If there were any remaining doubts as to which direction Democrats would be taking over the next three months, official party presidential candidate Joe Biden dispelled them in the very first minute of his acceptance speech as the virtual Democratic National Convention came to a close.
The former longtime Delaware senator who served as Barack Obama’s vice president used the term “darkness” three times within 60 seconds to describe the state of the nation under White House occupant Donald Trump.
“The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long,” he began. “Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division.”
“I will be an ally of the light not the darkness,” followed soon after.
“United we can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America,” completed the early trifecta.
Paint It Black
Democrats offered three distinct themes during the first three nights of their convention. Evening One was devoted to a lurid emphasis on death, systemic racism, and anger to illustrate a dreary, dystopian vision of life in America under a Trump administration. The second evening was Establishment Nostalgia Night, dedicated to saluting a slew of dusty names representing an aristocracy that ruled Washington politics from both sides of the aisle for decades until outsider Trump crashed the party in 2016. And Night Three featured the identity politics – gender version – that Democrats so love to indulge.
Given those options, it is now clear that Democratic challenger Joe Biden will be focusing on bashing Trump as the cornerstone of his campaign message. “This is a life-changing election. This will determine what America is going to look like for a long, long time,” an apocalyptic-sounding Biden declared. “Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They’re all on the ballot.”
Biden was quick to use an expected nod to Obama as yet another way to lash out at Trump. “Thank you, Mr. President. You were a great president,” Biden said of Obama. “A president our children could – and did – look up to. No one’s gonna say that about the current occupant of the White House.”
Biden also used the Coronavirus as a point of assault. “The president keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear. He keeps waiting for a miracle. Well, I have news for him, no miracle is coming,” he robustly proclaimed. In laying out his own plan to fight the virus, Biden said he would decree mandatory mask-wearing for all Americans. “We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask – not as a burden, but as a patriotic duty to protect one another,” he said.
After outlining boilerplate policy positions on the economy, health care, and Social Security, among other things, Biden returned to his major theme, slamming Trump.
Light vs. Nazis
He brought up an infamous rally in Charlottesville, VA, in 2017 that Democrats frequently cite wrongly in attempts to link Trump to racial bigotry. “Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches?” Biden asked. “Veins bulging? Spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s? Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it? Remember what the president said when asked? He said there were, quote, ‘very fine people on both sides.'”
“It was a wake-up call for us as a country,” he declared. “And for me, a call to action. At that moment, I knew I’d have to run.”
Biden ended his remarks by returning to his efforts to frame the election as good vs. evil. “Light is more powerful than dark,” he reiterated. “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.”
For better or worse, Joe Biden understands that a Democratic Party fractured by in-fighting between younger progressives who dominate much of the grassroots and an Establishment Old Guard is united by only one thing: a deep loathing for Trump. Yet the strategy is fraught with potential pitfalls. Despite retaining a seat at the table of elite political power for nearly half a century, Joe Biden will not be running for president on his lengthy record but under the banner of “I’m Not Trump.” It remains to be seen if that is enough in a post-2016 era clamoring for authentic change.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.
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