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Biden accepts Democratic nomination, vows to end 'season of darkness'

By Lalit K Jha
Last updated on: August 21, 2020 10:52 IST
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Joe Biden pledged that he will be an "ally of the light" as he officially accepted the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, urging the American voters to unite to overcome a "season of darkness" that President Donald Trump has cloaked the US for "much too long".

IMAGE: Former US Vice President Joe Biden accepts the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during a speech delivered for the largely virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

On the final day of the four-day virtual Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, Biden, 77, was introduced by a video that went through the former vice president's life, and career, and highlighted his role as a father, husband and political leader.

 

"It is with great honour and humility that I accept this nomination for president of the United States of America. But while I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn't support me as I will for those who did," he said.

"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 will be an ally of the light, not the darkness," said Biden, who has already scripted history by selecting Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as the first Black person as the vice presidential nominee of a major party.

Biden's children, Ashley Biden and Hunter Biden, spoke before their father accepted the nomination.

"America's history tells us that it has been in our darkest moments that we've made our greatest progress. That we've found the light. And in this dark moment, I believe we are poised to make great progress again. That we can find the light once more," Biden said.

IMAGE: Joe Biden and his wife Jill celebrate after he accepted the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during the 4th and final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Photograph: 2020 Democratic National Convention/Reuters

"I have always believed they can define America in one word: Possibilities. That in America, everyone, and I mean everyone, should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them. We can never lose that. In times as challenging as these, I believe there is only one way forward.

"As a united America. United in our pursuit of a more perfect Union. United in our dreams of a better future for us and for our children. United in our determination to make the coming years bright," he said.

Launching a scathing attack on US President Trump, Biden said that the current president has cloaked America in darkness "for much too long".

"Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division. 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 will be an ally of the light not of the darkness," he said.

"It's time for us, for We the People, to come together. For make no mistake. United we can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege," Biden said.

IMAGE: Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden and US Senator and Democratic candidate for Vice President Kamala Harris celebrate after Joe Biden accepted the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during the fourth and final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Noting that the job of a president is to represent all Americans and not just the base or the party, Biden said: "This is not a partisan moment".

"This must be an American moment. It's a moment that calls for hope and light and love. Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another," he said.

"America isn't just a collection of clashing interests of Red States or Blue States. We're so much bigger than that. We're so much better than that. Nearly a century ago, Franklin Roosevelt pledged a New Deal in a time of massive unemployment, uncertainty, and fear," he added.

Biden said that his campaign was not just about winning votes, but winning "the heart, and the soul of America".

"Winning it for the generous among us, not the selfish. 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," he said.

"They deserve to experience America's promise in full. No generation ever knows what history will ask of it. All we can ever know is whether we'll be ready when that moment arrives. And now history has delivered us to one of the most difficult moments America has ever faced. Four historic crises. All at the same time. A perfect storm," he said.

"The worst pandemic in over 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The most compelling call for racial justice since the 60's. And the undeniable realities and accelerating threats of climate change. So, the question for us is simple: Are we ready? I believe we are," he said.

IMAGE: People react as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden finishes speaking, at a Democratic National Convention drive-in watch party in Derry, New Hampshire. Photograph: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

Noting that all elections are important, Biden said that this one, however, is more consequential.

"America is at an inflection point. A time of real peril, but of extraordinary possibilities. We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful, and more divided. A path of shadow and suspicion," he said.

"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. Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They are all on the ballot. Who we are as a nation. What we stand for. And, most importantly, who we want to be. That's all on the ballot. And the choice could not be clearer. No rhetoric is needed," he said.

Biden said that as president, the first step he will take will be to get control of the coronavirus that has ruined so many lives.The US is the worst-hit nation with over 170,000 people dead and over five million people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

13-year-old who struggles with stutter praises Biden in convention speech

Thirteen-year-old Brayden Harrington spoke on the final night of the Democratic National Convention about how the party's presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has made him feel more confident about his stutter.

In a video message, Harrington said that when he met Biden at a New Hampshire a few months ago, Biden told him they were ""members of the same club."

"It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president," Brayden said Thursday night in the video recorded for the convention.

Biden, who has said he still occasionally catches himself stuttering, showed Brayden a copy of the campaign speech he had just delivered in New Hampshire with markings showing where he could take breaks between words.

See the full video 

 

"He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud. So I did the same thing today," Brayden said, flipping around the piece of paper he was reading to show the markings on his speech.

"I'm just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me feel more confident about something that's bothered me my whole life. Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us. Kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to. Someone who cares. Someone who will make our country and the world feel better. We're counting on you to elect Joe Biden," Brayden said.

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Lalit K Jha
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