The only thing missing from the last night of the Democratic National Convention was MAZE featuring Frankie Beverly, all dressed in white, singing, “We Are One.”
People of all colors, economic levels, young and old, healthy and health-challenged, were featured. Along the way, we saw Cedric Richmond, Jr, son of the New Orleans Congressman leading the Pledge of Allegiance, a conversation about faith, history and basic goodness with the Steph Curry family and a powerful speech by 13-year-old Brayden Harrington, who was encouraged by former stutterer Joe Biden.
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who knows real comedy and timing, moved the evening along from conversations with stiff political types and jokes that many Americans need at a time like this.
Among the former political opponents, Andrew Yang played off Louis-Dreyfus with a pretty good deadpan delivery. But the New York entrepreneur also gave a realistic look at today’s situation. “We are in a deep dark hole and we need leaders who will help us dig out,” Yang said. “We must give this country, our country, a chance. And recovery is only possible with a change of leadership and new ideas.”
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms brought a sense of history and purpose with her speech about the life’s work of her fellow Atlantan, “our teacher, our friend, our conscience,” the late John Lewis. She described Mr. Lewis as a “God-fearing man who did what he could to fulfill the as-of-yet-unfulfilled promise of America.” And one of the impressive women on the Biden VP list also implored Americans to live up to his call. “We must register and we must vote,” Bottoms said.
Another Vice Presidential contender was Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. The Iraqi war veteran and Purple Heart recipient spoke about servicemen, women and military families. And she called out Donald Trump for not taking on Vladimir Putin about the report of Russia paying Afghanistan for the murders of American soldiers, calling Donald Trump, “a coward in chief who won’t stand up to Vladimir Putin, read his daily intelligence briefings, or even publicly admonish adversaries for reportedly putting bounties on our troops heads.”
Senator Cory Booker gave a sneak peek from the upcoming Biden acceptance speech. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris know the dignity of all working Americans. They know the urgency and the demand of our dream.” And speaking of his late grandfather, Booker said, And he’d tell us, take another by the hand, and another, and let’s get to work. This dream ain’t free, you gotta work for it.”
After a half-century in politics, Joseph R. Biden stepped to the plate and accepted his party’s nomination. Joe Biden had the attention of many students of Black history at the mention of Ella Baker. “Ella Baker, a giant of the civil rights movement, left us with this wisdom: Give people light and they will find a way,” Biden said. “Give people light. Those are words for our time.” Did the sun just rise for a second time as a chorus of angels sang?
As he spoke, the former Vice President laid out his plans for the nation-fighting coronavirus on day one, healthcare, the economy and the promise to lead in bringing this country together. Biden pointed out, “Our president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation: he’s failed to protect us,” he said. “And that is unforgivable.”
And in his close, Joe Biden said, “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. And this is a battle that we, together, will win.”
While angels did not sing, nor did Frankie Beverly and Maze, but the skies did light up with fireworks and the promise of a way to a brighter day.
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