Night four of the Democratic National Convention focused on “America’s Promise.” It was the conclusion of the convention, with the buildup of the night centered around Joe Biden’s acceptance speech for the presidential nomination for the Democratic Party.
The night began with several videos featuring Democrats like Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), noting what they want to see in the country a year from now. Other speakers highlighted common themes they want to see, including the end of the pandemic, that Americans will be “proud of their president,” and for a government “out there working for them.” They all believed Biden would be that president for the nation.
The first speaker of the night was Andrew Yang, who explained the country is in a “deep, dark hole,” and “we need leaders to dig us out.” He said this is only possible with new leaders and new ideas. He believed Biden would “fight for us every day” and “lead us forward to a future that our kids would be proud of.”
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) stated Biden would “continue a progressive march towards justice.” He noted Biden helped him when his own father was in the hospital by providing “words of comfort.” Sen. Coons said, “Joe’s faith is about the future, with less suffering and more justice.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms gave a speech describing what Rep. John Lewis meant to not only the state of Georgia but the entire nation. She described how every person within the civil rights movement made a difference, from the most outspoken like Lewis, to those who made food for the protesters. Mayor Bottoms said they must continue to “pass the gift that John Lewis passed to us” by exercising the right to vote. Singer John Legend and rapper Common then performed their song Glory.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham described the current state of the nation and explained this economy, as well as “extremism,” are preventing them from “realizing our nation’s promise.” Meacham said viewers can write a “brighter” and “more noble” story for the nation if they elect Joe Biden. Meacham added, “If we live in hope, we open our souls to the power of love,” noting they have been taught as a nation to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) stated tribal nations have continued to fight for this country, and she is an example of that fight. Rep. Haaland said the constitution is “under attack,” and every American must go out and vote. She believes “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris respect our past and understand our present” and will “help build us a better future.”
Voting continued to be a key theme throughout the night, with a video from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Padilla said, “Republicans are making it too hard for so many to cast their ballots,” and the president is attacking vote-by mail to distract and confuse voters. Benson said there is “zero difference between voting by mail and voting absentee.” They encouraged viewers to come up with a plan to vote and encourage others to do the same.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) noted “working people are under attack.” He believes President Trump has “failed us,” but a Biden-Harris ticket would understand the “dignity of working Americans” and work to raise the minimum wage to ensure “no one who works a full-time job will live in poverty.”
Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said the nation “has what it takes to overcome this pandemic.” However, according to Murthy, we are missing leadership. He said the country needs a leader who will “secure a safe, effective vaccine” and “wear a mask for a patriotic duty.” Murthy stated Biden is “the man I trust to look out for my family.”
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) described what it was like living with serious medical conditions at a young age and how no insurance companies would help her family due to preexisting conditions. She said stories like this have been heard far too many times during this pandemic. Each story, according to Sen. Baldwin, makes Americans ask, “what kind of country do we want to be?” Sen. Baldwin said all Americans want “dignity in work,” an “economy where small business can thrive,” and a “nation free from COVID.”
95-year-old WWII veteran Ed Good mentioned he has been a Republican since the 1960s and voted for Trump in 2016. Good believes Trump has been the “worst president we have ever had,” and Joe Biden would be a “great leader” that “cares about doing proper duty to the United States.”
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) spoke about her time as a veteran and the experience her family had while she was at war. Sen. Duckworth said Biden knows the sacrifices families have to make since he sent his son Beau off to war. She said Biden knows the fear that military families feel, and he is “who our service members deserve.”
Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg believes Biden is the right man for the “soul of our nation” and trusts Biden to “guide the nation toward a better future.”
Mike Bloomberg stated Biden “believes in facts” and Trump “does not.” He said Biden has handled an economic crisis, whereas Trump has made a crisis worse. Bloomberg said he is not against Trump because he is a “bad guy” like he was in 2016, but because he has done a “bad job.” He urged Americans not to “rehire” Trump.
Before the introduction to the Biden family, the convention featured 13-year-old Brayden, who suffers from a stutter. Brayden explained that without Biden taking the time one day to teach him how he got over his stutter, he would not be speaking at the convention with any sort of confidence. Brayden said Biden is “someone we can all look up to” and someone who “will make the world feel better.”
Joe Biden’s four granddaughters explained how Biden made sure that at every holiday or family tradition, “we were together.” Then, Biden’s children, Hunter and Ashley, spoke on what kind of man their dad is, noting he will be a president who will “tell you the truth even when you do not want to hear it.” A video of Beau Biden was then played at a past convention speaking about his hero and father, Joe Biden.
Finally, Joe Biden took the stage to formally accept the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States. Biden explained there is “too much anger and too much division” in the country. He noted if he was entrusted with the presidency, “United, we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America.” Biden said he is a “proud Democrat” and “honored to carry the banner of our party into the election.” This moment, according to Biden, is far more than just “red or blue states” or “winning votes.” It is about “the heart and soul of America.” Biden said many believe this is one of the most difficult moments America has ever faced. From a pandemic, economic crisis, the battle for racial justice, and climate change, this election is more “consequential” and “life-changing” than any election before. Biden wants Americans to judge the current president on the facts related to the “worst performance” of any nation during the pandemic, the growing unemployment rate, the thousands of Americans losing health insurance, and the amount of small businesses going out of work. Biden said Trump “wakes up every day thinking the job is all about him” and takes “no responsibility.”
As president, Biden said his first job would be to get the virus under control. He said it is “not this bad anywhere else in the world,” and Trump “still does not have a plan.” As president, Biden said he would “put politics aside and give the public the news they deserve,” implement a national mask mandate, and defend America “from every attack.” He mentioned the tragedy his family has suffered and explained he learned from these tragedies that though a “loved one may have left earth, they never leave your heart,” and the “best way through pain is to find purpose.” He laid out more policy proposals, including to lower healthcare premiums, add five million new jobs, pay essential workers, and tackle climate change, among others. He spoke about his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, and how she “knows about obstacles being thrown in her way,” but she “overcame them all.” He encouraged each American to go out and vote and mentioned his dad taught him the phrase that “silence is complicity.” He affirmed America has made its “greatest progress” in its “darkest moments,” and the only way forward is to “unite America.” He concluded his speech by saying “this is our moment,” and “this is our mission.”