While the measure to include gays rights in the platform failed that year, McGovern stated that he considered it a civil rights issue, a first for a presidential candidate. Barriers are never broken all at once, but as with the journey from Smith to Kennedy, they require the work of pioneers who fail to win, but clear a path nonetheless. Bryan is also remembered for a less favorable reason: He was the evolution-denying prosecutor in the famous Scopes Trial. But there are also things Clinton did right, which any future progressive politician would do well to imitate. Sooner or later, America will have a female president, and she will be properly grateful to Clinton for helping clear the path.
She refused to be bullied by sexist opponents.
Goldwater initiated the takeover of the Republican Party by the conservative movement, and pioneered the use of racist dog whistles that have characterized Republican politics to this day. Faye Wattleton, former president of Planned Parenthood, made this very argument before Hillary Clinton had announced her first bid for president. In her run, Clinton had been reluctant to emphasize her pathbreaking role. The white ethnic voters Smith brought into the fold became the mainstay of the party with the victory of Franklin Roosevelt in , and they stayed loyal for decades to come.