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Biden showed the way back to the light — will Americans take it?

Biden showed the way back to the light — will Americans take it?
© Greg Nash

The 2020 Democratic National Convention was an experience like nothing the country has seen before. The party displayed the profound diversity of our nation and addressed the systemic problems voters face and the issues at the forefront of their minds. It explained the existential nature of this election and made a convincing case that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHouse Budget Committee 'not considering' firing CBO director Former North Carolina governor set to launch Senate bid How to manage migration intensified by climate change MORE are the team that can meet the moment.  

Ironically, the virtual nature of the convention, having been forced upon them by the COVID-19 pandemic, presented the party with an opportunity to showcase an astounding array of Americans from across the nation and political spectrum. 

From former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObamas describe meeting Prince Philip in statement mourning his death Overnight Defense: Trump-era land mine policy unchanged amid review | Biden spending outline coming Friday | First lady sets priorities for relaunched military families initiative Jill Biden unveils next phase of military families program MORE to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 Close the avenues of foreign meddling Pelosi planned on retiring until Trump won election: report MORE to former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHow Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 Biden is thinking about building that wall — and that's a good thing White House races clock to beat GOP attacks MORE, Democrats urged Americans to make a plan to ensure that they vote and that their votes are counted.    

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In the past four days, Democrats argued that another four years of President Trump would be lethal to our democracy. They made it clear that if Trump is reelected, he would continue to self-deal, ignore science and medicine, denigrate immigrants, belittle communities of color, abuse the Constitution, weaponize our laws to serve his capricious impulses, coddle white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, and tear down our democratic institutions.

We saw an array of Americans from all walks of life – Black, brown, Native Americans, women, men, young people, seniors, LGBTQ Americans, veterans, immigrants, teachers, labor leaders and workers, business owners and people with disabilities. They all came together to say that we need a change in the White House.  

We also saw several Republicans come out in support of Biden, because they also feel that we can’t afford another four years of Trump.  

The convention put front and center our country’s greatest pandemic — not COVID-19, but the heartless, soulless and mindless actions of a commander in chief who has presided over more than 175,000 American deaths because he can’t lead the nation out of the coronavirus calamity. As Michelle Obama so aptly put it, Trump is incapable of meeting the moment.  

Democrats argued that the Biden/Harris ticket is ready to lead, with science and experts at their side and with humanity, compassion, civility, decency and goodness in their hearts.

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Sen. Harris (D-Calif.) was both inspirational and fierce in her determination to never back down in her fight against Trump and what he represents. Her line, “I know a predator when I see one,” was a gut punch to the sitting president.  

Biden’s speech offered a stark choice to voters: Hope, light and love versus fear, darkness and division. Biden made it clear that he would inspire the better angels of our nature instead of inciting the darker devils of our psyche. 

Biden also was concrete in how he would confront our most pressing problems. He would implement an immediate COVID-19 plan that would include testing, equipment and resources for schools to open safely. He would take the muzzle off of health experts, rely on facts and call for a national mask mandate. 

These seem simple and straightforward, and they are. But Trump was never capable of or interested in doing any of them.  

After three years of going down the dark path, Democrats have shown us the way back to the light. I have faith that Americans will take it.  

Maria Cardona is a longtime Democratic strategist and co-chair of the Democratic National Committee's rules and bylaws committee for the party's 2020 convention. She is a principal at Dewey Square Group, a Washington-based political consulting agency, and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.