Democrats and Republicans have fielded their presidential tickets, setting up a no-holds-barred campaign heading toward the Nov. 3 election. Both parties made their nominations official at their national conventions which featured opposing views of the issues and the state of the country.

The Democrat ticket of Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris of California is very liberal although Biden sought to portray a more moderate stance in his acceptance speech at the convention. At 77 he would be the oldest president if elected, which he offset by choosing the 55-year-old Harris as his running mate, a rival for the nomination. Biden talked moderation while painting Republicans as creating “this season of darkness in America.” Biden promised to build a more inclusive country.

“If you trust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I’ll be an ally of the light, not the darkness. It’s time for us, for we the people, to come together,” he said. “Make no mistake, united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege.”

Michelle Obama, the former first lady, minced no words in her description of President Trump and his administration. She said: “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.” Obama warned: “If you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”

Aiming at undermining Trump’s conservative religious base, Democrats recently created “Believers for Biden” and featured religious services and prayers during the virtual convention in Milwaukee. Biden’s director of faith engagement, Josh Dickson, said: “The key religious issue of this election is systemic racism, and that’s something the vice president has talked about and continues to talk about because it’s very important to him — it’s important to voters of all faiths all around the country.”

At the Republican convention, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were nominated for a second term. Trump made several appearances at the convention in Charlotte in contrast to the virtual convention of Democrats in Milwaukee. Trump declared the only way he could lose in November would be if Democrats cheat. He said Democrats are trying to use the coronavirus pandemic and mail-in voting to “steal an election.”

At the scaled-down convention in Charlotte, Trump told delegates Democrat Biden would be bad for the country and Democrats are trying to use the coronavirus pandemic and mail-in voting to “steal an election.” He warned against voting by mail, saying it would lead to fraudulent results. “This is the greatest scam in the history of politics,” he said, arguing that absentee ballots would be sold, that operatives would go into neighborhoods to collect and cast unused ballots and that ballots wouldn’t be sent to Republican neighborhoods. “They’re trying to steal the election from the Republicans, just like they did last time with spying. The only way they can take this election from us is if it’s a rigged election.”

Trump said, “We’ve accomplished more during the first 3½ years than just about any administration in history,” citing his building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, appointing conservative federal judges, reworking trade deals and rebuilding the military, among other major accomplishments including tax relief and the lifting of numerous regulations impeding businesses and the economy.

The battle for the presidency is inarguably one of the most consequential elections in our history. It’s a stark choice and voters must choose wisely for the sake of the country.

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