The third night of the Democratic National Convention centered on “a more perfect union,” with four main themes: gun violence, the climate crisis, immigration, and women’s rights. The event featured some of the most well-known leaders of the party, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The night ended with the official nomination of Kamala Harris for Vice President.
Gun Violence and Gun Control
A video highlighted multiple Americans who suffered from gun violence, including Deandra Dycus, whose son will live in a wheelchair for the rest of his life with the inability to speak due to a gunshot wound. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) spoke, saying “America needs to speak out” on gun violence and that, when she was shot, “Biden was there for me, and he will be there for you too.”
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) spoke on how New Mexico is “laying a roadmap for what America should look like” in promoting safer, cleaner cities. She said Biden will rejoin the International Climate Agreement and “deliver for working families” by creating new jobs in this industry. A video of climate change activists from across the country reiterated that a Biden administration would lead the world in clean energy. It noted that, while Biden was in the Senate, he wrote one of the first pieces of climate change legislation, whereas President Trump “thinks that climate change is a hoax.”
Two videos on immigration were shown. The first was from an 11-year-old girl, Estella, whose mom was deported, despite her husband’s service as a Marine and her daughter being born in America. She read a personal letter to President Trump, describing the pain her family and others have suffered from the Trump administration’s immigration policies. The second video featured a family whose mom crossed the border from Mexico to get her daughter better medical care for spina bifida. The family explained that the broken immigration system needs to be fixed, and they are scared of potentially being deported.
The night featured personal testimony from women who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault. They reminded voters that Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act during his time in the Senate, and during this pandemic, domestic violence cases have been increasing.
Speakers and Performances
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that at the beginning of President Trump’s term, Americans owed him “an open mind,” but he has continually “put his own ego and interests” at the forefront, and this country “needs leaders equal to this moment of sacrifice and service.” She wished Trump “knew how to be President.” According to Clinton, Biden and Harris are the team that will “pull the nation back from the brink.” She urged everyone to go out and vote, as a vote for the Biden-Harris ticket is a vote for “justice, honest elections, and a diverse, hopeful America.” She reminded viewers even if they win the popular vote, they can still lose the election. She said, “Biden knows how to keep going, unify a nation, and lead.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke on her time as Speaker of the House. She said Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are “standing in the way of greatness” and continually trying to “crush the Affordable Care Act, not the virus.” She said Trump and McConnell are also “standing in the way of women succeeding,” and “when women succeed, America succeeds.” She encouraged voters to not only vote for the Biden-Harris ticket but also for increasing the Democratic representation within the House and taking back the Senate.
Former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis spoke on the importance of small businesses and how deeply they have been impacted during this pandemic. She said the Obama-Biden administration “saved the automobile industry,” and “American workers need a fighter now more than ever.” She assured viewers a Biden-Harris ticket would recover what was lost by supplying five million new union jobs and bringing the supply chain back to America.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) spoke on her experience in the education sector. Warren said, “parents are stuck,” and the “devastation is enormous” when children cannot access the education they need. According to Warren, Biden has good plans for America including canceling student loan debt, “making the wealthy pay for their fair share,” and fighting corruption in Washington. She said Biden will make childcare affordable for everyone. According to Warren, “Trump’s ignorance and incompetence has always been a danger to this country,” and “this crisis is on Donald Trump and the Republicans who enable him.”
President Barack Obama delivered his speech from the birthplace of the Constitution in Philadelphia. He said, “We should expect a President to be the custodian of democracy” and “protect the freedoms and ideals” of the nation. However, according to Obama, Trump has never “shown interest in taking the job seriously” and has treated the presidency as “one more reality show.” According to Obama, Trump “has not grown into the job because he can’t.” Obama said the consequences of this are millions of jobs have been lost, and the reputation of the United States around the world has been badly diminished. However, Joe Biden has “learned early on to treat every person he meets with respect and dignity.” According to Obama, Biden and Harris have concrete ideas that will get the pandemic under control, expand healthcare to more Americans, and restore U.S. standing in the world. Furthermore, the Biden-Harris ticket believes “a vote is sacred, and it should be easier for those to vote, not harder.” Obama said, “Our democracy is at stake right now,” and “the President and those in power are counting on making it as hard as possible to vote” so that Republicans win. He encouraged voters to “not let them take away your power or your democracy.”
Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris spoke early in the night on the importance of every American voting and how “when we (Americans) vote, things get better.” She encouraged all voters to have a voting plan in place and to make sure friends and family have plans as well. The night later concluded with Kamala Harris’s acceptance speech. She described her background, including how her mother came from India to the U.S. at the age 19 to pursue her dream of curing cancer. Her mom raised her as a single parent and “instilled the values that would chart the course of her life,” such as putting family first and believing in public service as a noble cause. Harris said that, during her career, she has fought for children, against sexual assault, and taken down some of the biggest ‘for-profit’ colleges. She said she and Biden share the vision to “walk by faith, not sight,” and every human being is of infinite worth. Regarding the virus, she said Trump’s leadership has caused failure, and “this virus has no eyes but knows how we see and treat each other.” She said there is “no vaccine for racism; we have to do the work.” Her relationship with Biden started out as the father to Beau, a fellow attorney general. She knew Biden as the single father that rode a train “four hours to Delaware” to be there for his kids every night. She highlighted how Biden authored the Violence Against Women Act, implemented the Recovery Act, and championed the Affordable Care Act. She said Trump “turns tragedies into political weapons” while Biden will “turn challenges into purpose” and bring everyone together to end the pandemic and face racial injustice. She said the road ahead is not easy, but she will “act boldly.” She said the new generation of patriots reminds everyone that “to love our country is to fight for the ideals for our country.” She encouraged Americans to “fight with conviction” and “fight with hope.”