In August, Joe Biden addressed the Democratic National Convention as he accepted his party’s nomination to run for president. During his speech, Biden framed the election on November 3 as a battle for the “soul of America.” The former vice president depicted the urgency of the moment as he saw it: that the American people have a critical choice to make in an election that carries great social, political and economic implications.
However, Biden’s use of the word “soul” is not new to American political discourse, according to historian Jon Meacham. Behind Biden’s message is an appeal to euro-centric principles or certain traditions attempting to underscore the reality that the US political and economic system is broken — dividing people culturally and socially along the way. Biden claims our beliefs, values and political norms have been dismantled, corrupted and co-opted by those who either do not understand them, take them for granted or perhaps couldn’t care less about them for the sake of their interests.
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