by Lexi Kupor
Public Relations Manager
On Aug. 20, Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden brought the 2020 Democratic National Convention to a close with a televised address from his home state of Delaware.
To begin his speech, Biden emphasized what he hopes will be an imminent national transition from darkness to light made possible by a union of divergent political philosophies. He clarified his mission to work towards policies beneficial for all political stances, adding that “while [he] will be a Democratic candidate, [he] will be an American president.”
In this spirit of bipartisanship, Biden consistently refused to refer to Donald Trump by name, instead utilizing general descriptors such as “this president.” Nonetheless, Biden did not hesitate to criticize his Republican opponent’s response to national issues, warning Americans of a continuous rise of COVID-19 cases, an ongoing downhill spiral for small businesses, and a growing wealth gap should Trump receive a second presidential term.
In addition to his somber warnings, Biden delineated his priorities and plan of action to address the “perfect storm” of simultaneous crises — the coronavirus pandemic, the unprecedented economic downturn, calls for racial justice, and the dire situation of climate change — the nation currently faces. In response to the global health crisis, Biden emphasized that “no miracle is coming” and explained his plans to increase the availability and speed of testing, expand access to personal protective equipment made in domestic facilities, ensure a safe reopening of schools, and implement a national mask mandate.
Biden coupled this plan with his outline for a national economic recovery inclusive of renewed infrastructure, an increase in manufacturing and technology jobs, and reliable transport systems that ensure clean water for all American communities. He also proposed guaranteed social security and Medicare benefits, as well as higher taxes on large corporations to allow for investments in clean energy.
As Biden’s address took place just days after his announcement that Senator Kamala Harris will serve as his running mate, he utilized his message to emphasize his confidence in her morals and abilities. “Her story is the American story,” he explained, adding that her unique background makes her receptive to the adversities faced by those of racial and cultural minorities.
Throughout his speech, Biden relayed a sense of empathy to viewers as he explained his own experiences with tragedy. As he addressed those currently grieving the loss of loved ones, presumably due to virus cases, Biden explained his viewpoint that the “best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose,” a lesson he learned from the sudden deaths of his daughter, son, and first wife. This purpose, he continued, lies in the opportunity to “open the doors of opportunity to all Americans. To save our democracy. To be a light to the world once again.”
Additionally, Biden drew attention to the recent third anniversary of the Charlottesville Unite the Right riots to remind listeners of his motivation for running for office. He explained that the President’s response to these discriminatory sentiments served as a “wake-up call” and ultimately prompted his presidential campaign.
Biden brought his address to a close with a final reflection on the historical nature of the imminent election and his optimism surrounding the upcoming opportunity to change the course of the nation. “Light is more powerful than dark,” he stated. “May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation.”