Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Democrat Platform – 1980 and 2012 – Charlotte Goes Back in Time – We inherited this Mess - The Economy is in Recovery - Tax the Rich


The Delegate Map for the 2012 DNC Convention: (The Delegates are of the most import, unless Super-delegates decide to nominate someone else) - Image from: the Obamacrat.com


Just for kicks, taking the time out today, at the start of the National Democrat Convention in Charlotte, NC, taking a trip back in time to 1980 and the Convention to reelect James Carter, one looks to the party platform of the day. What was interesting is that the language used in 1980 differed dramatically from that used in the 2012 Democrat Party platform, more businesslike, less rhetoric, however, the basics remain the same (some changed due to the passage of time and history) – that said, below are some highlights with links to both platforms – Those that stayed the same: It’s someone else’s fault, I need more time, Everything is on schedule, Medicare is fine: Carter saved it, apparently, and President Obama just wants to preserve it (without mentioning bankruptcy), Women, in 1980 there was short attention paid to women, but there was the Equal Rights Amendment. The 2012 Democrat Platform finds women on page 51 – with promises of Equal Pay (even though JFK passed an Equal Pay Act back in the 1960’s, and of course, The Right to Choose – a political football that has been the mantra of the Democrats since Wade versus Roe passed, and nothing, nothing, either party has done will make a difference. The economy – Tax the Rich raise up the unions. There are, as noted in both Platforms, fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats, which..isn’t that the point? To present a vision of what would work to improve the nation, a vision of what each party stands for, and a chance to beat up the other guy and leave it for prosperity.

The reason for choosing 1980, and the Carter Convention to compare to the 2012 Obama Convention are simply the economy, and the approach used by both Conventions, thirty years apart, being so similar in scope that it is almost eerie. Therefore, to look back, as one does, when one is vested in History, one can find that repetition is inherent in the political landscape of America – affecting the economy and the way that the Democrat Party focus on the “middle class”, instead of the entire nation, bringing those on the lowest rung of the economic food chain, on a par with those on the highest rung. A nation where those born in poverty can succeed and become one of the 1%. It is, and has been, the party of promises. It is not that the Republican Platforms are all that different, however, that is the whole point of the exercise. To point out the stark contrasts or even similarities between the two – but the platform is of import, as it is a road map of what the party puts first. As a woman who would like to see JFK’s equal pay act enforced, Page 51, is not first. To a woman, who the right to choose has been an obvious political vote-getter (for both sides), the issue belongs to the individual states, and the same can be said of “Same –Sex Marriage – neither of these issues, in a party platform mean a hill of beans in the real world. What does: The economy and how to move it forward? One might suggest, after having read the Carter Convention Platform, that one research the rocket ship that was the economy once Ronald Regan was in the Oval Office, it did not happen completely overnight, but by the end of his first term (which led to a second) the “clown” in the oval office (for that was the Media speak for Ronald Reagan), had righted the ship, and one William Jefferson Clinton walked into power with the ship sustainable and went on to become another great American President – at that point, there was a slight recession, which, is normal for the economy – ups, and downs, which can be affected by policy. In matters of the economy as one looks at both platforms, one has to ask: Do either of these resemble the reality of the economy now? Sure pains a rosy picture.

The 1980 Democrat Party Platform (Excerpts):



After nearly four years in office, we Democrats have not solved all of America's problems.
Most of these problems we inherited. Eight years of Republican politics left this nation weak, rudderless, unrespected and deeply divided.
As a result of this legacy, despite our progress, inflation still erodes the standard of living of every American.
As a result of this legacy, despite our progress, too many Americans are out of work.
As a result of this legacy, despite our progress, complete equality for all citizens has yet to be achieved.
As a result of this legacy, despite our progress, we still live in a very dangerous world, where competing ideologies and age-old animosities daily threaten the peace.
As a result of this legacy, our nation is still subject to the oil pricing and production decisions of foreign countries.

We will not run from these problems, nor will we fail. The record of the past four years is a testament to what the Democrats can do working together.

Time and time again in these past four years, a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President proved that they were willing to make the tough decisions.
Today, because of that Democratic partnership, we are a stronger nation.
Today, because of that Democratic partnership, we are at peace.
Today, because of that Democratic partnership, we are a more just nation.
Today, because of that Democratic partnership, honor and truth and integrity have been restored to our government and to our political process.
And so this party looks to the future with determination and confidence.


A Commitment to Economic Fairness

The Democratic Party will take no action whose effect will be a significant increase in unemployment—no fiscal action, no monetary action, no budgetary action—if it is the assessment of either the Council of Economic Advisers or the Congressional Budget Office that such action will cause significantly greater unemployment.
In all of our economic programs, the one overriding principle must be fairness. All Americans must bear a fair share of our economic burdens and reap a fair share of our economic benefits. High interest rates impose an unfair burden—on farmers, small businesses, and younger families buying homes. Recession imposes an unfair burden on those least able to bear it. Democratic economic policy must assure fairness for workers, the elderly, women, the poor, minorities and the majority who are middle income Americans. In 1980, we pledge a truly Democratic economic policy to secure a prosperous economic future.
Economic Growth—Despite the economic declines of the past few months, for the first three years of the Carter Administration our economy was strong. For the 1977—1979 period:
—Gross National Product increased by 11.8 percent in real terms.
—Real after-tax income per person increased by 10.3 percent.
—Industrial production increased by 14.8 percent.
—Dividends increased by 36 percent.
—Real business fixed investment increased by 22.9 percent.

