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Breaking down the DNC, 2020

Democrats nationwide took a step back from their laptops and let out an overdue sigh of relief after watching a coherent Joe Biden accept the Democratic Party’s nomination and later deliver a concise gaffe-free speech at Thursday night’s Democratic National Convention finale.

Kicking off the historically unprecedented, web-based DNC, Aug. 17 marked the beginning of what anxious voters expected would resemble a nearly week-long, in-depth look at the “transformative candidate,” as well as some much needed clarification and detail regarding his ideas for confronting the nation’s current biggest issues. 

Since the 2020 Democratic primary debates, former Vice President Biden has confidently maintained that most of these issues can be fixed, or at least improved upon by his administration. Some of those issues mentioned include racial injustice, income inequality, healthcare reform, systemic racism, immigration reform, climate change and the coronavirus. Realistically, there may never have been a better time or place for Biden to address voters on both sides of the aisle, providing some level of detail on the plans for tackling these issues during his DNC acceptance speech.

Quickly hitting on Biden’s flaws, members of the GOP, disenfranchised Democrats, each point out the often overlooked fact that Biden has spent 48 years working in the federal government and has not solved any issue as complicated or pressing as the ones facing this nation today. Of course, Biden does not do himself any favors by avoiding questions from the press, not engaging openly with the public and claiming he is a shoulder to lean on. 

Biden’s efforts to not muddy the water with detail and political jargon paid off handsomely after his underwhelming 24 1/2 minute speech, when he rightfully claimed Walter Mondale’s title from 1984 for shortest nomination acceptance speech in DNC history. Regardless, Biden and the convention’s primary message was clear: President Donald Trump is, as special guest Billie Eillish puts it is “destroying our country and everything we care about.” 

Leading up to the former vice president’s acceptance of the nomination, a slew of politicians and celebrities strongly encouraged voters to take action and fight to save the soul of this nation, subsequently making their impassioned endorsements for the 2020 Democratic ticket. Celebrities and political leaders within the Democratic Party overshadowed Biden’s involvement until the fourth day. 

The first day alone featured pre-recorded video speeches from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo followed by acclaimed singer and songwriter Maggie Rogers. Another that shortly followed was a pre-recorded endorsement from the former Republican governor of Ohio, and 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich. 

“I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country,” Kasich said. 

An endorsement compilation from former 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Andrew Yang, Beto O’Rourke, Tom Snyder and Corey Booker shortly followed. Bernie Sanders also shared stern words.

Towards the first night’s conclusion, Michelle Obama delivered a heart-felt speech regarding the country’s internal struggles. She discussed how the Biden presidency will move Americans to start prioritizing civility in discourse. “If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me they can and they will if we don’t make a change in this nation.”

The first of noteworthy guest speakers was former President Jimmy Carter and his wife speaking on behalf of Biden’s character and honest nature in a pre-recorded video. Following former President Carter, speeches from both former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Colin Powell shared similar degrees of apathy and dissatisfaction with the current president.  

Delegates spoke over the DNC announcer and occasional poor audio and video quality, the presidential roll call covered 57 states and territories. Labor activist Bob King nominated Bernie Sanders, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez seconded the nomination. Delaware Senator Chris Coons nominated Biden and was seconded by Delaware Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. Following the roll call and tallying the results of the 57 states and territories, Biden was officially named the 2020 Democratic candidate for the presidency. 

Encouraging people to vote, Kamala Harris spoke about gun violence and mending race relations in the United States. 

By the time the fireworks started on the night of Aug. 20, viewers were left feeling either ecstatic or dissatisfied about a Biden and Harris administration. 

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