The Party Platforms: Our Democracy

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This is the the sixth in my installments on the Presidential Party Platforms. I’m reviewing and comparing the Democrat and Republican Party Platforms.  

I know, I keep repeating this, but if you’re knew to this series, you might not know: the Republicans decided to adopt the 2016 Party Platform. On the opening day of the 2020 convention, Republicans announced that they do not have a platform, but will follow Presidents Trump’s direction. Lacking specifics, I’m comparing the 2016 Republican Platform with the 2020 Democratic Platform.

The Democratic Party has a little over 5 pages devoted to the environment. The Republican Party also has 5 pages addressing energy and the environment.

Just so I can keep everything straight, I put the information into a simple table, like I would for corporate goals. Pretty easy to understand; I think:  We will______________ by_____________ so that______________ happens.  The last column is the page number for your reference.

Note: After the Convention President Trump’s campaign announced a 2nd Term Agenda. The goals are many, but only the first part (We will) is addressed. How the goal will be accomplished (the “by”) is missing. Why he wants to accomplish the goal (the “so that”) is also not included. You can find the Agenda by clicking here.

So here’s the Democrats’ Restoring and Strengthening Our Democracy:

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The opening paragraph of this section of the Democratic Platform focuses on protecting the interests of all Americans, not just the wealthiest few and corporations.

We willBySo thatPage
Guarantee that every American’s vote is protected.



Passing legislation that restores and strengthens the Voting Rights Act;

Ensuring the Department of Justice challenges state laws that make it harder for Americans to vote;

Supporting automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, early voting, and universal vote-from-home and vote-by-mail options.
We protect and Enforce Voting Rights49
Fully implement the Help America Vote Act and require that polling places and elections are accessible for people with disabilities.

Make vote-from-home and vote-by-mail universally available during the pandemic.
Returning citizens have their voting rights restored upon release from jail or prison;

Ensuring that all jurisdictions take steps to
ensure continued meaningful, safe opportunities to vote in person.
We protect and enforce voting rights49
Enact measures to end partisan gerrymandering in federal elections.

Protect the integrity of the decennial Census from
political interference;

Find out if counting prison population where they are incarcerated creates equitable outcomes in state or federal representation or funding allocations.
Equipping the Census Bureau;

Maintaining the legal requirement for Census participation

Increasing resources to reduce undercounts of communities;

Studying counting process for prison populations
We protect and enforce voting rights50
Prevent election interference;

Protect the integrity of our elections from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Increasing investments to help state and local governments upgrade election technology;

Ensuring that election technology is accessible
 for people with disabilities.
We protect and enforce voting rights50
Fight to pass a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and related
decisions like Buckley v. Valeo.
Eliminating all private financing from federal elections.We reform the broken campaign finance system.50
Aggressively enforce and strengthen federal ethics laws, including rules around personal financial disclosures for Executive Branch officials;

Make campaign finance, financial disclosure, and lobbying disclosure filings easier for the public to access and understand.
Establishing a commission on federal ethics;

Requiring all candidates for federal office to publicly disclose at least 10 years of tax returns.
We build an effective, transparent federal government.50
Assure that their elected officials and federal appointees work  for Americans, not for special interests. 

Restore and re-empower independent inspectors general across the federal government and work to strengthen whistleblower protections
Re-establishing merit-based federal contracting decisions and prohibit political appointees from interfering in grantmaking.

Protecting federal employees from retaliation. And we will in order .
We build an effective, transparent federal government 51
Ban lobbying by foreign governments and significantly lower the threshold for having to register as a federal lobbyist.Closing loopholes that allow special interests to secretly influence policymaking in Congress and across the federal government.We build an effective and transparent federal government.51
Recruitment people with expertise in science, social science, technology, and innovation to jobs in public service.Ensuring that federal funds are invested as effectively and efficiently as possible.
We have the best experts working to protect and improve the lives of Americans.
51
Use the best available evidence when making budget and spending decisions.Ensuring federal data collection and analysis is adequately funded and designed to allow for disaggregation by race, gender, geography, disability status, and other important variables;
We understand and address disparities.51
Use strategies to promote evidence-based policymaking.Allocating funds for program evaluation.American people are receive the most productive, efficient services from our federal government.51
Stop treating the more than 700,000 people who live in our nation’s capital as second-class citizens.Making Washington, D.C. the 51st State.The citizens of the District can at last have full and equal representation in Congress and the rights of self-determination.51

