The Republican and Democratic conventions have been a study in contrasts: A parade of C-list celebrities, aggrieved whites, and Donald Trump offspring stirring up race panic in Cleveland, versus an inclusive array of optimists, and a dream-team of surrogates in Philadelphia, all of whom will barnstorm the country for Hillary Clinton in the fall. 

But the backdrop of the Democrats’ festivities wasn’t nearly so sunny. The convention was beset by protests. Hacked emails showing party officials aligned against Bernie Sanders fueled the discontent. Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as party chairMeanwhile, more and more evidence points to a troubling financial and political relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russian oligarchy, including broad consensus that the people who stole the DNC emails were Russian security and intelligence officials. The same ones Trump pleaded with on Wednesday to conduct espionage against the Democratic Party and the U.S. government, on his behalf.

Alex Wagner, senior editor at The Atlantic, has been on hand for both conventions. She has written most recently about the Democratic Party divide and calls in from the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to discuss all of it. 

Further Reading:

  • In The Atlantic, Alex Wagner explores whether Bernie Sanders’ activist base will try to change the party from within, and wonders whether the GOP’s “treasonous patriots” will be viewed as traitors or heroes in the aftermath of Trump.
  • In the New Republic, Brian Beutler argues that Barack Obama is betting on Democrats to do no less than save American democracy again, and thinks Ted Cruz is making a similar bet.