... because this go round, everyday people are speaking more than politicians, the theme being "We The People." :)
In fact, Joe Biden himself has only spoken once, during a brief virtual session, asking everyday people - from non-politician community leaders to students - what they think he should do :)
Everyday people like Kristin Urquiza, whose written obituary of her father's death from COVID-19 went viral (no pun intended).
Tonight, she shared the story of her father's death in person.
You see, Mark Urquiza voted for, and was an avid supporter of, Donald Trump - until the last few days of his life.
He believed Donald Trump about COVID-19, minimizing it.
He thought it was safe not to socially distance, to not wear a mask - that it was all a political hoax/hype.
So in mid-May, when many states (including Arizona) reopened too soon, he went to a karaoke bar with friends, and with no underlyng health conditions, he though he was safe because Trump said so.
Three weeks later, he was on a ventilator - eventually succumbing to the virus.
Among Mark Urquiza's final words were that he felt "betrayed" by Donald Trump.
When politicians did speak, which has been uncharacteristically kept to a minimum, thus far, at this convention - the most powerful words were spoken by Andrew Cuomo (with a close second Rep. Jim Clyburn - SC).
He said (paraphrasing)"Donald Trump didn't start the virus - either the coronavirus or the viruses of divisiveness, deception (dysinformation), hatred, or racism - but he HAS clearly made all of it worse."
He also said (paraphrasing): "Donald Trump appeals to the worst in us, we need a leader that appeals to the best."
I'm pretty sure even Trumpers themselves would have a hard time arguing with either of those two statements ;)
PS - Michelle Obama was on FIRE!
She's so articulate - a very genuine, impassioned, effective and affective speaker- better than Joe Biden, actually (but may tie with Kamala lol).
She was asked if she still believed in her famous 2016 phrase, "when they go low, we go high" phrase - and she said yes - but clarified.
She does not mean to turn a blind eye to untruths, injustice, hatred and/or racism, or to pretend along and play nice, just to be popular or "get along."
She means that you should still take an assertive stand, call out injustice, racism, fraud, dishonesty, deception - but do so without stooping to the same levels and dirty tactics ourselves - because doing so demeans YOU, too, and goes against all the values we claim to hold dear, just to win an election - which will then mean nothing, a hollow victory, because you sold out your own values just to win.
(If you've read my blog from when I first started, even on my first/original blog, I believe the same thing. It's extraordinarily difficult to do, and have occasionally slipped from myself - but I believe it and I've done it repeatedly more than I've slipped - more than anyone, but my husband and my therapist, will ever know)
Never seen a first lady give such an impassioned speech for any candidate - including her own husband at his DNCs prior lol
I would love to see her run someday :)
Full transcript of her speech:
"Good evening, everyone. It’s a hard time, and everyone’s feeling it in different ways. And I know a lot of folks are reluctant to tune into a political convention right now or to politics in general. Believe me, I get that. But I am here tonight because I love this country with all my heart, and it pains me to see so many people hurting.
I’ve met so many of you. I’ve heard your stories. And through you, I have seen this country’s promise. And thanks to so many who came before me, thanks to their toil and sweat and blood, I’ve been able to live that promise myself.
That’s the story of America. All those folks who sacrificed and overcame so much in their own times because they wanted something more, something better for their kids.
There’s a lot of beauty in that story. There’s a lot of pain in it, too, a lot of struggle and injustice and work left to do. And who we choose as our president in this election will determine whether or not we honor that struggle and chip away at that injustice and keep alive the very possibility of finishing that work.
I am one of a handful of people living today who have seen firsthand the immense weight and awesome power of the presidency. And let me once again tell you this: The job is hard. It requires clearheaded judgment, a mastery of complex and competing issues, a devotion to facts and history, a moral compass, and an ability to listen — and an abiding belief that each of the 330,000,000 lives in this country has meaning and worth.
A president’s words have the power to move markets. They can start wars or broker peace. They can summon our better angels or awaken our worst instincts. You simply cannot fake your way through this job.
As I’ve said before, being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are.
Well, a presidential election can reveal who we are, too. And four years ago, too many people chose to believe that their votes didn’t matter. Maybe they were fed up. Maybe they thought the outcome wouldn’t be close. Maybe the barriers felt too steep. Whatever the reason, in the end, those choices sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes.
