Comparing the platforms

Back during the Democratic National Convention, we did a post on the Democratic platform, promising that we would do the same for the Republican platform.  I never quite got around to that at the time, and we just have a few days before the election, so I realize I had better get that done.  I know that people say party platforms don’t really matter, but I do think they show us something about the parties and their ideology, as well as what tenets the wide range of party members can agree to.

So here is the  Republican Platform, entitled We Believe in America.  It defies excerpting, but here are the major headings, which you can read via the links.

The Democratic Platform is entitled Moving America Forward.  It has the following headings:

I present both of these platforms as a public service to aid in your voting decisions.

How would you characterize the underlying assumptions of each document?  What does each platform tell us about the ideology and the preoccupations of each party?

I would just like to observe that, whatever the merits of each governing philosophy, both platforms are depressingly utopian.  Whether government will solve all of our problems or whether the free market will solve all of our problems, both assertions are way too optimistic.  I wish a party would put forward more modest promises and agendas (e.g., No one in our administration will go to jail for misuse of public funds.  We will follow the law.  We will acknowledge our limitations.)  Both platforms are just different variations on Pedro’s platform for student body president in Napoleon Dynamite:  “Vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true.”

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • NavyMom

    That does it; I’m voting for Pedro!

  • NavyMom

    That does it; I’m voting for Pedro!

  • Richard

    This seems to be a better platform: http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine?ref=comics

  • Richard

    This seems to be a better platform: http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine?ref=comics

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Man, it says something about how starved we were for stories about the political game back in August that we ever cared about platforms. Now we’re up to our noses in the political muck, and who has time for such grandiose nonsense?

    Anyhow, I already voted. I don’t need to care.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Man, it says something about how starved we were for stories about the political game back in August that we ever cared about platforms. Now we’re up to our noses in the political muck, and who has time for such grandiose nonsense?

    Anyhow, I already voted. I don’t need to care.

  • SKPeterson

    Politicians adhere to Party Platforms like they do the Constitution.

  • SKPeterson

    Politicians adhere to Party Platforms like they do the Constitution.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    I’m with #1 – !!!
    Just tell me who Pedro is and I’ll write him in!
    # 4 –great take!!

    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    I’m with #1 – !!!
    Just tell me who Pedro is and I’ll write him in!
    # 4 –great take!!

    C-CS

  • JGrubb

    You know, you don’t have to vote for either of them, or for Pedro. There are like, 13 candidates on the ballot. Just sayin’.

  • JGrubb

    You know, you don’t have to vote for either of them, or for Pedro. There are like, 13 candidates on the ballot. Just sayin’.

  • JonathanH

    @6: I only had 4 candidates on my ballot… plus the write-in of course.

  • JonathanH

    @6: I only had 4 candidates on my ballot… plus the write-in of course.

  • brianh

    Your wildest dreams is undefeated vs pragmatic solutions since forever.

  • brianh

    Your wildest dreams is undefeated vs pragmatic solutions since forever.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    C-Christian Soldier, watch the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” (which, incidentally was produced with the old Motion Picture Production Code in mind, so it has no “negative elements”!). It’s about some endearing nerdish-Americans in high school, one of whom–Pedro–runs for student body president.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    C-Christian Soldier, watch the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” (which, incidentally was produced with the old Motion Picture Production Code in mind, so it has no “negative elements”!). It’s about some endearing nerdish-Americans in high school, one of whom–Pedro–runs for student body president.


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