The Democratic National Convention, 2020, started yesterday (August 18, 2020). The in-person Convention slated to hold in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a swing state in the 2020 election, was cancelled, no thanks to Coronavirus. The Party is holding a Virtual Convention with multiple feeds from different parts of the United States of America.
Last night had one major purpose: reintroduce Joe Biden to the American people as a great, kind, and decent man, who can walk across the aisle and get things done for the American people, who are tired of the ideological gridlock in Washington, DC. Another purpose was to show that the Democratic Party is a large tent capable of accommodating American diversity- Coalition of Conscience, irrespective of race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
They achieved both purposes, in my view and that of others-pundits and voters (leaning toward voting Democrats and solid Democrats).
Speaker after speaker, hammered on Biden’s character, empathy, love, and decency. Very telling and striking, was the speech by Gov. John Kasich, former Ohio State Republican Governor, who contested for president against Trump and others in 2016. John and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, were the last candidates to drop out of the race; paving the way for Trump to become the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.
John standing at a crossroad, opened by saying
“America is at a crossroad, and need a decent leadership to get things done”.
John is a moderate Republican who believes like many Americans that American greatness and exceptionalism, is dependent on Bipartisanship and togetherness. He said America get things done when people work together towards a common purpose, even if they don’t agree on every detail, but on substance. He concluded that Biden is the one to bring Americans together and get things done. John asked Republicans to choose country over Party and Trump.
Bernie Sanders spoke about Biden in affectionate and glowing tone. He gave a full-throated endorsement to Biden, and urged his supporters across the country to turn out and vote to defeat Donald Trump” the most dangerous and divisive president in the history of the country”. Bernie attacked Trump for his sexist, homophobic, racist, and misogynist views. He accused Trump of deploying tactics to suppress votes because he was afraid of losing the election.
He acknowledged that he and Biden don’t agree on everything, but they share a common vision for America. He said they agree on minimum wage, rights of workers to organize in unions, Healthcare, and others. He concluded that if Biden is elected, he will be the most progressive president ever.
Then the big gun of the night took the stage. I’m talking about the former First Lady, Michelle Obama. By the way, Michelle and my wife, Lilian, look like sisters. I have heard this from people before and didn’t pay attention, but last night, I saw the facial resemblance, up close.
Michelle Obama, as you know is a daughter of Southside Chicago. She is blunt, cerebral, articulate, and a fighter. She is not afraid to go into a knife fight with a machine gun. Whatever cause she believes in, she will fight for it. She believes in Joe Biden, and she came out blazing and firing on all cylinders. As a character witness for Biden, she made a super convincing case for him and projected him as the Anthesis of President Trump. She spoke about her speech at the 2016 Convention where she urged them to vote massively because the character of the Nation was on the ballot. She reminded them that the presidency does not change people, it reveals who they are.
The presidency does not change people, it reveals who they are.Michelle Obama
She said the job of president requires “a clear-headed judgment, a mastery of complex and competing issues, a devotion to facts and history, a moral compass and an ability to listen”, adding that a president must believe each life in this country has “ meaning and worth”. This was seen as clear attacks on President Trump who has a reputation for treating complex issues with annoying and ignorant simplicity; aversion for truth-telling and facts, and penchant for stoking racial tensions.
Michelle then framed Biden as the compassionate and decent leader the country needs at the time she is dealing with a pandemic that has killed over 170 thousand in America. She said” Biden understands the losses many Americans are facing because he has lived some of them himself, from the day his father struggled to provide for his children, to the loss of his first wife and young daughter in a car crash in 1972, to his grief and anguish losing his son, Beau at the age of 46 to brain cancer 5 years ago” she continued” Joe knows the anguish of sitting at a table with an empty chair, which is why he gives his time so freely to grieving parents”. She said joe’s life is a testament to “ getting back up, and he is going to Chanel that same grit and passion to pick us up, to help us heal and guide us forward”
Michelle Obama accused Trump of lacking empathy- inability to step into the shoes of others to know how they are hurting. She accused the president of being detached from the hurt and pains Americans are going through from the avoidable death of their loved ones, because of the failures of his government to handle the pandemic, adding” it is what it is” using Trump’s words. She said that having lived through the presidency for 8 years, and witnessed the “immense weight and awesome power of the presidency up close, Trump is not up to the job”. She said for 4 years, Americans have looked up to Trump to lead them, but each time he failed to rise up to the occasion. She added that “ Trump is the wrong person to be president”.
Michelle talked about her popular zinger from the 2016 Convention: “ When they go low, we go high”. She said many people have asked her during Trump presidency” when others are going so low, does going high still really matter”? Her answer: going high is the only thing that works because when we go low when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that is drowning out everything else. She urged people to summon their better angels and do what is right for America. She concluded by asking people to defy odds and obstacles that Trump will throw at them, come out and vote for Biden in large numbers as they did in 2008 and 2012 as if their lives depend on it. Every vote she emphasized is important. Trump won the electoral votes by less than two votes in many districts.