In one of the states that determined the outcome, the winning margin averaged out to just two votes per precinct — two votes. And we’ve all been living with the consequences.
When my husband left office with Joe Biden at his side, we had a record-breaking stretch of job creation. We’d secured the right to health care for 20,000,000 people. We were respected around the world, rallying our allies to confront climate change. And our leaders had worked hand-in-hand with scientists to help prevent an Ebola outbreak from becoming a global pandemic.
Four years later, the state of this nation is very different. More than 150,000 people have died, and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long. It has left millions of people jobless. Too many have lost their health care; too many are struggling to take care of basic necessities like food and rent; too many communities have been left in the lurch to grapple with whether and how to open our schools safely. Internationally, we’ve turned our back, not just on agreements forged by my husband, but on alliances championed by presidents like Reagan and Eisenhower.
And here at home, as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and a never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a Black life matters is still met with derision from the nation’s highest office.
Because whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy.
Empathy: that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. The ability to walk in someone else’s shoes; the recognition that someone else’s experience has value, too.
Most of us practice this without a second thought. If we see someone suffering or struggling, we don’t stand in judgment. We reach out because, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
It is not a hard concept to grasp. It’s what we teach our children. And like so many of you, Barack and I have tried our best to instill in our girls a strong moral foundation to carry forward the values that our parents and grandparents poured into us.
But right now, kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another. They’re looking around wondering if we’ve been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value.
They see people shouting in grocery stores, unwilling to wear a mask to keep us all safe. They see people calling the police on folks minding their own business just because of the color of their skin. They see an entitlement that says only certain people belong here, that greed is good, and winning is everything because as long as you come out on top, it doesn’t matter what happens to everyone else. And they see what happens when that lack of empathy is ginned up into outright disdain.
They see our leaders labeling fellow citizens enemies of the state while emboldening torch-bearing white supremacists. They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages, and pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protesters for a photo op.
Sadly, this is the America that is on display for the next generation. A nation that’s under-performing not simply on matters of policy but on matters of character. And that’s not just disappointing; it’s downright infuriating, because I know the goodness and the grace that is out there in households and neighborhoods all across this nation.
And I know that regardless of our race, age, religion, or politics, when we close out the noise and the fear and truly open our hearts, we know that what’s going on in this country is just not right. This is not who we want to be.
So what do we do now? What’s our strategy? Over the past four years, a lot of people have asked me, “When others are going so low, does going high still really work?”
My answer: going high is the only thing that works, because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s drowning out everything else. We degrade ourselves. We degrade the very causes for which we fight.
But let’s be clear: going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top. Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences.
And going high means unlocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can truly set us free: the cold, hard truth.
So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.
Now, I understand that my message won’t be heard by some people. We live in a nation that is deeply divided, and I am a Black woman speaking at the Democratic Convention. But enough of you know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling. You know I hate politics. But you also know that I care about this nation. You know how much I care about all of our children.
So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.
I know Joe. He is a profoundly decent man, guided by faith. He was a terrific vice president. He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic, and lead our country. And he listens. He will tell the truth and trust science. He will make smart plans and manage a good team. And he will govern as someone who’s lived a life that the rest of us can recognize.
When he was a kid, Joe’s father lost his job. When he was a young senator, Joe lost his wife and his baby daughter. And when he was vice president, he lost his beloved son. So Joe knows the anguish of sitting at a table with an empty chair, which is why he gives his time so freely to grieving parents. Joe knows what it’s like to struggle, which is why he gives his personal phone number to kids overcoming a stutter of their own.
His life is a testament to getting back up, and he is going to channel that same grit and passion to pick us all up, to help us heal and guide us forward.
Now, Joe is not perfect. And he’d be the first to tell you that. But there is no perfect candidate, no perfect president. And his ability to learn and grow — we find in that the kind of humility and maturity that so many of us yearn for right now. Because Joe Biden has served this nation his entire life without ever losing sight of who he is; but more than that, he has never lost sight of who we are, all of us.
Joe Biden wants all of our kids to go to a good school, see a doctor when they’re sick, live on a healthy planet. And he’s got plans to make all of that happen. Joe Biden wants all of our kids, no matter what they look like, to be able to walk out the door without worrying about being harassed or arrested or killed. He wants all of our kids to be able to go to a movie or a math class without being afraid of getting shot. He wants all our kids to grow up with leaders who won’t just serve themselves and their wealthy peers but will provide a safety net for people facing hard times.
