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President Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination for re-election on Thursday, telling the Democratic National Convention and Americans that only the voters in November have the power to secure the change he started.

In a tough speech that sounded now-familiar themes of his campaign, the president sought to show his supporters that their votes for him four years ago brought achievements that would be wiped out if Republican challenger Mitt Romney wins the election two months away.

“If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible, well, change will not happen,” Obama said, depicting a scenario in which special interests and conservative politicians run Washington and the country. “… Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen. Only you have the power to move us forward.”

Acknowledging the nation’s hope has been tested since he first addressed the party conclave in 2004 as the keynote speaker, Obama urged Americans to look beyond the “trivial” nature of election campaigns to fully grasp the magnitude of the election.

“When all is said and done — when you pick up that ballot to vote — you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation,” he said. “Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace — decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come.”

It is more than a choice between two candidates or parties, he said, calling it “a choice between two different paths for America, a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.”

The Romney campaign responded by saying Obama continued to offer polices that haven’t worked under his presidency, which has seen high unemployment, a sluggish economic recovery and rising federal deficits and debt.

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