Joe Biden officially accepted the Democratic nomination to be president during the final night of the Democratic National Convention and asked American voters to fully grasp the consequences of allowing Donald Trump to remain in the White House, ominously warning, “You know what will happen.”
His keynote address Thursday night to conclude the virtual convention painted a picture of both united hope for the future and collective despair for the present while running down the myriad ways the United States has been set back by the current presidency, including but not limited to: the coronavirus pandemic; the worsening of racial justice and police violence; and the unprecedented economic crisis.
It was in that context that Biden said at the top of his speech, “It is with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for President of the United States of America.”
But amid those unfortunate truths bout the U.S., Biden also made sure to say that he was more than prepared to lead American away from those scourges.
“Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I’ll be an ally of the light, not the darkness. It’s time for us — for we the people — to come together,” Biden pledged.
Biden also offered some sober facts to counter Trump’s lies about the coronavirus that arguably contributed to the pandemic.
Noting that Trump “still does not have a plan” for the coronavirus, Biden said he was prepared to lead the country out f the pandemic while giving America a reality check on the topic.
“The President keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear. He keeps waiting for a miracle. Well, I have news for him. No miracle is coming,” Biden said. “We need the world to confirm cases. Our economy’s in tatters, with Black, Latino, Asian American, Native American communities bearing the brunt of it.”
However, not all of Biden’s speech was so laser-focused on Trump’s failures.
The Democratic nominee pivoted from addressing the state of doom and gloom that has enveloped America to laying out his plans for a better tomorrow.
He said his “economic plan is all about jobs, dignity, respect and community” and lavished praise on Kamala Harris, his running mate who one night earlier became the first Black and South Asian woman nominated to a major political party’s presidential ticket.
“No one has been tougher on calling out the current administration for its extremism, its failure to follow the law,” Biden said of Harris.
Biden also made sure to single out young voters, a demographic that Democrats are still trying to get on board with their platform. Encouraging their leadership with nationwide protests against racism and police violence, Biden said: “They are speaking to the inequity, and injustice, that has grown up in America,” Biden said. “Economic injustice. Racial injustice. Environmental injustice. I hear their voices. If you listen, you can hear them too.”
That led Biden to offer a stark contrast between himself being an ally in the fight for racial equality and justice Trump’s adversarial role on that front. He described a poignant moment he experienced with George Floyd‘s 6-year-old daughter that he said resonated deeply.
“She looks in my eyes and she said, I quote, ‘Daddy changed the world. Daddy changed the world.’ Her words burrowed deep into my heart,” Biden said. “Maybe George Floyd’s murder was a breaking point. Maybe John Lewis‘s passing an inspiration,” Biden said. “America is ready, in John’s words, to lay down the heavy burden of hate at last and begin the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism.”
He continued: “In this dark moment, I believe we’re poised to make great progress at the end — that we can find the light once more.”
And on that note, citing a familiar refrain from the campaign trail — a “battle for the soul of the nation” — Biden brought his historic speech t a close. “And this is a battle we will win, and we’ll do it together,” he added.