The Democratic National Convention: Day 4 in a nutshell
The final day of the Democratic National Convention was a chance for Democratic leaders to make their case, and to convince voters to understand their policy and plan. While the final day brought to the forefront, a number of speakers and public figures, the event itself was a testament to coherent Democrat ideas and values and was the final big event that could attempt at appealing the American people.
The event was opened by Tom Perez (Chair of the Democratic National Committee), who emphasized the strength and unwavering mission of the campaign of Joe Biden. He spoke about how the essentiality of the campaign, isn’t a party, or state or constituency, but the inherent need to change the stakes of the movement of change. He spoke about shared values, and people coming together. The introduction was also highlighted by Joe Biden’s fight against cancer and his belief that he can be the President to finally beat cancer.
Amid California’s devastating wildfires of late, Gavin Newsom (Governor of California) addressed the rampant wildfires and President Trump’s response about not raking enough leaves. Gavin Newsom focused his speech on climate change and climate laws, and the work he claimed the Obama-Biden administration committed to, to curb climate change. He asserted that “mother nature has entered the conversation”.
Andrew Yang (former Presidential Candidate), who after not being originally introduced as a speaker for the Convention, sought the encouragement of his supporters to convince the committee to include him in the speakers’ list. He spoke about the future (“the future is now”), and how behind the camera and curtain, Harris and Biden were just “real” people, committed to the future.
The host was introduced, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who gained considerable media attention, after multiple direct comedic attacks on the Trump administration.
Chris Coons, a senator from Delaware, spoke about Biden’s decency and how he helped him through difficult times. He mentioned the sins of American History, and how Biden’s belief in faith while shape his public service in the Oval Office. Keisha Lance Bottoms (Mayor of Atlanta), who gained national attention as a potential running mate for Joe Biden, spoke about the civil rights movement as a defining moment in Atlanta, and the civil rights leaders (mainly John Lewis) who fought for the right to vote. She mainly addressed the activism that she claimed had “swept our country”, that needed to be upheld to protect peoples’ right to vote; and the importance to vote. This was followed by a tribute to John Lewis, where leaders like Nancy Pelosi, Stacey Abrams and Reverend Raphael Warnock spoke about the “good trouble” Lewis believed in and the movement he galvanised. The tribute swiftly moved into a performance by John Legend.
Speakers like Jon Meacham, a historian; Deb Haaland, a Native American Congresswoman, Alex Padilla (Secretary of State of California), Jocelyn Benson (Secretary of State of Michigan) and Sarah Cooper a comedian (who performed an impression of President Trump), spoke about the historic right to vote, and the foundations on which American history was built on. They spoke about the need to vote, and the history in which marginalised committees fought to that “sacred” right (as focused upon by Rep. Deb Haaland).
Senator Cory Booker then took the stage, where he mentioned his own parents’ history, the “urgency and demand of our dream”. He spoke about the alleged denial by Trump, and how the labourers and union workers must be protected, as they are the backbone and soul of the middle-class economy. He capped it off with, “America together, we will rise”. This was followed by a virtual conversation with union workers, like firefighters, wiremen and nurses, furthering Biden’s plan for the middle class and essential workers
The former surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, spoke about the need for listening to science, and how he believed Biden could shape his response to the coronavirus, by listening to people and science. He also mentioned Biden’s response to the Ebola in his tenure as Vice President. The message was underlined by Senator Tammy Baldwin, opening about her own story as a young girl who became sick but didn’t have access to a healthcare plan. She spoke about her defining career as a senator attempting to protect healthcare, and how she believed that would be a prominent component of Biden’s policy proposals.
The overall theme of the event shifted to military and veteran families, with interviews and conversations with military families, who claimed they felt like they were being “heard” and “understood” by Joe Biden. Accentuating this sentiment, was Senator and Veteran Tammy Duckworth (having herself been personally injured in service for the military). She spoke about Biden’s attention to military families, but also spoke about how she believed President Trump was heavily affected by Vladimir Putin. She spoke about how she believed President Trump didn’t deserve to be commander-in-chief. Another war veteran and presidential-hopeful, Pete Buttigieg, spoke about his life as a gay man (and the milestones in the United States of America for an out politician), and what he believed was Joe Biden’s commitment to upholding LGBTQ rights. He also addressed the heralding of coming together of different ideologies.
Followed by a spirited conversation with all the major Presidential Candidates (Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar), who addressed their coming-together and shared values; Michael Bloomberg, took the stage to talk about his belief in “people” over partisan politics, and how the “people” on the Democratic ticket were better contrasted to the incumbent ticket. He claimed that it wouldn’t make any sense from the perspective of small businesses to “rehire” Donald Trump for four more years.
After a lengthy and emotionally filled video signifying Biden’s career and character, Joe Biden gave the final speech for the DNC, speaking about hope, passion and a chance to “build back better”. His speech mainly focused on revitalisation and creating news opportunities, the history of America and looking back on the work done by leaders, the purpose defined by loss and importantly his ideal future for America.
The speech might have been heavily focused on Donald Trump, but it also tried to gain a soul and heart of its own, and Biden made sure, that he showed the people that he understood what was at stake this election (for him, the soul of the nation). The convention, while maintaining a unique unwavering series of responses to Trump’s administration, also made sure to essentially remind the base of not only their own, but also historic American values, and show “the power of one’s example, not the example of one’s power”.