Biden Offers Vision of Strong Middle Class Central to “America’s Promise” in DNC’s Final Night

By Cathalijne Adams
YouTube

Biden called for a future that is “Made in America.”

In the concluding night of a historic virtual convention, the Democratic National Convention’s (DNC) schedule was jampacked with former vice presidential possibles and one-time opponents. Ending with an optimistic speech from Joe Biden, the former vice president formally accepted the Democratic nomination on Thursday and offered his vision for America’s path forward, with a focus on fortifying a path to the middle-class through union jobs.

One of the clear objectives of the night was to emphasize Biden’s working-class origins and his understanding of the value and dignity of work, emotionally bolstering his economic policies, which include a $2 trillion New Deal-style infrastructure plan.

Ahead of Biden’s formal speech, which served as the DNC’s finale, he spoke with union workers from various industries and within public service, including General Motors Gerald Lang and International Brothers of Electrical Workers Journeyman Wireman Rob Bair.

In keeping with the night’s theme of “America’s Promise,” Biden offered a message of optimism for the workers.

“The future of autoworkers America, and I really believe this, can be as bright as it was back in the late '40s, '50s,” Biden said. “Simple reason—it’s an iconic industry. It’s an American industry. We made it.”

Prefacing Biden’s nomination acceptance speech, a biographic video underscored his economic credentials, narrating his working-class origins to his role in the economic recovery in the Obama administration.

In an acceptance speech that framed Biden’s campaign as a fight for “the soul of America,” Biden espoused that winning the election meant “winning it for the workers who keep this country going, not just the privileged few at the top.”

Biden credited his father’s lessons on the value of work as the foundational philosophy for his approach to America’s recovery from the current economic crisis, which has left tens of millions unemployed.

“That’s why my economic plan is all about jobs, dignity, respect, and community,” the former vice president said. “Together, we can, and we will, rebuild our economy. And when we do, we’ll not only build it back, we’ll build it back better.”

“With modern roads, bridges, highways, broadband, ports and airports as a new foundation for economic growth. With pipes that transport clean water to every community. With 5 million new manufacturing and technology jobs so the future is made in America.”

Biden also cited the importance of strengthening domestic manufacturing as a critical component of the COVID-19 public health response in America, alluding to an effort to counter China’s dominance of the global supply chain.

“We'll make the medical supplies and protective equipment our country needs,” Biden said. “And we'll make them here in America. So we will never again be at the mercy of China and other foreign countries in order to protect our own people.”

Additionally, Biden’s proposed manufacturing policy would dedicate $400 billion to a Buy America procurement program and $300 billion to next-generation industrial technology research and development.

In the backdrop of this final night of the DNC, President Donald Trump attempted to validate his economic bonafides. Hours before Biden’s acceptance speech, Trump spoke at an in-person campaign event in Scranton, Pa., the birthplace city that figures largely in Biden’s narrative of his working-class upbringing. Trump’s speech largely focused on attacking Biden’s working-class credentials and Biden’s support of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Paris Climate Accord.

Meanwhile, the enmity that Trump inspired in calling for a boycott of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, based on the accusation that the company prohibited expressions of political support for any political party in its facilities, sparked significant pushback during a rally in Akron, Ohio. The event was attended by politicians and workers.   

Stay tuned next week for the Republican National Convention’s response to the DNC’s indictment of Trump and roadmap for America’s future.