A legal immigrant's full-throated defense of the MAGA vision for America

Last week, Alma Ohene-Opare, a legal immigrant and U.S. citizen, listened to Joe Biden's speech, the one that was ostensibly about unity but that, instead, saw an enraged Joe Biden, against a blood-red background, castigating at least half the nation for being extremist threats to democracy.  He was disturbed by what he heard and, the next day, took to TikTok to give voice to his uplifting and unifying vision of America.  Ohene-Opare's video, deservedly, went wildly viral, soaring on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Just as I would not gild the lily, I have no editorial comment regarding what Ohene-Opare had to say.  Here's the video so you can listen to it yourself, along with a full transcript in case you prefer reading:

Transcript

Hi, everyone. This message is for the President of The United States so, if you know someone close to him, please tag them so they can bring this to his attention.

My name is Alma Ohene-Opare. I'm a person of faith, a husband of 16 years, and a father of four wonderful children. I am also an immigrant to the United States of America.

I came here at the age of 19, full of hope optimism and a willingness to do what was necessary to achieve the American dream. After 18 years of waiting and hoping, I was finally granted the privilege of becoming an American citizen in 2021. Today I am a proud American, a law-abiding patriot, and a man willing to defend the principles and values that made America great and brought people like me here.

Mr. President, I am also a conservative Republican, or what you have recently labeled a "MAGA Republican." Over the last few days, you have looked into the camera and called me and millions of other people like me extremists. You have told me and my children that we don't matter to you because of our beliefs. Your spokespeople and the media have labeled us as dangerous, full of hate, and a threat to democracy. You went as far as to suggest that we would not stand a chance against the government's F-15s in defending our country from tyranny. Your party leaders have taken your cue and called us terrorists, and all this without taking any time to acknowledge our humanity, listen to our concerns, or seek to understand our fears.

I was born in a country where my rights were not always guaranteed. And to hear the president of America and the leader of the free world dismiss more than 70 million of his own countrymen as fringe and extreme and not worth listening to breaks my heart and makes me wonder what I should tell my children about the future of this once great shining city on the hill.

This is the reason many of us embrace the call to make America great again. It is because we believe our great nation is under a moral fiscal and spiritual assault.

We are MAGA because we want to restore the promise in the hearts of our children that this is the place where their efforts will be rewarded and where their true potential can be realized.

We are MAGA because we believe in freedom of speech, the freedom to exercise our religion. We believe in limited government and the rule of law.

We are MAGA because we love the Constitution and believe our Founders established a means for We The People to defend it from enemies both foreign and domestic.

 I am MAGA because I want to be able to look into the eyes of my four black children to assure them that they're not victims, that they hold inside them what it takes to achieve anything they set their hearts.

We believe our leaders should put America and its interests first, before any other nation.

We believe our government should not saddle our children and grandchildren with insurmountable debt chasing after a misguided idea of controlling or changing the course of the climate.

Millions of us were horrified to witness what happened on January 6 and believe that justice must be served, but we also see through the attempt to paint all Republicans with a false moniker of insurrectionists and to conflate the genuine misgivings of those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised with an unfounded accusation that we are somehow against democracy.

We are MAGA because we love law enforcement but doubt whether the Justice Department or the FBI can be trusted to deal fairly and impartially when they have given us clear and repeated evidence of their political bias against half of the country.

As a new American this November, this will be the first time I get to exercise my right to vote, a right I have waited nearly two decades to earn. I understand the urge during an election season to attack those you see as political opponents but, Mr. President, I am not your enemy and the tens of millions of MAGA Republicans are not filled with hate towards anyone. We love this country. We are heirs of the great legacy of freedom this country has afforded us and wished to exercise our rights to be heard and not demonized.

So, I ask you, Mr. President, to tear down this wall of divisiveness and division that seeks to pit your fellow citizens against one another. Heed your own call for unity and lay off the rhetoric that seeks to demonize and defame millions of people who would give their lives and fortunes to defend these United States.

If you believe in the redemption of America, then give my children a reason to hope; a reason to believe that our best days are ahead of us in spite of the challenges we face as a country.

Thank you for listening.

Image: YouTube screen grab.

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