TIME

STRIFE OF THE PARTY

The Democrats’ debate will shape America’s future
Clockwise from top left: Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi

They are both Democrats: Joe Biden, the 76-year-old former Vice President, and Ilhan Omar, the 36-year-old freshman Congresswoman. An old white man, with blind spots on race and gender and a penchant for bipartisanship; a young Somali-American Muslim who sees compromise as complicity. To Biden, Donald Trump is an aberration; to Omar, he is a symptom of a deeper rot. One argues for a return to normality, while the other insists: Your normal has always been my oppression.

How to fit those two visions into one party is the question tying the Democrats in knots. What policies will the party champion? Which voters will it court? How will it speak to an angry and divided nation? While intraparty tussles are perennial in politics, this one comes against a unique backdrop: an unpopular, mendacious, norm-trampling President. As Democrats grilled Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, on July 24, their sense of urgency was evident.

The one thing Democrats agree on is that Trump needs to go, but even on the question

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