Friday, August 21, 2020

Joe Biden's acceptance speech

NBC News, via The Rachel Maddow Show, has the full version of Biden’s speech at the 2020 DNC.

If you are short on time, here is a summary from Heather Cox Richardson (Letters from an American).

Tonight was the night that former Vice President Joe Biden gave his acceptance speech in response to the Democratic Party’s nomination of him as their presidential candidate.

Tonight was Biden’s, as military families and former service people testified to his support for them, 13-year-old Brayden Harrington explained how Biden helped him deal with his own stutter (huge props for this young man taking on this assignment and executing it so well), Biden’s former rivals for the nomination talked of Biden’s kindness and decency, and, above all, Biden’s family emphasized again and again that for Biden, family and faith is everything. The picture was of a fundamentally decent and moral man, a striking contrast to his Republican rival.

The Democratic National Committee has pulled off an astonishing accomplishment with this, the nation’s first virtual political convention. It was tightly choreographed, inclusive, passionate, and fun, drawing in viewers with its variety and quick pace. It demonstrated professionalism, talent, and skill even without taking into account its content.

But the content was key. Rather than weakening the event, the lack of audience created an intimacy between speakers and viewers that lent a shining new authenticity to the voices the convention highlighted.

Biden is always a better speaker than people who know him for his gaffes expect, and tonight he hit it out of the park. On FNC, Chris Wallace noted that the Trump campaign’s attempt to convince voters Biden is mentally impaired backfired badly as he delivered “an enormously effective speech.”

Rather than simply outline his plan for his presidency, Biden also gave an impassioned plea for the nation, tying his love for it to his own life and values. He treated voters not as tools to be manipulated, but as people who can be trusted to choose their own future.

“America is at an inflection point,” he said. “A time of real peril, but of extraordinary possibilities. We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful, and more divided. A path of shadow and suspicion. Or we can choose a different path, and together, take this chance to heal, to be reborn, to unite. A path of hope and light. This is a life-changing election that will determine America’s future for a very long time. Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They are all on the ballot. Who we are as a nation. What we stand for. And most importantly, who we want to be. That’s all on the ballot. And the choice could not be clearer.”

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