Conventional Democratic Party wisdom is that McGovern lost to Nixon because he was too liberal, and as a result of that belief, ever since that loss party insiders have trended steadily to the right. But if today’s measuring tools had been available, it would have been obvious no Democrat could win that year. So according to author and historian Joshua Mound, the party took all the wrong lessons from that election. There was a a prophetic element in McGovern’s message and the coalition was way ahead of its time. The irony is those same party insiders still push for the direction of our 2016 nominee who lost what should have been easy, whereas no Democrat had a chance in 1972. The wrong lessons were learned. Abandoning economic populism was a big mistake.