President-Elect Joe Biden and vice Presidet-Elect Kamala Harris

NASHVILLE, TN ­– C-SPAN aired four days of the Democratic 2020 Convention. It ended Thursday night with a fireworks display outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Unlike all previous meetings that gathered delegates in one location, this convention created a virtual space of many people from different places. It was a technological marvel that featured a roll call from every state and territory in the country.

Sometimes dressed in traditional garb, locals stood six feet apart from each other and delivered the vote counts via video. It was like having a ZOOM call with families from everywhere and showed the country’s remarkable diversity, especially indigenous peoples.

The big takeaway: America needs new leadership to bring justice and better opportunities to everyone and build the country back better. Trump has made a mess of things and there is much work to do.

A farmer, autoworker, teacher, cook, small business owner, and elevator operator gave testimonials for Biden and said we need to elect him President of the United States.

Former presidents, their wives, rivals and friends, a handful of Never-Trumpers and people you’ve never heard of, fit under the big virtual tent and each had something to say. They sang the praises of Biden and Harris, condemned Trump for his rotten character and malevolent political agenda.

Although many serious things were said and dire conditions decried, the overall mood was decidedly upbeat and hopeful. It was inspiring to see a montage of the country made up of so many different faces, all hungry for change and hopeful that a better future lies ahead.

The importance of family was a common theme in video biographies of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. They each spoke about how important their families are to them. Using photographs and found footage we hear from children and grandchildren who keep saying how proud they are of each of them.

Although she said she hates politics, Michelle Obama nearly stole the show. On Monday she spoke earnestly about America’s problems, minced no words in her condemnation of Trump, and made the case for Joe Biden to be the next President.

At her most inspirational: “We can give everyone in this country a chance at the great American Dream. In the end more than anything else, that is the story of this country, the story of never-wavering hope.

Her praise for Barack: “He is always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.”

She didn’t waste a lot of time on Donald Trump but what she did say hit the bulls eye. “As I’ve said before, being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”  Later in her speech, she skewered Trump with just seven words: “He is clearly in over his head.” That was kind.

With a backdrop of the U.S. Constitution behind him, President Obama explained how unfit Trump was for the Oval Office.  “Our democracy is at stake right now,” he said.

“This President and those in power, those who believe in keeping things the way they are, they are counting on your cynicism. They know they can’t win you over with their policies. That’s how a democracy withers until it’s no democracy at all and we cannot let that happen.”

Kamala Harris was introduced on the third night by way of a montage with photos and video clips from her family who are so excited she has been picked to be Vice-President. In her acceptance speech Harris spoke about growing up in Oakland during the 1960s, being raised by a single mother, going to Howard University, and then to law school. She spoke about her family how important family is to Joe Biden, just as Michelle Obama spoke about how important family is to her.

Three of her best lines: “Every human being is an infinite worth, deserving of compassion, dignity, and respect,” Harris said.

“The road ahead is not easy. We may stumble, we may falter, we may fall short. But I pledge to you we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths and we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.“

“In this election we have the chance to change the course of history,” she said.

Throughout the 4-night affair people urged the audience to text VOTE 30330 to find out about how to vote, either absentee or in person. While the outcome of the convention was preordained, the convention’s singular purpose was to rouse Americans to vote in November.

Representing the progressive wing of the party, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) got time to speak. With just 2 minutes AOC had a bit of the wounded bird about her as she called for systemic solutions to the crises the country is now facing: mass evictions, unemployment, and lack of healthcare. She spoke about a grassroots movement “that realizes the unsustainability of an economy that rewards explosive inequities of wealth for the few at the expense of long term stability for the many”.

Thirty years ago two national figures were calling attention to racial injustice, income inequality, and climate change. Jesse Jackson and Al Gore were not at the convention. But the mosaic of 30 live images projected on a big screen was a modern day version of Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition.

In his acceptance speech Biden said we should listen to the voices of young Americans who are growing up with diminished hope and lack of opportunity. And he said it was time for the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. He promised a $2 trillion investment program to rebuild America’s infrastructure and create clean energy with good paying union jobs and a supply chain for the auto industry with parts made in American factories.

Biden said the first thing he would do as President is develop and deploy rapid COVID tests which give results quickly. He would order a national mandate to wear masks. “We will never get our economy back on track. We will never get our kids safely back in school. We will never have our lives back until we deal with this virus,” Biden said.

“We’ll make the medical supplies and protective equipment that our country needs. And we’ll make them here in America so we will never again be at the mercy of China or other foreign countries in order to protect our people.

In his most basic duty to the nation, he has failed to protect us. He failed to protect America and my fellow Americans that is unforgiveable. As President I will make you a promise: I will protect America.  I will defend us from every attack, seen and unseen, always, every time. “


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