So far, the main message of the Democratic National Convention has been that the Trump presidency has been a disaster and that future can be brighter. On day three, many of the Democratic Party’s heavy hitters took the stage. One after another they set the stage for Kamala Harris’ speech accepting the nomination for Vice President.
In recognition of a new status, her speech was an introduction to a larger audience. She drew a line from the little girl who was the daughter of immigrants to the prosecutor and California Attorney General who fought injustice.
To illustrate her experience, Harris emphasized her days as a prosecutor. “I’ve fought for children and survivors of sexual assault. I’ve fought against transnational gangs. I took on the biggest banks and helped take down one of the biggest for-profit colleges. I know a predator when I see one,” she said.
And she emphasized that our voting rights were under attack.
“So I think we need to ask ourselves: Why don’t they want us to vote? Why is there so much effort to silence our voices? And the answer is: Because when we vote, things change. When we vote, things get better.”
Former President Barack Obama provided a fiery lead-in to the Harris speech. He expressed great disappointment in his successor. Passionately, Obama explained that he never expected President Trump would continue his policies. However, he did expect that his successor “would take his job seriously” and “discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.” For Obama, Donald Trump has not fulfilled even these basic expectations.
Hillary Clinton also had her say on night three. “I told you so” was her message. Clinton recalled the 2016 presidential race when she argued that Donald Trump was dangerous and completely unfit to be president. For Clinton, Trump’s first term, and especially his COVID-19 response, has demonstrated that she was right. “For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worse, ‘I should have voted,’” Clinton said. She went on:
“Well, this can’t be another woulda, coulda, shoulda election. If you vote by mail, request your ballot now, and send it back as soon as you can. If you vote in person, do it early. Bring a friend and wear a mask. Become a poll worker. Most of all, no matter what, vote. Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are.”
In a uniting moment, Elizabeth Warren, a leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, gave a speech in support of the Biden-Harris ticket. She emphasized that Biden and Harris would support childcare, which underpins support for American workers. Particularly, in light of the pandemic.
On night three, the Democrats brought the power.