POINT OF VIEW

No crowds, but that didn't stop us from making history

Posted

We would like to thank the voters of our community for overwhelmingly electing us to represent them at the Democratic National Convention as delegates committed to Joe Biden.

We decided in late 2019 that Joe Biden offered the United States the best opportunity to defeat Trump and change the direction of our beloved country. We only learned later that this included the disastrous policies that have exacerbated the worst pandemic in more than a century, and the worst economic crash since the Great Depression.

The Biden campaign chose us to be part of its eight-person slate in our congressional district. We got to work by canvassing for Vice President Biden and, along with volunteers, collecting the signatures of Democrats necessary to get on the ballot. Of course, we had no way to know in January that Joe Biden would emerge as the nominee, but we believed he was the best candidate on the issues, and the strongest candidate.

We were very excited at the possibility of representing our neighbors and going to the convention, scheduled to be held in Milwaukee. Having been to conventions before — we have each attended seven Democratic National Conventions — we knew that conventions provide an opportunity to meet political activists from throughout the country.

It’s an event that allows us to exchange ideas, to learn and to advocate. The various meetings and caucuses that take place can be invaluable. Weighing in on the party platform gives us — and our community — the chance to have input.

By April, it was pretty clear to us that we would not be going to Milwaukee, although the in-person convention wasn’t canceled until much later. Was this cancellation of the in-person convention — where 20,000 people would gather in one place in the midst of the pandemic — the end of a great American tradition? Or was this a one-off decision, and we can expect conventions again in 2024?

And we learned this year that, in the future, many people can participate remotely and still be part of it.

Either way, we think the Democrats hit a home run. In fact, a grand slam.

It was not only the amazing speeches from Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton, and Dr. Jill Biden. It was also the speeches from everyday Americans, such as the young woman who lost her father to COVID-19 at age 65 and said that his only pre-existing condition was Donald Trump. Or the heartbreaking story of a little girl whose father bravely served the USA in the military, but whose undocumented mother was torn from them and deported.

There were so many stories from our sister and brother Americans who are suffering under the most malicious, incompetent, corrupt and dictatorial president in the history of the republic.

We are thrilled that a broad-based coalition has united behind the historic Biden-Harris ticket — from the left wing of the party, to independents, to current and former Republicans. President Obama spelled out clearly: The future of our democracy is at stake.

He is right. As true blue Democrats, we were very unhappy with the elections of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. But they never attempted to sabotage an election, connive with the Russian dictator to steal an election, or refuse to commit to leaving office quietly — a hallmark of our democratic system — if and when he loses.

Every four years, people say this is the most important election in our lifetime. This year, it is really true because the future of our democracy depends on it.

So, are we disappointed that an in-person convention didn’t take place? Of course we are. But we had so many conversations and exchanges of ideas, and we know that countless Americans were inspired by the proceedings on television, which after all is how most people see the conventions anyway.

So we are proud to have played a small part in nominating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in this unique convention, and we look forward to working with our neighbors to electing them and saving our democracy.

Both authors were Biden delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Dinowitz is a state Assemblyman while Morik is a vice president of government and community affairs at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

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