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Reforming Democracy in the Age of Trump

On November 10, Miles Rapoport sat down with Bob Herbert's Op-Ed.TV to discuss what led to Donald Trump's victory, what it means for voting rights and money in politics, and how democracy reformers should respond. Rapoport is a long-time democracy advocate who served as secretary of state in Connecticut, and president of both Demos and Common Cause, as well as a member of The American Prospect's board. His most recent feature, "From a Contentious Election to a Stronger Democracy" appeared in the Prospect's Fall 2016 issue. 

Dispatches From Philadelphia

Our final installment from inside and outside the 2016 Democratic National Convention. 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Democratic vice presidential candidate, Senator Tim Kaine, right, stand on stage during the fourth day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 28, 2016. HAROLD MEYERSON The Three Powerful Messages of the Democratic Convention T he Democrats left Philadelphia last night after a generally successful convention that conveyed three messages. The first was simply that we are, as the campaign says ad nauseum, stronger together, and that Donald Trump’s efforts to pull us apart will—well, pull us apart. No convention has ever emphasized tolerance and equality—and the costs of intolerance and the denial of rights—like this one. None ever featured so prominently every minority or out-group. In the first two hours (4 to 6 p.m. Eastern time) of Thursday’s session, more than 25 speakers came to the podium, not one of them a straight white male. The most devastatingly effective of...

Dispatches From Philadelphia: Day 4

Day 4 of the Prospect's ongoing coverage from inside and outside the 2016 Democratic National Convention. 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave as they appear on stage together on the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. HAROLD MEYERSON O bama Confronts Trump's Shaky Grasp of Democracy O ne of the shorthand characterizations of our two political parties that has long had some truth to it has been that the Democrats are the mommy party, and the Republicans, the daddy party. This year, if the two parties’ conventions are any indication, those characterizations have become understatements. The Republicans under Donald Trump have become the swaggering macho bluster party, while the Democrats have become the take-care-of-the-children-and-don’t-bring-that-damned-gun-into-my-house party. If you’ve watched the entire Democratic convention so far, and not just the big late-hour speeches, you’ve seen a constant drumbeat about Hillary the mom, the children’s advocate, the...

Dispatches From Philadelphia: Day 3

Day 3 of the Prospect's ongoing coverage from inside and outside the 2016 Democratic National Convention. 

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
AP Photo/Matt Rourke Illinois delegate Sunil Puri and supporter Jon Pyatt cheer during the second day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. HAROLD MEYERSON Bill Clinton Wins Hearts and Minds B ill Clinton addressed a Democratic Party last night that was no longer the party he led 20 years ago, but such are his political skills that he had no trouble winning its heart and—the tricky part—its head. The heart stuff came easy. The major part of Clinton’s mission was to humanize Hillary, who, he noted rightly, has become a cartoon figure to millions of Americans. The head stuff required convincing Americans, and Bernie Sanders supporters in particular, that Hillary was, as Bill put it, “a change maker.” And so his speech ambled down two parallel tracks: Hillary the mom and Hillary the operational wonk rotated in and out of Bill’s account. The kind of change-maker Bill described, accurately, is incremental, pragmatic, tactically brilliant...

Dispatches From Philadelphia: Day 2

The Prospect's ongoing coverage from inside and outside the 2016 Democratic National Convention. 

Anthony Behar/Sipa via AP Images
Anthony Behar/Sipa via AP Images Bernie Sanders addresses delegates on the first day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, on July 25, 2016. RACHEL M. COHEN Education Reform Democrats Look Ahead to Life After Obama L ately on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has been talking about how she wants to end the “so-called education wars.” The Democratic presidential nominee wants to see the factionalism among education groups end and instead see new coalitions form to advance policies that all can agree on. Clinton took this message on the road to the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers conferences earlier this month, and her campaign proffered another education olive branch to the Democrats for Education Reform on Monday in downtown Philadelphia. Virtually every speaker lauded President Obama’s education legacy, highlighting his support for charter schools and test-based accountability at the...

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