2012 Platforms, Foreign Policy Knot

I needed to take a short break from the Platforms of 2012; the slog through ideology and rhetoric was depressing me. I felt as if the words of both parties were meaningless, stones rolled down from mountaintops gathering in the valleys below piled high enough none of us could pass through to the other side.

Honestly, I continue to try my damnedest to be even-handed as I look at the two Platforms. I am trying to find the good, the bad and the downright ugly in each; offering the words straight from the Platforms themselves and minimal commentary from yours truly. Admittedly, I take only a small cut from each, but I try to take what is relevant and can offer a true comparison, I provide the links to both of the platforms so you can read for yourselves the entire product of the unthinking minds of our political leaders.

I simply could not do the normal alignment with foreign policy. I was unable to place them side-by-side and contrast, there simply is not enough common ground on this issue. I recommend for those of you interested in looking at where the two parties stand, read for yourselves.

I have to tell ya’ll, this past week of idiocy, well it has just scraped my brain raw. I have felt as if I was standing in a room of evil imps and they were running their sharp nails down blackboards while playing Cat Scratch Fever on out of tune guitars.

DNC – The World

GOP – The World

Diplomacy and Foreign Relations  – Divine Providence & American Exceptionalism –
The Obama administration has moved away from Cold War thinking by reducing the prominence of nuclear weapons in America’s national security strategy, and it has urged others to do the same. As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to deter any adversary and guarantee the defense of our allies. A strong and effective strategic arsenal is still necessary as a deterrent against competitors like Russia or China. But the danger in this age of asymmetric or non-traditional warfare comes from other quarters as well. With unstable regimes in Iran and North Korea determined to develop nuclear-tippedmissiles capable of reaching the United States, with the possibility that a terrorist group could gain control of a nuclear weapon, it is folly to abandon a missile shield for the country.
The President and the Democratic Party understand that we have a special obligation to every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman who puts their life on the line for our nation. We must send them into harm’s way only when it’s absolutely necessary. When we do, we must ensure they have the equipment and the support that they need to get the job done. And we have to take care of our troops, their families, and our veterans when they come home.Eleven years of continuous military operations and repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched our forces and strained their families. Going forward, our troops will face fewer deployments, allowing them more time to train and ensuring that they are ready for the full range of missions they may have to face. We reject the use of the military as a platform for social experimentation and will not accept attempts to undermine military priorities and mission readiness.We support military women’s exemption from direct ground combat units and infantry battalions.We affirm the cultural values that encourage selfless service and superiority in battle, and we oppose anything which might divide or weaken team cohesion, including intra-military special interest demonstrations. We will support an objective and open-minded review of the current Administration’s management of military personnel policies and will correct problems with appropriate administrative, legal, or legislative action.

The spiritual welfare of our troops and retired service members should be a priority of our national leadership. With military suicides running at the rate of one a day, with post-service medical conditions, including addiction and mental illness, and with the financial stress and homelessness that is often related to these factors, there is an urgent need for the kind of counseling that faith-based institutions can best provide.We support rights of conscience and religious freedom for military chaplains and people of faith. A Republican Commander in Chief will protect religious independence of military chaplains and will not tolerate attempts to ban Bibles or religious symbols from military facilities. We will enforce and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Armed Forces as well as in the civilian world.

Frankly, the GOP has taken the opportunity to disparage the current administration and declare war on the world, any Platform statement that begins with American Exceptionalism and within the first paragraph continues with the following statement:

“While the twentieth century was undeniably an American century—with strong leadership, adherence to the principles of freedom and democracy our Founders’ enshrined in our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and a continued reliance on Divine Providence—the twenty-first century will be one of American greatness as well.”

Their diatribe begins on page 39 of their Platform. Nowhere within the Platform of the GOP is ending wars we have fought for a decade on the radar. The idea that our nation should impose a set of ‘values’ on the world, should continue a policy of Manifest Destiny in the Twenty-First century, has me shaking in my boots.

On the flip side of the Divine Providence – Chickenhawk strategy of the GOP, the DNC continues the Iron Fist inside the Velvet Glove, a policy that while imperfect has restored our reputation worldwide. The DNC Platform has specifics in most cases and strong words for those nations on the path of developing nuclear and biological weapons and nations that continue to harbor terrorists. Key though is the following statement;

America’s leadership extends beyond our economic prosperity and military might – it is also rooted in our enduring commitment to advancing a core set of universal values. These include an individual’s freedom to speak their mind, assemble without fear, have access to information, worship as they please, and choose their own leaders. They also include dignity, tolerance, and equality among all people, and the fair and equitable administration of justice. The United States was founded upon a belief in these values, and people of every race, region, and religion around the globe have claimed these principles as their own.”

