Rachel Lansperry

Biden and Harris are the democratic nominees. They are seeking to unite the democratic party and gain bipartisan support going into the 2020 election.

Mahalla Hynes, Reporter

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) aired Aug. 17 through Aug. 20, a little over half-way through an extremely tumultuous year and was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite COVID-19, the protests outside did not stop. The protests centered on criminal justice reform, racial equity, and police brutality.  All of which were driven by the Black Lives Matter movement that became a widespread movement after the death of George Floyd

The party platform reflected some of the protestors’ concerns as they focused on criminal justice, healthcare, and the environment. The convention nominations did not bring many surprises, as Joe Biden was the only primary candidate left and had already chosen his running mate, Kamala Harris, a former California Senator, and state attorney general. Harris’s historical nomination establishes her as the first black woman and person of Indian descent to be nominated on a national ticket for the democratic party. 

Bipartisanship also played a significant role, as Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all came in support of Biden. However, even with this bipartisanship progression, both parties fail to exhibit full unity. Despite this, party leaders made unity their rally cry throughout the weekend.

Party leaders attempted to portray unity in their speeches, but the truth is, they are holding together a deeply fractured coalition. The progressive side, led by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who gained plenty of support from younger voters during the Democratic primary and the youngest Congressperson and co-creator of the Green New Deal, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Additionally, The moderate wing is led by Democratic Nominee and former Vice President, Joe Biden, and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). 

The division of the Democratic party went wholly ignored by most top party officials going into the 2020 election but was recognized in both Senator Sanders and Cortez’s nominating speeches during the DNC. Cortez voiced her support for Sanders by seconding his nomination and Sanders congratulated his supporters, emphasizing the importance of this election and Democratic unity. Sanders predicted that the outcome of this election will shape the U.S. tremendously and emphasized the importance of bipartisanship not just between Democrats and Republicans, but between progressive and moderate Democrats. Some supporters see Biden’s decisions to incorporate more progressive policies into his campaign as a step in the right direction toward party unity. 

Sophomore, Peter Kyriacou, said, “I am not sure if it is possible to encompass everyone’s beliefs, but the two wings can and have been working together, especially in the general election campaign.”

Going forward, progressives becoming more established in party leadership, might become the new party norm. Unity between progressives and moderates in Biden’s campaign will be an essential element in the election and more generally, passing future legislation. 

The current two-party system concentrates political belief into two parties: the Democrats and the Republicans. However, with an abundance of opinions and beliefs, it is difficult as a Presidential Candidate to please everyone.

“I don’t think any party could ever please everyone. That’s the point of a party; their views are concentrated around central themes.” IB senior, Mallika Satish.

Still, so much is to be seen in this historic election. This year’s DNC proved that the democratic party could effectively align themselves as a united force driven by their shared hope in winning the 2020 election.