There is a belief that in order to have a strong political party there must be strong, informed, and active participation. Informed participation consists on many levels, but the most essential to a strong political party is each individual member’s familiarity with that party’s platform. Having read various platforms composed at various times throughout this party’s history, I have chosen to base these comments on the 2004 Democratic National Platform for America as approved by the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The Democratic Party believes:
In regard to defeating terrorism -- intelligence must be improved to find and stop terrorists, terrorist funds must be cut off, Afghanistan and other nations must be prevented from becoming havens for terrorists, and public diplomacy must be increased to promote understanding and prevent terrorist recruitment.
In regard to keeping WMDs out of the hands of terrorists -- America must be protected from attack at all costs, existing nuclear weapons must be locked away, the creation of new nuclear material for nuclear weapons must be stopped, and international efforts to shut down nuclear efforts in North Korea, Iran, and elsewhere must be led by America.
In regard to promoting democracy, peace, and security – peace in Iraq must be won, all possible resources must be used to fight the AIDS/HIV epidemic in Africa, strong alliances must be rebuilt with our neighbors across the Atlantic in the European Union, NATO must remain strong, a Community of the Americas must be established with our regional neighbors, Israel must be secure and protected, full implementation of the Belfast Agreement in N. Ireland must be achieved, vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear material must be secured in Russia, global health challenges must be addressed, American economic power must be used to extend security and prosperity around the world, and America’s foreign affairs community must be supported so that they may promote our values around the world.
In regard to the economy – manufacturing must be reinvigorated, tax reform must be attained to create jobs, free and fair trade must be in place, our transportation system must be enhanced, small businesses must be promoted, fiscal relief must exist in a time of economic downturn, free markets and honest competition must be apparent, and workers require protection and education.
In regard to health care – the children’s health program created under President Clinton must be expanded, Medicare must be protected and prescription costs must be cut to aid the growing number of seniors in this country, science and technology require our heavy investment so that they may appropriately combat disease, and veterans must be honored.
In regard to education – high achievement must be secured for every child in America by offering high quality learning environments and opportunities, great teachers, acceptable schools, appropriate funding for No Child Left Behind, and affordable avenues for higher education.
In regard to the environment – we seek clean air, clean water, and healthier communities through the protection of public lands and an international leadership to protect the global environment.
The Democratic Party commits to honoring the equality established in Brown v. the Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by ensuring equal opportunity for all to reach full potential. The Democratic Party seeks to defend the dignity of Americans and stands proudly for the woman’s right to choose. The Democratic Party stands firmly against hate crimes and strongly supports a national law to punish such crimes. “We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for their families.” The Democratic Party honors the tradition of equal justice under the law, encourages democracy, supports full self-government for the people of Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands, honors the sovereignty of American Indians, and honors the “central place of faith in the lives of our people.”
This is obviously merely a summary of the Democratic Party’s strongest beliefs as addressed in the platform. A complete version of the platform is available here or can be found at Democrats.org.