On Monday, voters across the country will tune in to a Democratic National Convention unlike any in modern history. Party leaders hope their four-day, all-digital festival will energize Americans to repeat the 2018 “Blue Wave” that returned the House to Democratic control. But how will they do that when 2018’s progressive rising stars are invisible on our biggest national stage?
Organizing a political convention means mastering the art of making the right enemies. There are only a handful of prime speaking positions, and that means bruising fragile political egos. Managing a convention also means understanding how the Democratic Party has changed in the traumatic four years since 2016, a task party image-makers either don’t acknowledge or refuse to appreciate.
The House Class of 2018 is a great example. Just two years ago Democrats ended Republican control of Congress in a blowout victory driven by record turnout among women and minority voters. Nowhere was that as apparent as Nevada, which now boasts an all-female U.S. Senate delegation as well as America’s first majority-female state legislature. The 2018 election elevated the then-unknown Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to national celebrity. It gave us The Squad, Rep. Katie Porter, and made possible ambitious policy proposals like the Green New Deal.