 Support various status options in Puerto Rico.
Developing federal legislation that will set forth a fair and binding process for the people of Puerto RicoPuerto Ricans have the right to vote for President of the United States.51
 
Help Puerto Rico rebuild.Mobilizing resources to address the island’s disparities in energy, infrastructure, health care,
education, housing, agriculture, employment, and disaster preparedness
We give the same priority to disaster response in Puerto Rico as elsewhere in the United States.52
Invest in the Puerto Rico’s future through economic development initiatives, increased education funding, construction of affordable housing, and innovative energy and climate resilience programs.Accelerating access to disaster recovery funds;
We end unequal treatment of Puerto Rico;

The island can improve its infrastructure and transform itself into one of the fastest-growing, most prosperous parts of the United States.
52
Dissolve the Financial Oversight and Management
Board.

Providing relief from Puerto Rico’s remaining debt burden.The island can improve its infrastructure and transform itself into one of the fastest-growing, most prosperous parts of the United States.52
Support self-government and self-determination for the people of U.S. territories.Respecting citizens’ right to decide their future status in a manner that does notCitizens U.S. Territories have the right to vote for President.52
Help the U.S. territories recover from recent natural disasters and build increased resilience to the impacts of climate change. Expanding access to clean, affordable, reliable energy and water systems.We support the U.S. Territories.52
Improve health care access and affordability in the territories.reviewing the feasibility of extending the Affordable Care Act and increasing the Medicaid cap in the territories;

Ensuring veterans from the U.S. territories have access to
timely and quality health care through the VA.
We support the U.S. Territories.52
Ensure the USPS is financially sustainableRepealing the mandate that the agency “pre-fund” retiree health costs;

Allowing secure shipping of alcoholic beverages by mail;

Exploring options to enable unbanked and underbanked Americans to access financial services through the Postal Service.
We strengthen the Postal Service.53

 

The Republicans’ plan for A Rebirth of Constitutional Government

white house
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The Republicans have a very different approach. Their Party Platform focuses on limited federal government, separation of powers, individual liberties, and the rule of law.

We willBySo thatPage number
Have a constitutionally-minded Supreme Court. Appointing up to five Supreme Court judges.We can begin to reverse Roe, Obergefell, and the Obamacare cases.11
Have a court that follows the text and original meaning of the Constituion and our laws. Restoring a strong conservative majority in the judiciary. We oppose the adoption or ratification of treaties that weaken or encroach upon American sovereignty.
 
11
Reclaim the constitutional powers from the bureaucratic state. Requiring major new federal regulations be approved by Congress before they can take effect (Regulation Freedom Amendment.)Rules and regulations are no longer created and enforced by executive departments, agencies, and commissions.11
Define marriage as one man and one woman. Supporting the appointment of justices and judges who respect the constitutional limits on their power and respect the authority of the states to decide fundamental social questions. Marriage is defended against an activist Judiciary.11
Prohibit government, specifically the IRS, from policing or censoring speech based on religious convictions or beliefs.Repealing the Johnson Amendment.The 1st Amendment: Religious Liberty is protected.12
Bar the government from discrimination against individuals & businesses for acting on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.Endorsing the 1st Amendment Defense Act.The 1st Amendment: Religious Liberty is protected.12
Support the freedom of Americans to act in accordance with their religious beliefs.Supporting the public display of the Ten commandments and affirming the rights of students to engage in voluntary prayer at public school events.The 1st Amendment: Religious Liberty is protected.12
Oppose any restrictions or conditions that would discourage participation in the public square or limit their ability to promote their ideas.Repealing McCain Feingold, raising or repealing contribution limits.  
End the Fairness Doctrine.
The 1st Amendment: constitutionality of Protected Speech is protected.12
Uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

Preventing the President from installing a new liberal majority on the Supreme Court.The 2nd Amendment: Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms is protected.12
Uphold the right of individuals to bear arms.Opposing laws that restrict magazine capacity or ban the sale of common modern rifles.  
Opposing any efforts to deprive individuals of their right to keep and bear arms.
Supporting firearm reciprocity legislation;
Supporting right to carry statutes..
The 2nd Amendment: Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms is protected.12
Condemn lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers and harassment of gun dealers.Opposing federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners, registration of ammunition, and restoration of gun bans.The 2nd Amendment: Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms is protected.13
Affirm the 4th Amendment “right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”Calling for strict limits on the use of aerial surveillance on U.S. soil, with the exception of patrolling our national borders for illegal entry and activity.
The 4th Amendment: Liberty and Privacy is protected.13
End governments warrantless seizure of personal financial information of Americans overseas. Repealing FATCA U.S. citizen living outside overseas can lead normal lives.13
Assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.Supporting a human life amendment to the Constitution;  
Supporting legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment’s protection apply to children before birth.
The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property.”13
Make it a crime to acquire, transfer, or sell fetal tissues from elective abortions for research.Opposing public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood.The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can be deprived of life.14
Ban the practice of misleading women on fetal harvesting consent forms.Refusing to fund or subsidize healthcare that includes abortion coverage.
The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can be deprived of life.14
Support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.
 
