purportedly great individuals like Donald Trump to guide the United States. Repeating a prominent refrain in Obama’s 2008 campaign, top Democrats said the operative words for Americans aren’t “I” and “me” but rather “we” and “us,” as in “si se puede” (“yes we can”)—a chant repeated during Tim Kaine’s and Obama’s speeches. Here’s how Hillary Clinton worked this leitmotif in Philadelphia:

Don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak. We’re not. Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes. We do. And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.” Those were actually Donald Trump’s words [at the Republican convention] in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us. Really? “I alone can fix it?” Isn’t he forgetting? … He’s forgetting every last one of us. Americans don’t say: “I alone can fix it.” We say: “We’ll fix it together.” Remember: Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power. Americans [will “Stand Together” to build] a country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what ZIP code you live in. A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach.

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