'From Cotton to Congress': Tim Scott Describes His American Dream In a Powerful Speech at the RNC

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Posted: Aug 24, 2020 11:35 PM
'From Cotton to Congress': Tim Scott Describes His American Dream In a Powerful Speech at the RNC

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott delivered a powerful message on the first night of the Republican National Committee, turning the tables on Democrats who claim to be the party home for Black Americans. 

Scott told a moving story about growing up with a single mother and carving out his own destiny based on hard work, merit, and perseverance. The road wasn't always a smooth one for Scott who said that, as a child, he and his mother shared a room and a bed with his siblings while living with his grandparents. 

Scott bemoaned the Democrat's narrative which included cancel culture and punching down. Instead, he offered a country of encouragement and success for anyone who dares to work for it. 

"Do we want a society that breeds success, or a culture that cancels everything it even slightly disagrees with?" he asked. "I know where I stand because you see, I am living my mother’s American Dream." Scott praised his mother for always telling him to look for the chance to succeed.

"She knew that if we could find the opportunity, bigger things would come." Scott also credited a mentor for seeing something in him that he hadn't quite yet seen in himself. It was his encouragement, Scott said, that made him think he could help as a Senator, by creating Opportunity Zones.

"Like, having a job was a good thing, but creating jobs would be better," Scott said. "That having an income could change my lifestyle, but creating a profit could change my community. He planted the seeds of what would become Opportunity Zones – this initiative the President and I worked together on is bringing over 75 billion dollars of private sector investment into distressed communities."

The senator leaned heavily on the importance of quality, relevant education for everyone, recognizing that different people have different needs and strengths. 

"That’s why I fight to this day for school choice, to make sure every child, in every neighborhood, has a quality education," Scott said. "I don’t care if it’s a public, private, charter, virtual, or home school. When a parent has a choice, their kid has a better chance. And the President has fought alongside me on that."

Scott told the powerful and inspiring story of launching his own successful, small business and how that experience has led him to be strong on supporting reasonable tax codes that benefit American small business owners. 


He shifted into his inspiration to run for congress in 2010 as a new, young politician without the political pedigree of his white predecessors. 

"Because of the evolution of the heart, in an overwhelmingly white district, the voters judged me not on the color of my skin, but on the content of my character," Scott said. "We live in a world that only wants you to believe in the bad news, racially, economically, and culturally-polarizing news. The truth is, our nation’s arc always bends back towards fairness. We are not fully where we want to be…but thank God we are not where we used to be."

The senator admitted that things weren't perfect but hopefully suggested that the United States was on the right track. 

"We have work to do, but I believe in the goodness of America, the promise that all men and all women are created equal," he said. "And if you’re watching tonight, I’m betting you do, too. Over the past four years, we have made tremendous progress towards that promise."

Scott warned viewers of the type of America that was being touted by the Democrats. 

"Make no mistake: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want a cultural revolution. A fundamentally different America," he said. "If we let them, they will turn our country into a socialist utopia and history has taught us that path only leads to pain and misery, especially for hard-working people hoping to rise."

Scott finished his speech with a powerful memory that could only have happened within the borders of a country like the United States. Recalling his late grandfather, Scott said the unthinkable happened in his family because of the opportunities he had been given. 

"My grandfather’s 99th birthday would have been tomorrow. Growing up, he had to cross the street if a white person was coming," Scott said. "He suffered the indignity of being forced out of school as a third grader to pick cotton and never learned to read or write."

Yet, he lived to see his grandson become the first African American to be elected to both the United States House and Senate."

"Our family went from Cotton to Congress in one lifetime. And that’s why I believe the next American century can be better than the last," Scott said. "There are millions of families like mine across this nation...full of potential seeking to live the American Dream. And I’m here tonight to tell you that supporting the Republican ticket gives you the best chance of making that dream a reality."