Former Vice President Joe Biden has taken the stage at the final night of the Democratic National Convention to accept the party’s nomination for president, promising to be “an ally of the light not the darkness”.
Without ever mentioning Donald Trump by name, Biden asserted that America’s current leader has “failed in his most basic duty to the nation.”
Biden vowed that the first thing he would do in office, is to “get control of the virus that’s ruined so many lives.”
“The president keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear,” he said. “He keeps waiting for a miracle. I have news for him. No miracle is coming.”
The Democratic nominee said he would deploy a national strategy to develop and deploy rapid tests, and make medical supplies and protective equipment in the US so that we “will never again be at the mercy of China and other foreign countries in order to protect our own people.”
Biden continually returned to the theme of light, telling viewers that “United, we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America.”
“We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful, and more divided,” he said. “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.”
Biden emphasised his goals to help the working and middle classes, espousing improvements to the healthcare, education and labour systems, and promising to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
“It’s long past time the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations in this country paid their fair share,” said Biden. “And for our seniors, Social Security is a sacred obligation, a sacred promise made. The current president is threatening to break that promise. He’s proposing to eliminate the tax that pays for almost half of Social Security without any way of making up for that lost revenue. I will not let it happen.”
Calling voters to action, Biden appealed to their sense of hope and desire for socioeconomic and racial equality.
“It’s about winning the heart, and yes, the soul of America. Winning it for the generous among us, not the selfish,” he said. “Winning it for the workers who keep this country going, not just the privileged few at the top. Winning it for those communities who have known the injustice of the ‘knee on the neck.’ For all the young people who have known only an America of rising inequity and shrinking opportunity.”
Amid concern that Biden will not be able to draw enthusiasm from Gen Z voters, the nominee sought out younger generations watching, telling them, “I hear their voices” and their concerns about climate change, economic injustice and racial injustice.
“And whether it’s the existential threat posed by climate change, the daily fear of being gunned down in school, or the inability to get started in their first job — it will be the work of the next president to restore the promise of America to everyone,” he said.
The Democratic nominee also made clear that he would not tiptoe around racist rhetoric, calling out Trump for calling the alt-right groups at the 2017 Charlottesville protest “very fine people.” Biden plainly called those protesters in his speech “neo-Nazis,” “Klansmen” and “white supremacists.”
“America’s history tells us that it has been in our darkest moments that we’ve made our greatest progress. … And in this dark moment, I believe we are poised to make great progress again. That we can find the light once more.”