And if we want a chance to pursue any of these goals, any of these most basic requirements for a functioning society, we have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored. Because right now, folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting. They’re closing down polling places in minority neighborhoods. They’re purging voter rolls. They’re sending people out to intimidate voters, and they’re lying about the security of our ballots. These tactics are not new.
But this is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning. We have got to vote like we did in 2008 and 2012. We’ve got to show up with the same level of passion and hope for Joe Biden. We’ve got to vote early, in person if we can. We’ve got to request our mail-in ballots right now, tonight, and send them back immediately and follow-up to make sure they’re received. And then, make sure our friends and families do the same.
We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too, because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.
Look, we have already sacrificed so much this year. So many of you are already going that extra mile. Even when you’re exhausted, you’re mustering up unimaginable courage to put on those scrubs and give our loved ones a fighting chance. Even when you’re anxious, you’re delivering those packages, stocking those shelves, and doing all that essential work so that all of us can keep moving forward.
Even when it all feels so overwhelming, working parents are somehow piecing it all together without child care. Teachers are getting creative so that our kids can still learn and grow. Our young people are desperately fighting to pursue their dreams.
And when the horrors of systemic racism shook our country and our consciences, millions of Americans of every age, every background rose up to march for each other, crying out for justice and progress.
This is who we still are: compassionate, resilient, decent people whose fortunes are bound up with one another. And it is well past time for our leaders to once again reflect our truth.
So, it is up to us to add our voices and our votes to the course of history, echoing heroes like John Lewis who said, “When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something.”
That is the truest form of empathy: not just feeling, but doing; not just for ourselves or our kids, but for everyone, for all our kids.
And if we want to keep the possibility of progress alive in our time, if we want to be able to look our children in the eye after this election, we have got to reassert our place in American history. And we have got to do everything we can to elect my friend, Joe Biden, as the next president of the United States.
Thank you all. God bless.Bernie Sanders also delivered a powerful speech ... Oh, Berns, I still adore you - if only you were a bit younger and hadn't had heart issues, you'd be where Biden is now :/
Our great nation is now living in an unprecedented moment. We are facing the worst public health crisis in 100 years and the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. We are confronting systemic racism and the enormous threat to our planet of climate change.
And, in the midst of all of this, we have a president who is not only incapable of addressing these crises but is leading us down the path of authoritarianism.
This election is the most important in the modern history of this country. In response to the unprecedented crises we face, we need an unprecedented response—a movement, like never before, of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and decency—and against greed, oligarchy, and bigotry. And we need Joe Biden as our next president.
Let me take this opportunity to say a word to the millions who supported my campaign this year and in 2016. My friends, thank you for your trust, your support, and the love you showed Jane, me, and our family.
Together we have moved this country in a bold new direction showing that all of us—Black and white, Latino, Native American, Asian American, gay and straight, native born and immigrant— yearn for a nation based on the principles of justice, love, and compassion.
Our campaign ended several months ago, but our movement continues and is getting stronger every day. Many of the ideas we fought for, that just a few years ago were considered “radical,” are now mainstream.
But, let us be clear, if Donald Trump is re-elected, all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy. Defending Democracy At its most basic, this election is about preserving our democracy. During this president’s term, the unthinkable has become normal. He has tried to prevent people from voting, undermined the U.S. Postal Service, deployed the military and federal agents against peaceful protesters, threatened to delay the election and suggested that he will not leave office if he loses. This is not normal, and we must never treat it like it is.
Under this administration authoritarianism has taken root in our country. I, and my family, and many of yours, know the insidious way authoritarianism destroys democracy, decency, and humanity.
As long as I am here, I will work with progressives, with moderates, and, yes, with conservatives to preserve this nation from a threat that so many of our heroes fought and died to defeat The Pandemic.
This president is not just a threat to our democracy, but by rejecting science, he has put our lives and health in jeopardy. Trump has attacked doctors and scientists trying to protect us from the pandemic, while refusing to take strong action to produce the masks, gowns, and gloves our health care workers desperately need.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Trump golfs. His actions fanned this pandemic resulting in over 170,000 deaths and a nation still unprepared to protect its people. The Economic Crisis
Furthermore, Trump’s negligence has exacerbated the economic crisis we are now experiencing. Since this pandemic began, over 30 million people have lost their jobs and many have lost their health insurance. Millions of working families are wondering how they'll feed their kids and worried that they will be evicted from their homes.