Energy—Our dependence on foreign off has decreased—in 1977 we imported 8.8 million barrels of oil per day, and our nation is now importing approximately 6.5 million per day, a decline of 26 percent.

Consumer Protection

Since the first administration of Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic Party has stood as the Party which championed consumer rights. It is our tradition to support and enact policies which guarantee that the consumer is sovereign in the market place. It is our history to institute necessary government programs to protect the health, safety and economic well-being of the American cons

Health

…. And it is our way of governing to ensure that consumers have full opportunity to participate in the decision-making processes of government.
To meet the goals of a program that will control costs and provide health coverage to every American, the Democratic Party pledges to seek a national health insurance program with the following features:

—Universal coverage, without regard to place of employment, sex, age, marital status, or any other factor;
—Comprehensive medical benefits, including preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, health maintenance and rehabilitation services, and complete coverage of the costs of catastrophic illness or injury;
—Aggressive cost containment provisions along with provisions to strengthen competitive forces in the market place;
—Enhancement of the quality of care;
—An end to the widespread use of exclusions that disadvantage women and that charge proportionately higher premiums to women;
—Reform of the health care system, including encouragement of health maintenance organizations and other alternative delivery systems;
—Building on the private health care delivery sector and preservation of the physician-patient relationship;
—Provision for maximum individual choice of physician, other provider, and insurer;
—Maintenance of the private insurance industry with appropriate public regulation;
—Significant administrative and organizational roles for state and local government in setting policy and in resource planning;
—Redistribution of services to ensure access to health care in underserved areas;

Social Security

No group in our society deserves the commitment and respect of the Democratic Party more than the elderly. They have built the factories arid mills of the nation. They have fought to defend our country. They have paid taxes to finance the growth of our cities and towns. They have worked and sacrificed for a lifetime to give their children a better chance to achieve their dreams. They have a continuing reservoir of talent, skill and experience to contribute to our future.

The basic program and guarantee for older citizens is Social Security. It is the single most successful social program ever undertaken by the federal government. Ninety-five percent of those reaching 65 are eligible for this program: without it, 60 percent of the elderly would have incomes below the poverty level.

The Democratic Party will oppose any effort to tamper with the Social Security system by cutting or taxing benefits as a violation of the contract the American government has made with its people. We hereby make a covenant with the elderly of America that as we have kept the Social Security trust fund sound and solvent in the past, we shall keep it sound and solvent in the years ahead.
In 1977, the Social Security system faced bankruptcy. The Carter Administration and the Congress enacted legislation ensuring the Social Security system's financial stability and making certain that each of the 35 million recipients received his or her monthly check without interruption.


Equal Rights Amendment

Furthermore, the Democratic Party shall seek to eliminate sex-based discrimination and inequities from all aspects of our society.



To read the entire DNC 1980 platform visit The American Presidency Project

Compare and Contrast

The 2012 Democrat Party Platform (Excerpts) (PDF)
Simpler language:

Middle Class Tax Cuts. President Obama and Democrats in Congress cut taxes for every working family,putting more money in the pockets of Americans who need it most. A typical family has saved $3,600 during his first term. Now he’s fighting to stop middle class families and those aspiring to join the middle class from seeing their taxes go up and to extend key tax relief for working families and those
paying for college, while asking the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share.

Health Care

At the same time, the Affordable Care Act is not the end of efforts to improve health care for all Americans. Democrats will continue to fight for a strong health care workforce with an emphasis on primary care….

Social Security

Social Security and Medicare. We believe every American deserves a secure, healthy, and dignified retirement. America’s seniors have earned their Medicare and Social Security through a lifetime of hard work and personal responsibility. President Obama is committed to preserving that promise for this and future generations….In short, Democrats believe that Social Security and Medicare must be kept strong for seniors, people with disabilities, and future generations. Our opponents have shown a shocking willingness to gut these programs to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest, and we fundamentally reject that approach.

Cutting Waste, Reducing the Deficit, Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share

Economy Built to Last

Standing Up for Workers. When the President took office, the American middle class was under assault. From 2001 to 2007, we had the slowest private-sector job growth in an economic expansion since World War II. The typical family saw its income stall and inequality climb, even as the economy grew. And we had an administration that thought the answer was limiting unions.

Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value;every American should have a voice on the job and a chance to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work. We will continue to fight for the right of all workers to organize and join a union

Wall Street Reform

A strong middle class can only exist in an economy where everyone plays by the same rules, from Wall Street to Main Street. That’s why President Obama and Democrats in Congress overcame fierce opposition from the financial industry to pass the most far-reaching Wall Street reform in generations.

Page 51:

Women.

President Obama – the son of a single mother and the father of two daughters – understands that women aren’t a special interest group. They are more than half of this country, and issues that affect women also affect families. That is why the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women fight back when they are paid less than men, and why we continue to fight to
overcome Republican opposition and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to help stop gender discrimination in pay before it starts

Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose…..

Freedom to Marry.

We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and
protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference. We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny
equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.



Read more at: The 2012 DNC National Platform

Unions now equal "The Middle Class - Women - are relegated to page 51


As to the Republican Party Platforms:

Ronald Reagan’s 1980 Republican Platform

2012 Romney Convention Republican Platform

(Note: women are mentioned from the preamble forward, with specific regards to women and equality present throughout the document – inclusive of both genders.)

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