Vice President Biden rocked Netroots Nation on Thursday by enumerating progressive values in order to show the activists why their country needs them. Netroots is the largest gathering of progressives in the country.
“I believe that we are at an inflection point, we have probably reached this point in our history 3-4 times. Inflection point is you’re riding down highway – you can never get back on the path you were on. Things are going to change… because the world is changes. What are we going to do? Our hands are on the wheel. We get a chance to bend history just a little bit. And there are fundamental changes taking places. What are the fundamental organizing principles that this country is built.”
“Let me tell you what I think those organizing principles are – equal rights for all Americans, that includes the right to choose, includes the right to marry whomever you love, everybody in LGBT be treated equally, that’s why we have to pass ENDA- no one should ever have the right to dismiss someone because of their sex orientation- it also includes my granddaughters are given the opportunities my sons and grandsons are given because they are capable of everything and I mean everything, without exception.”
“I believe… the abuse of power is the worst sin that can be committed. And the cardinal sin is for a man to raise his hand to a woman. No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman under any circumstances except self-defense.” The crowd roared. “And that’s why I’ve moved on this bill on sexual assault on campuses.”
Interrupted by a group chanting “Stop deporting our families” in the middle of his impassioned section about women rights and ending violence against women, Biden was unable to continue. The crowd clapped for the protesters.
Biden asked them to take the issues one at a time, but they continued until they were escorted out. Instead of getting upset, the Vice President joined the clapping audience and said, “We should clap for them.”
Biden moved forward in his speech to address the Republican attack on voting rights, “The most precious right we possess is unfettered access to ballot box.” He discussed the importance of paying workers a fair wage, and the value of workers.
The Vice President talked about how important it is to come to a consensus, and how Democrats need to not return in kind. He explained, “The opposition knows that the American people agree with us on policy… The best way for those who oppose our progressive views is to convince the American people that we’re all venal, that Washington is broken. Who does that hurt? The elite don’t walk away because they understand the consequence of government. We can debate without being demeaning. We should not question to the flawed reasoning of our opponents without questioning their motives…”
Biden exploded, “America is not divided, politics has divided the American people!”
Winding down, Biden quietly told the crowd, “I’m here to say just one thing, we need you, I need you, the country needs you.” He closed with, “Never bet against America, it’s never a good bet.”