A great deal has been said about the RNC’s platform when its contents were leaked last week especially in light of Todd Akin’s comments about rape and the influence of the Tea Party and social conservatives on the Republican Party. Conversely, the DNC’s platform has not received as much press but will likely focus on social issues such as same-sex marriage and immigration reform. In the past, these platforms received very little attention but this year is different due to the reemergence of the ‘culture wars’ and the Democrats push to focus on social issues, especially around a woman’s reproductive rights. Republican strategist Mike Murphy downplayed the significance of party platforms during Meet The Press on August 26th. True, party platforms are usually an amalgamation of ideas to satisfy the “The Big Tent” of the party, they also provide insight into the party leaders’ vision. But that vision provides necessary insight into the beliefs of the party, its theories, and its culture; and thus they shouldn’t be taken as simple lip service.
I am an independent, or as Arizona calls me ‘non-aligned’ though admittedly I vote for Democrats much more often that Republicans. Grouch Marx famously said “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Nonetheless, I figured its convention season and why not issue a Diggapendent Platform. Here she goes:
- We strongly support regulation and environmental protection.
- We believe Wall Street is necessary to build capital markets and private enterprise but it has lost its way over the last 20 years as it abandoned its real purpose. Thusly empowered regulators must shine light on the business. We call for an increase in capital requirement, a decrease in leverage, and derivative trading to be performed on exchanges.
- We are very liberal on social issues, including same-sex marriage and the commensurate rights, defense of Roe v. Wade, and equal pay.
- We have no interest in anyone else’s religious beliefs or absence of beliefs unless said beliefs move from the public square to public policy.
- We support the use of diplomacy rather than force and must avoid unilateral actions like the Iraq War.
- We support the exploration and drilling of natural gas and oil reserves on public and private land under safety and environmental regulations based on the scientific method.
- We believe in an all of the above approach to energy including fossil fuels in the short term and renewables over the long haul.
- We support the doubling of CAFÉ standards over the next 15 years.
- We call for a national plan working with state and local officials, vocational schools, universities, and community colleges to develop the necessary training skills required to meet the future employment demands involving Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
- We call for a crackdown via lawful means on white supremacist and extremist domestic terror groups.
- We oppose voter suppression and voter purging legislation that prohibits access to voting, charges a fee for a voting ID, and any violation of the spirit of the Voting Rights Act.
- We do not support the notion that states should establish their own laws involving civil rights. These are national issues.
- We support and honor the collective bargaining rights of organized labor. However, we call on these organizations to adopt a meritocracy.
- We support the further experimentation in public schools and development of charter schools to establish the best in class approach to education that takes a long view in creating atmospheres of learning.
- We believe income taxes will need to be raised gradually across the board if we are to reduce our debt.
- We believe all discretionary spending, including military, will need to be cut if we are to reduce our debt
- We oppose mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients on the grounds it is unconstitutional and is based on a primal need to punish those we dislike or fear.
- We do not challenge the 2nd Amendment but we do not believe unfettered access to high capacity assault weapons is in our national best interests.
- We support Social Security and Medicare reform to extend the solvency of both programs including higher taxes and cost control
- We support infrastructure investment to modernize our transportation, communication, power grid, and public facilities.
- We support a woman’s right to choose as defined by Roe v. Wade
- We believe in a strong military but not one that spends more than the next 17 nations combined.
- We call for the simplification of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in such a way that redundancies, waste, and unnecessarily onerous regulations are eliminated
There you have it. Socially progressive fiscally moderate. Government cannot fix all problems but the free market cannot regulate itself. We need balance, fiscal prudence, fairness, and a willingness to embrace change and accept compromise. This above list, when amalgamated, offers an insight to the culture that Diggapendents sees in a great America.; an America that can rebound from the great recession and look forward, not backward. After all, a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats all of its citizens: young, old, sick, healthy, weak, and strong, not how many bombs it has in its arsenal.