And how has Trump responded? Instead of maintaining the $600 a week unemployment supplement that workers were receiving, and the $1,200 emergency checks that many of you received, instead of helping small businesses—Trump concocted fraudulent executive orders that do virtually nothing to address the crisis while threatening the very future of Social Security and Medicare. Trump the Fraud My friends, the American people have caught on that this president and his administration are, to put it bluntly, frauds.
In 2016, Trump promised he would stand with working families. He said that he would “drain the swamp,” take on Wall Street and powerful special interests. He would protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and, by the way, he would provide health care to “everybody.”
Well. None of it was true. Instead, he filled his administration with billionaires and gave trillions to the top 1 percent and large corporations. He tried to throw 32 million people off of their health insurance, eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, and submitted budgets that proposed slashing Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
Joe Biden But the truth is that, even before Trump’s negligent response to this pandemic, too many hard-working families have been caught on an economic treadmill with no hope of ever getting ahead. Together we must build a nation that is more equitable, more compassionate and more inclusive. I know that Joe Biden will begin that fight on day one.
Let me offer you just a few examples of how Joe will move us forward. Joe supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. This will give 40 million workers a pay raise and push the wage scale up for everyone else. Joe will also make it easier for workers to join unions, create 12 weeks of paid family leave, fund universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year olds, and make child care affordable for millions of families. Joe will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and fight the threat of climate change by transitioning us to 100 percent clean electricity over the next fifteen years.
These initiatives will create millions of good paying jobs all across the country As you know, we are the only industrialized nation not to guarantee health care for all people. While Joe and I disagree on the best path to get to universal coverage, he has a plan that will greatly expand health care and cut the cost of prescription drugs. Further, he will lower the eligibility age of Medicare from 65 to 60.
To help reform our broken criminal justice system Joe will end private prisons and detention centers, cash bail, and the school to prison pipeline. And to heal the soul of our nation, Joe Biden will end the hate and division Trump has created.
He will stop the demonization of immigrants, the coddling of white nationalists, the racist dog whistling, the religious bigotry, and the ugly attacks on women.
My friends, I say to you, to everyone who supported other candidates in the primary and to those who may have voted for Donald Trump in the last election: The future of our democracy is at stake. The future of our economy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake. We must come together, defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next president and vice president. My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine."
Andrew Cuomo's speech (mentioned earlier) ...
"We climbed the impossible mountain, and right now we are on the other side. We did it with the kindness and assistance of so many. New Yorkers want to thank everyone who came to our aid, 30,000 Americans who volunteered to come here to help in our hour of need. Your love gave us the strength to carry on. We went through hell, but we have learned much.
We know that our problems go beyond the COVID virus. COVID is the symptom, not the illness. Our nation is in crisis. And in many ways, COVID is just a metaphor. A virus attacks when the body is weak and when it cannot defend itself. Over these past few years, America’s body politic has been weakened. The divisions have been growing deeper.
The antisemitism, the anti-Latino, the anti-immigrant fervor, the racism in Charlottesville where the KKK didn’t even bother to wear their hoods, and in Minnesota where the life was squeezed from Mr. Floyd. Only a strong body can fight off the virus, and America’s divisions weakened it."
Donald Trump didn’t create the initial division. The division created Trump. He only made it worse. Our collective strength is exercised through government. It is in effect our immune system and our current federal government is dysfunctional and incompetent. It couldn’t fight off the virus. In fact, it didn’t even see it coming.
The European virus infected the Northeast while the White House was still fixated on China.The virus had been attacking us for months before they even knew it was here. We saw the failure of a government that tried to deny the virus, then tried to ignore it, and then tried to politicize it. The failed federal government that watched New York get ambushed by their negligence and then watch New York suffer but all through it learned absolutely nothing.
So today, six months after it began, the nation is still unprepared. And we now face a second threat, but this time not from mother nature, this is a manmade threat by our own negligence. We now see the virus ricocheting across the country from one state to another. Today we trail the world in defeating COVID. We have over 5 million cases.
