In 2004, I was among the first bloggers to be given a press pass to a major political convention. The speaker at our small “Blogger Breakfast” in a drab breakout meeting room was some guy named Barack Obama. Back then, I was a political blogger. It was a relief for me to ultimately switch to covering all news and exit the political screaming match. Faced with the Trump election, his subsequent dismantling of norms, decency, and America’s role in the world; along with the sad display by the lickspittle, power-hungry, obsequious sycophants who enable him, I reluctantly changed my course. And so, like everything else in America, including the air we breathe, NextDraft became political. On Wednesday night, a former president named Barack Obama validated my decision. Obama delivered the saddest, scariest, and most needed speech of his career, arguing that American democracy itself is stake. It’s distressing that Obama had to explain democracy at this point in our country’s history. But I’m glad he did. “This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism. They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter. That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all. We can’t let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy.” Here’s the full speech. Watch it. Last night, an American president warned that our very democracy is at risk. Any news outlet that led with anything else is doing you a disservice.

+ “I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman—all of five feet tall—who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California. On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words: I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America.” Kamala Harris Accepts Vice Presidential Nomination.