It’s an old political ritual: Every four years, in the lead up to the U.S. political conventions, Democrats and Republicans debate amongst themselves the contents of their party platforms. The discussions garnered more attention than usual this year as Bernie Sanders tried to exert as much influence as he could, while Republicans crafted a platform that reflected Donald Trump’s views on trade and building a wall on the Mexican border.
For Declan Walsh, however, everything from the platforms to the funny hats delegates wear at the conventions was new. “Personally, I had never heard of the party platform,” he said. “I had never heard what that was. I had to have that explained to me.”