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Hillary Clinton gives optimistic view of America during acceptance speech

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Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to the audience at the Democratic National Convention. (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)

By Monique Jones

The Birmingham Times

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to the audience at the Democratic National Convention. (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to the audience at the Democratic National Convention. (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)

In Hillary Clinton’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president, she used Republicans’ most favorite president against them. “[Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has] taken the Republican Party a long way,” she said, “…from ‘Morning in America’ to ‘Midnight in America.'”

Clinton’s acceptance speech Thursday night came after a litany of powerful speakers, such as Khizr Khan, the father of slain U.S. Captain Humayun Khan, who questioned Trump’s knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and his patriotism, and Reverend Dr. William Barber II, President of the North Carolina NAACP, who said “…The heart of our democracy is on the line this November and beyond…We are being called, like our foremothers and fathers, to be the moral defibrillator of our time.”

Khan and Barber’s messages of togetherness and urgency were echoed in Clinton’s speech. “America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees,” she said. “It is truly up to us. We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together.”

Clinton also stressed the difference between the tone of her campaign and Trump’s vision of America. “He wants to divide us — from the rest of the world, and from each other,” she said. “He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise…He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.” She asserted America’s strength and independence. “…[D]on’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak. We’re not,” she said. “Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes. We do. And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: ‘I alone can fix it.'”

Clinton’s own nomination was used as a way to show how she was better able to recognize America’s possibilities than her opponent. “Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect Union: The first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president. Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come,” she said. “…when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”

Once again, however, Clinton tempered her optimism with urgency. “…[W]e begin a new chapter tonight,” she said. “Yes, the world is watching what we do. Yes, America’s destiny is ours to choose. So let’s be stronger together.”