First, while I am looking through the lens of history at the two parties that shape our political conversation every four years, it is the Silly Season and both have now released their official Platforms. It would be remiss of me if I completely ignored this event, stuck my fingers in my ears and shuttered my eyes pretending the Platforms of the parties did not matter today. Some would have you believe they do not, but in fact, the Platforms do matter, they matter a great deal. The Candidates shape the platforms along with party leadership, these statements of purpose and intent define Philosophy and how the Candidate, Presidential and others intend to govern the nation if elected.
Ignoring the meat and potatoes of the Party Platforms is a mistake, one that we cannot afford to make as citizens. Let me just say this year, more so than many years I have read thus far the two parties spent much of their time taking swipes at the other side within the context of building their own argument, it was a bit disconcerting. I believe this quote is perfect for the season:
“People never lie so much as before an election, during a war, or after a hunt.”
― Otto von Bismarck
Are both sides in the game liars? Sure they are. I can honestly say I am disappointed in some of the DNC Platform this year, not entirely because of what is there but rather in some cases because of what isn’t there. I am also extremely disappointed the DNC used their opportunity to communicate their roadmap for the future to ‘Bash’ the opposition. I want to know, from both sides, what are your plans and how will you govern in black and white! I don’t care what you think of the other side; in fact, I already have a good idea of what you think of them by now, just tell me what you will do differently.
This being said, let’s take a walk on the wild side, shall we?
|Immigration: Democrats know there is broad consensus to repair that system and strengthen our economy, and that the country urgently needs comprehensive immigration reform that brings undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and requires them to get right with the law, learn English, and pay taxes in order to get on a path to earn citizenship. We need an immigration reform that creates a system for allocating visas that meets our economic needs, keeps families together, and enforces the law.||Immigration: State efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked. The pending Department of Justice lawsuits against Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and Utah must be dismissed immediately. The double-layered fencing on the border that was enacted by Congress in 2006, but never completed, must finally be built. In order to restore the rule of law, federal funding should be denied to sanctuary cities that violate federal law and endanger their own citizens, and federal funding should be denied to universities that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, in open defiance of federal law.|
|There is of course more on both sides. The DNC has pushed for the Dream Act for young people brought to the US as children, the GOP rejects out of hand and under all circumstances the Dream Act calling even these children criminals. In 2008 the RNC position on H1B Visa’s was to increase the numbers, further. Both sides continue to support this position while Americans continue to be unemployed or underemployed in key white-collar fields.|
|Veterans: continue to prioritize support for wounded warriors, mental health, and the well-being of our military families and veterans. We will keep working to give our veterans the health care, benefits, education, and job opportunities that they have earned. That’s why the President and the Democratic Party supported the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to provide opportunities for military personnel, veterans, and their families to get a better education. That’s why the President has launched partnerships with the private sector to help veterans transfer their experience into skilled manufacturing jobs, and why the President has proposed a new Veterans Jobs Corps to put veterans to work as first responders. That’s why the President signed an executive order making it harder for for-profit colleges to prey on veterans. That’s why we enacted the Returning Heroes Tax Credit and the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit to give companies incentives to hire vets.||Veterans: is essential to meet our obligations to them: providing health, education, disability, survivor, and home loan benefit services and arranging memorial services upon death. All its branches in those various fields must be made more responsive, moving from an adversarial to an advocacy relationship with veterans. To that end we will consider a fundamental change in structure to make the regional directors of the Department presidential appointees rather than careerists.We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to returning members of our Armed Forces who have had representatives appointed to manage their financial affairs|
|Both the GOP and DNC have peppered this section with platitudes. The GOP do not recognize that many of the programs they support have already been enacted. Unfortunately, much of the discussion by the GOP in their Troop support and Veteran support was a Faith based such as the discussion of their support of DOMA, which can be found in great detail elsewhere in the Platform. The GOP in their Platform is against the Veteran Jobs Corps, though this is buried in a very long paragraph, along with their support of the proposed Tax Credit incentives for hiring Veterans.|
|Civil Rights We are committed to protecting all communities from violence. We are committed to ending racial, ethnic, and religious profiling and requiring federal, state, and local enforcement agencies to take steps to eliminate the practice, and we continue to support enforcement of Title VI.We are committed to equal opportunity for all Americans and to making sure that every American is treated equally under the law. We are committed to ensuring full equality for women: we reaffirm our support for the Equal Rights Amendment, recommit to enforcing Title IX, support the Paycheck Fairness Act, and will urge ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.||Civil Rights Nothing within the platform|
|Health Care We remain committed to eliminating disparities in health and will continue to make sure families have access to mental health and substance abuse services. We will strengthen Medicaid and oppose efforts to block grant the program, slash its funding, and leave millions more without health insurance. We will continue to invest in our public health infrastructure – ensuring that we are able to respond to emergencies and support community-based efforts to prevent disease.||Health Care
Well that is it for today; I thought those were some fun highlights. Tomorrow I am going to take on some of the economic issues within both platforms. Both the DNC and the GOP are rhetoric heavy and rather light on facts, figures and just plain bottom line. I have slogged through both of their Platforms countless times now, some of it makes me weep, some makes me so angry I could spit nails into concrete.
Anyone who reads me regularly knows where my heart lies; I seem unable to hide my light under a rock. I am an old hippie at heart, a social liberal to my last poor aging bone. I suppose the difference between me and many of
my contemporaries who sorta made it, meaning who learned how to earn a dollar instead of a dime; my personal ethos didn’t change with the adjustment in my income level and tax bracket. I haven’t forgotten where I came from; I haven’t forgotten my personal struggles or those who reached out to help me when I was at my lowest, those who held the door open so I could walk through and achieve my dreams. Perhaps my struggles are why I remain so very much committed to the American Dream being a real Dream for all of us.
I swore I would remain pragmatic and fair in my reading of the Platforms. I am trying my best to do so, the tax and economic issues are tough though. Let us all hope I can keep my cool.