The DNC Foreign Policy statement begins on page 21, there is a significant amount of information including specifics on our relationships with Iran, Russia, North Korea and China. The significant difference between the two platforms is the absolute lack of specifics by the GOP, other than the demand that all sovereign nations apply the same ‘moral’ rules and religious ‘freedoms’ of America (e.g. no abortion, limit marriage, freedom of Christianity). This is consistently found in the stated intent to withdraw support from NATO and the United Nations unless both reform to suitable standards consistent with the Republican moral platform, calling both corrupt (page 45).

This is important, I am going to keep repeating it…..the Platforms were voted on by those who were elected to attend the conventions, the delegates. These Platforms are what the national conventions agreed represent the principles of the party, all the candidates running under the party letter whether a big “R” or a big “D” and receiving money from that party agree to adhere to those principles.

I don’t buy everything on the DNC platform, never have. But this year, yeah this year I am voting a straight Democratic ticket for the first time in my adult life. I am voting for every single Democrat I can find, locally, at a state level and at a national level and yes for the President.

Be none of you Outrageous

Why? Because the GOP scares the Hell out of me.

Next? Taxes and last but not least, the social issues. Then back to the history of the platforms through the last 100 years.

How did we get here? How did it get this bad?

http://whitehouse12.com/republican-party-platform/

http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform#moving-america

Comments

  1. Fascinating the way you lay it all out. You’re right, they’re so different. I worry that the Republicans seem to make decisions based on another era, several decades back, instead of basing it on the real world as it is now. The fact that theirs doesn’t take into account the current war in Afghanistan speaks volumes. Thanks for spelling it out! Btw, I love how you list all the Race bloggers on this page. Very helpful and appreciated!

    • Thanks Monica! They are different, the platforms are strange beasts but as I say they are what each party and everyone agree to govern by it is why it is important as we go to the polls that we understand them. How each party views all the issues including the social issues is telling, I am taking that on last because the differences there are hard.

  2. That a way Val! Just use the official docs to show differences! … and much more than a tagline or a quote. 🙂

    • I tell you Frank, I have been combing these two documents for weeks now. My eyes are swimming, sometimes simply with tears. But the only way any of us can truly be informed is to read what the parties truly have to say they stand for. Not the words coming out of the candidates mouths, frankly they can say whatever they want to say, the Platforms are their statement of intent.

      In both cases there are things that I find problematic. But one clearly stands up better than the other, at least for me.

      Val

  3. Again – well done!! Thank you for trying to promote a civil discussion based on facts.

    • Thank you, this one was tougher to do. Less to work with frankly. I admittedly failed to keep my personal opinion out of the way on this one also. I think I will have a harder time with the next two as well.

      Boy, sometimes it is harder than others. But hopefully I can at least keep civility and facts of the platforms in front.

  4. As always, lots of good information. It’s nice to see side-by-side comparisons like that. I think whoever is president in the next few years, knowledge of international affairs and cultural sensitivity is crucial.

    By the way, thank you so much for your terrific Amazon review of my book! What a pleasant surprise today. You are the second ‘blogging buddy’ to leave a review, so as promised, I will send you a signed copy of the paperback when it’s out (about 3-4 weeks). If you’d like to have this, just email your address to me at carrierubin1@gmail.com. I promise to delete your address when done. It will not go on any lists! (I know I’m not a fan of giving out my address as well.) 🙂

    • Thanks, while I love the opportunity to do the research, actually dig into what they have said and try to compare them well this one was a tough one. I agree with you, diplomacy and at least some sensitivity will be crucial going forward. The world is becoming smaller and we as a nation are simply a cog, not the police and not the moral leaders.

      You are welcome Carrie. Your book was a pleasure to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

      • Let me know if you want a signed copy of the book. If I don’t receive an email from you, I’ll assume you’re graciously passing it on to the next reviewer. 🙂

  5. Spot. On. We’re screwed. *grin*

  6. Well done, Val. It is a difficult job, and I am so glad to read this from someone who takes the care you obviously did in doing it.

    How did we get here? I think it is the slippery slope that started in 1980. When Reagan convinced the world that “Government IS the Problem” and then made it reality.

    • So why have we not woken up yet? Surely by now this nation would have realized there was something wrong with that tone, that direction. Instead it just gets pushed further and further, building on a theme.

      • Because they are lying to folks who neither check for the truth nor call them on it when they lie.

        We have dumbed ourselves down to a frightening degree.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Val for comparing Democratic and Republican platforms: Foreign Policy, Taxes, and Social […]

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: