Without any pomp and circumstance, the Democratic National Convention was virtually broadcast last week to a national audience. Although lacking the grandeur of a traditional assembly, the Democrats produced an innovative and engaging program.
Throughout its four day showcase, the Democratic Party presented a multicultural platform that celebrated the diversity of its voting base. With an emphasis on social justice and racial equality, constituents shared their stories of tragedy and triumph. As the Democrats called for unity, they focused heavily on persuading women, Latinos and African-American voters to join their cause.
To leverage their political power, the convention featured speeches by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former first lady Michelle Obama. Party favorites including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Cuomo also appeared.
But despite an array of democratic celebrities, not everyone was pleased with the choice of speakers. In an effort to expand their coalition, prominent Republicans former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former secretary of state Colin Powell were given speaking roles at the expense of the Democratic party’s more progressive members. In particular, many were irked at the brief 60-second time slot allocated to one of their most high-profile leaders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
However, the convention was not intended to highlight any of the aforementioned individuals. It was a launching pad for the presidential campaign of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. When Harris accepted her party’s nomination for vice president, she did so as the first woman of color to anchor a presidential ticket. In her acceptance speech, Harris blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and blamed his “failure of leadership” for costing “lives and livelihoods.”
The proceedings culminated with Joe Biden’s acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination. Although expectations for his speech were low, Biden delivered a powerful performance. He rebuked Trump’s presidency and criticized his handling of the country.
“Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to this nation,” Biden said.
His attacks notwithstanding, Biden offered a positive outlook.
“Love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. Light is more powerful than dark,” Biden said.
All eyes now turn to the Republican National Convention which is August 24-27. Although the Republican’s presentation may be similar in style, their message promises to be markedly different.