Dem debate shows the party's the most progressive it's been 'since the heyday of the Great Society': historian
Photo portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office

Wednesday night's Democratic primary debate featured bold calls to support Medicare for All and reforming immigration laws -- and historian Michael Kazin believes it shows the party is returning to the kind of bold progressive agenda that defined the party for decades until its turn to the right in the 1970s.


As part of Politico's symposium on reactions to the debate, Kazin argues that the Democrats who took the stage this week are significantly more progressive than they've been since "the heyday of the Great Society" in the 1960s.

"On every major domestic issue -- from health care to climate change to gun control to immigration to regulating corporate power -- all 10 candidates took stands that would gladden the hearts of most progressive activists," writes Kazin, who is a professor of history at Georgetown University. "Only on foreign policy did some depart from the non-interventionist views of most on the Democratic left."

Kazin goes on to discuss some of the style differences between the candidates, but he believes that most of them were substantively on the same page.

"The most important takeaway from last night is that, for 2020 at least, the leftward tilt of the party is here to stay," he concludes.