After the Republican National Convention makes history by nominating its first candidate with no prior political experience, the Democrats will make their own, much more expected leap into the present by nominating Hillary Clinton as both its first female nominee and the first spouse of a former president. This poses some interesting questions about what to call Bill should Hillary prevail in the general election, but that’s for another article. Taking their gathering to the site of another historic convention, Philadelphia, the city in which the constitution was written. As the DNC puts it, “With the birthplace of American Democracy as a backdrop, the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will highlight our shared Democratic values and help put the Democratic nominee on a path to victory.”
The Democratic Party’s official platform, which will be officially unveiled at the event, is full of hallmarks reflecting the influence of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon on the Democratic mainstream, giving the progressive caucus a mandate for progressive change as Hillary moves further left to incorporate thousands of new voices. Rep. Barbara Lee, who once co-chaired the progressive caucus, elaborated on this point in her statement on the platform meetings: “We were able to unite around many progressive issues including the need to make sure all Americans earn at least $15 an hour and can join a union; asking the wealthy pay their fair share through a multi-millionaire surtax; breaking up too big to fail financial institutions that pose a systemic risk to the stability of our economy; expanding social security; helping those in poverty, in part through an expansion of the earned income tax credit for childless workers and expanding the child tax credit to lift more children out of poverty; increasing resources for community health centers; declaring our opposition to the Hyde and Helms amendments which restrict women’s access to safe abortions at home and abroad; and abolishing the death penalty.
As the Democratic party continues to try on its newer, more progressive, post-Bernie clothes, the DNC will be its chance to show the world a solid, unified stance unlikely to come from Cleveland, where Donald Trump is still a more polarizing prospect than any candidate in recent memory. As Rep. lee once again puts the progressive stance of 2016’s Dems, “In a few weeks, we will go into our National Convention in Philadelphia with the most progressive Democratic Party platform in history. That is a testament to the progressive ideas both campaigns brought to the primary election, as well as years of hard work by progressive leaders and movements to champion these causes.” Whether all that championing will come to fruition will begin to be seen in Philly.