Sunday, January 16, 2005

A Summary: The Democratic Platform

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


Nick Speth said...

What's funny is that I can't disagree with any of these points, but the basic platforms are always written like that. For instance, if my platform was as follows:

"Everyone should be nicer to animals."

But my method of accieving these goals was the death penalty for anyone who was mean to a dog, you'd disagree with me in the specifics.

Same thing goes with this platform's treatment of the issue of the day, terrorism. Here's how the platform deals with it: 1) Better intelligence. 2) Stop funding. 3) some kind of amorphous statement that might infer military action (the "must be prevented" clause), but I'm not sure. 4) be nicer to everybody so they'll stop hating us.

I just can't get behind that. It's too weak and leaves too much to chance.

One thing I do agree with and I think the Republican party has been slow to react to is the AIDS crisis in Africa. America should ensure that medicine and supplies get to the people who need them without enriching dictators and warlords. Unfortunately that might mean we have to cut out the UN, but if America is seen as leading this fight, it might soften opinion of us in the world.

I'm also intrigued by the "Community of the Americas" idea, though I would more likely go for the Regional Security Councils at the UN idea so as to give these regional organizations some official weight.

Anyway, thanks Tara.

OXEN said...

"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."

Grab some popcorn and smash the video link on this one.


Oh and have you ever read these dem memos?

Nick Speth said...

I don't know about Tara, Oxen, but I have seen summaries of the memo's you cite, and to me that doesn't make me that upset. I mean it doesn't go that far beyond simple political strategey does it?

Having the US lead all disarmament negotiations is a fine idea, but not always possible. I wish we were dealing with Iran in a more productive way, but maybe we are. Check out this link:

it says we are conducting recon efforts in Iran to find neuclear sites for later bombing, but the pentagon has denied it, as you read here:

If you're interested, I've put my suggestion for a new multilateral world body (creatively called the "Ideal UN") on my site. You can follow this link to it.

I'd love your feedback.

OXEN said...

" I mean it doesn't go that far beyond simple political strategy does it? "

This goes much higher than "political strategy" IMO. Just look at pdf page 5 (of the full file) where it says to hold off UNTIL the Univ. of MI case is decided. That's more then strategy, that's manipulation.

I'll have more in awhile, I have to leave work in a few.

OXEN said...

Well we know the IAEA won't do anything on Iran, but I'm not to sure about SH's article.
Iran: IAEA Experts Can [only] Take Samples From [OUTSIDE] Military Site

Nick Speth said...

I'll hold off comment then until I've looked through the whole thing then, thanks.

OXEN said...

Now I'm not saying we aren't planing something for Iran, they need a MOAB or two in a few choice places, but sounds like the SH article is more like pap than truth.

And if we need to look at Iran's nuke site, check out here.

Tara A. Rowe said...

It seems you both are having a fine time analyzing my effort to summarize such a complex and lengthy platform. Let me just say one thing as I'm not very knowledable about Iran or nuclearn weapons, let me comment on the AIDS crisis in Africa. This is one of the ties that binds me to the Democratic Party. In 1985 when we had "hypodermics on the shores" and an AIDS/HIV crisis on our soil, no one, Republican or Democrat, shyed away from it. Africa is a whole other situation. 42 million people in the world are infeceted with HIV, 30 million are in sub-Saharan Africa. These are serious numbers that need addressing. We cannot shy away from this one. We have a duty to world humanity.

OXEN said...

Re: Aids in Africa.

Yeah, that's a huge problem and I'm sure the 15 Billion (that's billion w/ a "B") over the next 5, well 4 now, years that Pres. Bush signed into law [H.R. 1298] in 2003 will go a long way to help, if it's put to good use and not misappropriated by corrupt gov'ts over there.

I think one thing that needs to be tackled to help overcome AIDS over there is the complete lack of knowledge about it over there.

I mean did you know people over there think you can cure AIDS if you "have sex with a virgin"? No I'm not making that up. And I'm sure you can see how that would be a problem.

I do like the "ABC" plan that Uganda has. “ABC – Abstain, be faithful, condoms”

"Uganda reduced the HIV infection rate from 30 percent in the 1990s to only 6 percent last year [2003]."


nuclearn weapons?? Oh great something else to worry about!!


Nick Speth said...

Maybe we should stick to the Bush version "NUCULER" ha ha.

The ABC program is great, and ought to be taught all over including in the United States. But guess who doesn't want to talk about abstinence? Most of the AIDS lobby who are also quite often the gay lobby. Overall the problem in Africa needs to be addressed in the following ways:

1. Medicine for the infected.
2. Education to prevent further spread.
3. Here at home, continue the search for a cure.

OXEN said...

"Nuc-u-lar. It's pronounced nuc-u-lar." ~ Homer J. Simpson............

Tara A. Rowe said...

Nuclear...forgive me for not spell checking a comment. You two are wearing me out!