In some corners of the Internet, the hostilities that began during the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries appear to be as heated today as they were three years ago. That isn’t typical. The 2008 primaries, for example, were just as hard-fought—and at times nasty—but the animosity that simmered between Obama and Clinton supporters was largely forgotten by the time the general election was settled.
According to widely held conventional wisdom, this dynamic endures because the Sanders campaign exposed a serious ideological rift in the Democratic coalition between pragmatic, center-left Democrats and their more progressive rivals. Those who subscribe to this theory portray the conflict as a “battle for the heart and soul” of the party.