It may only be September now, but the future Presidential decision is fast approaching. We all must assume our roles as citizens, whether that be to take a side or decide that the country is in trouble regardless of which candidate is left standing in November.
Our decision, should we choose to make one, depends entirely on two main factors; the first is how we view the candidates; the second is where we side with the party’s views based on the stances for each issue. However, when it comes to knowing the exact position that the parties hold, many citizens are blindly following the masses of people whom might equally be completely oblivious to each party’s real intentions.
The Democratic party, being one of the main two, has a variety of ideals that they account for when discussing plans for America’s future. Rather than zero in on some current and previous Democratic candidate’s specific positions on these issues, I broadened the spectrum and took a look at the overall picture by reading the Official 2016 Democratic Platform.
From the platform, we can see what ranks highest in importance in the Democratic Party. The document is essentially split into three categories. The first section is about income and jobs, the second section discusses civil rights and inequality and the remaining section details the excess information to some of the previous topics and some of the supposed lesser issues in terms of importance such as Education and Environment.
In the first section, concerning raising income and creating better paying jobs, the phrase “we will” comes up in almost every sentence. “We will preserve and increase the supply of affordable rental housing… We will fight to secure equal pay for women… We will keep the housing market robust and inclusive…”
Along with the promise of raised income, the document notes the Democrats’ interests in giving smaller businesses and the youth of America the opportunity to flourish by providing tax reliefs and simplifications and putting funding toward new career opportunities. These are much shorter passages than those that talk of income and jobs and seem to simply be filling in blanks left by the aforementioned stances.
As two of the party’s top priorities, it is no surprise that they make their points as vehemently dictated as possible. However, despite the grandiose plans, they never once describe how they plan to do this. This leads to many promises being made without any real proof to back it up, thus when the time comes to make these stances a reality, they may end up falling through and ultimately remaining empty promises.
The second section focuses on discussing inequality and civil rights. With the topic of inequality and civil rights so increasingly prevalent in today’s society, it is important to ensure that the Democratic Party has a stance that agrees with the largest group of Americans. If even one mistake is made, the entire stance could fall through. The first portion of this section follows inequality in an economical standpoint with subjects such as taxes.
This portion is increasingly more detailed than that of the income and jobs sections as it discusses topics from making sure that billionaires pay their fair share of taxes to ensuring that Wall Street is more responsible for their actions.
It states that “our goal must be to create a financial system and an economy that works for all Americans, not just a handful of billionaires. We support a financial transactions tax on Wall Street to curb excessive speculation and high-frequency trading, which has threatened financial markets. We acknowledge that there is room within our party for a diversity of views on a broader financial transactions tax.”
By this statement, they mean to encompass an ideal that an equal playing field must be created not only for companies and billionaires but for all levels of citizens.
The other portion of this section is about civil rights and fairness. Overall, they mention that a “push for societal transformation” is necessary for all Americans. It is within this portion that some subtopics are mentioned; these include reforming the criminal justice system to repair the relation between Police and Americans, fixing the immigration system by avoiding immediate deportation, and an all-encompassing statement for equality to minorities as a whole.
The last section compiles the topics that are important but are not as prominent. This section also wraps up some of the topics previously mentioned in the document in further detail. As previously stated, these topics, while given a place within the Democratic Party’s platform, are not given a large enough platform. They are lumped together in an attempt to fulfil a checklist-like need for them while ensuring that their primary topics are the ones that people read first.
When it comes to matching one’s own opinions to that of an entire party, it’s not as difficult to comprehend why people do not know a certain party’s exact intentions and instead follow blindly behind words like “Democrat” and “Republican.”
However, as I stated from the start, the platforms of the party are only one factor in our decisions; the other is the candidate. While we may truly know the stances taken by our chosen party well, the person leading that party might not be as agreeable, as is the case in this election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. For that reason, I am intrigued to hear the results.