Americans learned the critical lesson, how vulnerable we are when we are divided and how many lives can be lost when our government is incompetent. But we learned something else my friends, we saw the negative, but we also saw the positive. As they prove their way failed, we prove that our way succeeded, that America can still rise to the occasion.
We can put our differences aside and find commonality. Government can tell the truth and can build trust. We can judge by content of character rather than color of skin.
We can care for one another, that Americans can work together and forge community and a competent government. That of course, we will wear masks because we are smart and because I care about you and because you care about me.
Of course, we will socially distance because staying away shows how close we actually are. Yes, we will set up testing and tracing and do whatever we need to do to mobilize to win this battle because we are America. We win wars and we are the greatest country on the globe. And for all the pain and all the tears, our way worked. And it was beautiful. We showed that our better angels are strong and that Americans will rise to their call. We saw that even at the end of the day, even if it is a long day that love wins, Americans’ eyes have been opened and we have seen in this crisis, the truth that government matters and leadership matters. And it determines whether we thrive and grow or whether we live or die.
Now, we need a leader as good as our people, a leader who appeals to the best within us, not the worst. A leader who can unify, not divide. A leader who can bring us up, not tear us down.
I know that man, I’ve worked with that man. I’ve seen his talent. I’ve seen his strength. I’ve seen his pain, and I’ve seen his hurt. That man is Joe Biden. Joe Biden is what I call America tough, tough in the best way. Tough that is smart, united, disciplined, and loving. Joe Biden can restore the soul of America. And that’s exactly what our country needs today. Thank you."
"America is at a crossroads. Sometimes elections represent a real choice, a choice we make as individuals and as a nation about which path we want to take when we’ve come to challenging times. America is at that crossroads today. The stakes in this election are greater than any in modern times. Many of us have been deeply concerned about the current path we’ve been following for the past four years. It’s a path that’s led to division, dysfunction, irresponsibility, and growing vitriol between our citizens.
Continuing to follow that path will have terrible consequences for America’s soul because we’re being taken down the wrong road by a president who has pitted one against the other. He’s unlike all of our best leaders before him who worked to unite us to bridge our differences and lead us to a united America.
I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country. That’s why I’ve chosen to appear at this convention. In normal times, something like this would probably never happen, but these are not normal times. I’m proud of my Republican heritage. It’s the party of Lincoln who reflected its founding principles of unity and a higher purpose. But what I have witnessed these past four years belies those principles. Many of us can’t imagine four more years going down this path, and that’s why I’m asking you to join with me in choosing a better way forward.
I believe the best of America lies ahead, but only when we rediscovered our shared belief in the United States of America, for our children’s future, which can be bright, hopeful, and inspired if we choose to make it so. I’ve known Joe Biden for 30 years. I know his story of profound grief that is so deeply effected his character. I know Joe is a good man, a man of faith, a unifier, someone who understands the hopes and dreams of the common man and the common woman, a man who can help us to see the humanity in each other. He knows that the path to a restored and rejuvenated America lies in respect and unity and a common purpose for everyone.
Yes, there are areas where Joe and I absolutely disagree, but that’s okay, because that’s America. Because whatever our differences, we respect one another as human beings, each of us searching for justice and for purpose. We can all see what’s going on in our country today and all the questions that are facing us and no one person or a party has all the answers. But what we do know is that we can do better than what we’ve been seeing today, for sure. I know that Joe Biden with his experience and his wisdom and his decency can bring us together to help us find that better way.
I’m sure there are Republicans and independents who couldn’t imagine crossing over to support a Democrat. They fear Joe may turn sharp left and leave them behind. I don’t believe that, because I know the measure of the man, he’s reasonable, faithful, respectful, and you know no one pushes Joe around. Joe Biden is a man for our times, times that call for all of us to take off our partisan hats and put our nation first for ourselves, and of course for our children. When America chooses the right path and pulls together like we’ve done so many times before, yeah, we can dream big dreams and we can see the top of the mountain as a United States of America with a soul that is a beacon of freedom to the entire world."
House Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn (D - SC) - mentioned earlier.
For some reason, his transcript not yet available - the only text currently available is a rush copy beforehand, but he changed it completely before airing.
For some reason, his transcript not yet available - the only text currently available is a rush copy beforehand, but he changed it completely before airing.