After a century, the Democratic Party has come full circle ideologically.
On July 9, 1896, a young former congressman from Nebraska named William Jennings Bryan addressed a badly divided Democratic National Convention in Chicago. At issue was whether to continue embracing the gold standard favored by the incumbent conservative Democratic president, Grover Cleveland, or to flood the economy with silver dollars at a ratio to gold of 16 to 1.
Bryan orally threw down the gauntlet before the monied Eastern interests of the day and electrified the delegates with one of the most celebrated speeches in U.S. political history.
"Having behind us the producing masses …