What does a delegate to the Democratic National Convention read on the journey there, as I ride coach with Gov. John Hickenlooper
? I’m reading The Summer of 1787
by David O. Stewart, which chronicles the Constitutional Convention 229 years ago, when delegates sweltered for four months in the Philadelphia summer of 1787.
That convention, marred by controversy and mired in conflict, brought forth one of most revolutionary results in the history of human government.
The 2016 DNC will be four sweltering days in length, but so far it appears to be taking on the tenor of the Convention of 1787. The divisions then were over the power of the large states and the small states, checks and balances that formed the foundation of our republic and the existence of slavery in a country founded on the principle of freedom.
As in 1787, Democrats meet now as a divided body. We will be grappling with issues about how to structure the Democratic Party moving forward, the planks of our platform and, of course, nominating the Democratic candidate for president of the United States.
Speculation, intrigue and threats of a walkout were rampant in 1787, and Democrats this year will be dealing with Wikileaks, media talking heads and threats of a walkout.
As in 1787, there will be many opportunities for socializing with our fellow delegates, beginning Sunday night at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and continuing with breakfasts, luncheons and parties throughout the week.
There are some differences. In 1787, delegates suffered without air conditioning or cheesesteaks, although the madeira was outstanding and without GMOs.
Business starts at 8 a.m. Eastern time Monday with a breakfast address to the Colorado delegation by Congressman Keith Ellison
of Minnesota and an afternoon meeting for us Sanders delegates with Bernie. Gavel down on the main event is 4 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. Colorado time).
I’m just hoping we come out of Philly with a result that honors the convention that preceded us and brings our country together.