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‘We can overcome this season of darkness’: Joe Biden accepts Presidency nomination at DNC

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention.   | Photo Credit: AP

In a speech that portrayed America as having arrived at a moment of choice between two very different futures, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden said the country would overcome “this season of darkness” as he accepted the nomination of his party for the Presidency.

“The current President has cloaked America in darkness for much too long. Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division,” Mr. Biden said on the fourth and final day of a mostly virtual Democratic National Convention, themed America’s Promise.

“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. 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,” Mr. Biden said.

 

Declaring that he was a proud Democrat, Mr. Biden pitched himself as a candidate for a greater constituency, consistent with his campaign theme and the early part of the convention. On previous days, the convention had featured a number of Republicans – politicians as well as regular citizens – who were voting for Mr. Biden rather than U.S. President Donald Trump.

“I will work as hard for those who didn’t support me as I will for those who did,” Mr. Biden said.

Throughout his speech, Mr. Biden did not directly name the current occupant of the White House (Mr. Trump), but attacked his policies and personality.

“What we know about this President is if he’s given four more years, he will be what he’s been the last four years: A President who takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others, cosies up to dictators, and fans the flames of hate and division,” Mr. Biden said, articulating a vision for America that was in sharp contrast to his characterisation of Mr. Trump’s.

“I see a different America. One that is generous and strong. Selfless and humble.”

“It’s about winning the heart, and yes, the soul of America”, Mr. Biden said.

“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.”

On foreign policy

With regard to foreign policy, Mr. Biden said, “I will be a President who will stand with our allies and friends. I will make it clear to our adversaries the days of cosying up to dictators are over.”

 

There was also an apparent warning to Russia, with reference to intelligence reports that Russia had offered Taliban fighters bounties for killing American and coalition forces in Afghanistan

“Under President Biden, America will not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Nor will I put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise – voting,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Biden said the November 3 election was consequential and “ life-changing.”

“All elections are important. But we know in our bones this one is more consequential. America is at an inflection point. A time of real peril, but of extraordinary possibilities.”

“Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They are all on the ballot,” he said.

Mr. Biden outlined the health and economic fallout of COVID-19 – 5 million Americans infected and more than 170,000 dead, with 50 million filing for unemployment this year.

He spoke about the loss of close family members – his (first) wife and their daughter, then more recently, his son Beau. He talked about his father falling upon hard times and connected to his economic plan, which he outlined during his speech. The plan included an outline of infrastructure projects, enhancing childcare and “building on the Affordable Care Act” (the Obama-era healthcare plan that was intended to bring uninsured Americans into the health insurance net). He also spoke of a future of rising wages and equal pay for women. His platform supports a $15 federal minimum wage and actions to support closing of the gender pay gap.

Mr. Biden said there would be “an immigration system that powers our economy and reflects our values,” and of an opportunity to create jobs while fighting the climate crisis.

Praises Harris

He praised his running mate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris.

“She knows about all the obstacles thrown in the way of so many in our country. Women, Black women, Black Americans, South Asian Americans, immigrants, the left out and left behind,” he said.

“But she’s overcome every obstacle she’s ever faced. “

The former Vice President called his wife, Jill Biden, an “unstoppable force.”

“She was a great Second Lady and she will make a great First Lady for this nation, she loves this country so much,” he said.

Mr. Biden ended his speech the way he started it – with references to light and darkness.

“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,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 4:41:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/joe-biden-accepts-us-presidency-nomination-at-dnc-day-4/article32410581.ece

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