Opposing the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment including food & water, from individuals with disabilities, newborns, the elderly, or the infirm.  

Opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can “be deprived of life.14
Affirm our moral obligation to assist women who face an unplannedpregnanacy.Supporting legislation that requires financial responsibility for the child be equally borne by both the mother and the father.The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can be deprived of life.14
Add enforcement to the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act.Passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Protection act.Healthcare providers will face civil and criminal penalties who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion.14
Prohibit abortions after twenty weeks. Passing a Capable Unborn child Protection Act. Protect unborn babies at a point where they can feel excruciating pain.14
End discrimination in its most lethal form.Banning sex-selective abortions, abortions based on disabilities.The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can “be deprived of life.14
Support adult stem cell research.Banning embryonic stem cell research, federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, opposing federal funding for harvesting embryos;

Banning human cloning.
The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can be deprived of life.14
Assure that private property can be taken only for true public use.Supporting the Private Property Rights Protection Act.The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can be deprived of property.15
End unscrupulous law enforcement officials that profit by destroying the livelihood of innocent individuals.Enacting reforms to protect law-abiding citizens against abusive asset forfeiture tactics.The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can be deprived of  property.15
Guard against counterfeit parts that can compromise the reliability of our weapons systems and the safety of military personnel.Enforcing intellectual property laws against all infringers, whether foreign or domestic.The 5th Amendment  is protected, so that no one can be deprived of intellectual property,15
Restore the vertical separation of powers between the federal government and state government.SStopping federal government from bullying states and local government regarding voter identification, immigration, healthcare programs, forced education curricula, school restroom policies, etc.The 10th Amendment is protected as the foundation of personal liberty.16
Restore the vertical separation of powers between the federal government and state government. Reducing and ultimately eliminating conditioned grants.State and local taxpayers can decide for themselves what is best for their own communities.16
Uphold the Electoral College procedure. Opposing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the Electoral College procedures. Our Presidential Elections are honest.16
Protect the voting rights of every citizen. Supporting state efforts to ensure ballot access for the elderly, handicapped, military personnel, and all legitimate voters. We have honest elections.16
Oppose litigation against states that enact voter registration limitations. Supporting legislation to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote and securing photo ID when voting. We have honest elections.16
Keep voter rolls accurate. Urging every state to join the Interstate Voter Registration Cross Check Program We have honest elections.16
Guard against foreign involvement in elections. Calling for vigilance regarding online credit card contributions to candidates and campaigns. We have honest elections.  16
Ensure that citizenship, rather than residency, be made the basis for apportionment of representatives among the states.Conducting the decennial census “in such a Manner as they shall by Law direct.”
Preserve the principle of one person, one vote.
 
16

Wow! What a difference.

There’s one nice thing about the Republican Party adopting the 2016 platform. We can also check to see what progress has been made in the past almost 4 years. If you want to do that in a concrete way, please visit GovTrack.us and use the search bar.

I gotta say, the two parties have widely different views about how to improve our democracy. A lot of the Democratic Platform doesn’t even seem to be about the democracy. And although the Republicans focus a lot on federal judges, the last time fewer judges were appointed was when Ford was President. Here’s my source: UScourts.gov.

What do you think?  Was this enlightening?

It’s not easy to compare the two Platforms. They don’t use the same style or organization.  But, I’m determined to give it my best shot.

Next up: Immigration

After that, I have Education, Immigration, and Leadership. That’s four more weeks of research. No wonder people have trouble sorting through the facts. I wonder how many people have the stamina.

If you missed my prior Party Plank reviews, here are the links:

Party Platform 2020: The Environment

Party Platform 2020: The economy

Party Platform 2020: The pandemic

Party Platform 2020: Healthcare

Party Platform 2020: Criminal Justice

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