Needing to stick a good landing to cap the Democratic National Convention with a speech accepting his party’s nomination to be president of the United States, Joe Biden pointed out the differences between himself and the criminal currently taking up space in the Oval Office, a difference that should be apparent to any person with at least two brain cells to rub together.
Now, Biden would be first to tell you that he is not the same skilled orator as his friend, former President Barack Obama, but all he had to do Thursday night was be “Uncle Joe,” the man who would bring dignity and honor back to the White House — qualities that have been sorely missing for the past four years.
“Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation,” Biden said, a claim that will need no fact-checking whatsoever. “He has failed to protect us, he has failed to protect America.”
Biden told would-be voters that the Nov. 3 presidential ballot is a whole lot more crowded than many supposed. Not only will voters find Biden and Donald Trump there, they will also find “character, honor and decency” on the ballot, qualities that the current president has been lacking since, well, since Christ was a corporal.
Biden, the only candidate on the ballot who is a real-life sentient human being, gave an example of his humanity and compassion when he said the most important conversation he’d had this year was with the 6-year-old daughter of George Floyd, the man murdered by police in Minneapolis, Minn., and whose death sparked a new chapter in America’s long struggle with its original sin of systemic racism. Biden said he looked into the child’s eyes at her father’s funeral and she told him, “Daddy changed the world.”
Hearing Biden recount that moment was poignant for listeners, especially considering that Trump’s only response to the crisis was to teargas peaceful protesters in Washington’s Lafayette Park, possibly because no responsible parent would ever let him near their child anyway.
Biden exhorted Americans to unite in this moment. He said, “For love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. And light is more powerful and dark.”
“This is our moment,” Biden said. “This is our mission.”
While Biden spoke, the Shinbone Star’s usual newsroom cacophony — typewriter keys clacking, deadline cursing and loud, garlicky pizza belches — grew silent. Even jaded, has-been reporters knew they were listening to something special. When Biden’s speech was over, LarryBnDC wiped his streaming eyes and summed it up with an old story from his salad days.
Fortunately, I had my tape recorder ready:
“There’s an old story about rock and roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis getting angry because he had to go on next to last.
“According to the legend, the furious Lewis burned up a set that literally ended in flames as he kicked over the stool, sprinkled gas from a Coke bottle over the piano, set the instrument on fire and played “Great Balls of Fire.”
“The story goes that Lewis stormed off the stage and snarled at the next act, “Try following that!”
“That’s what I thought as Biden closed his speech with, ‘And God bless our troops!’
“With the illiterate, soulless criminals of the Republican National Convention now set to follow Biden’s act, next week should be . . . interesting.”
And with that we all went back to work, which is exactly what America needs to do. A flaming piano only burns for so long, and we still have 74 days until Nov. 3. It’s up to all of us to keep the embers smoldering and most importantly, to have a voting plan ready to help combat those who don’t want you to vote.
This really is Light against Dark and America’s soul is at stake.