Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Monday, August 18, 2008

On Party Platforms

Party platforms perform a purpose, I suppose. They lay out the stands of the party on various issues, give the candidate some backing for his/her campaign statements, etc. They also express views of the party that may or may not reflect what the candidate actually stands for. In which case, some voters may be attracted ( or repulsed) by what the platform says and others attracted (or repulsed) by what the candidate says, if it is something different.

Back in 1996 I heard Fred Grandy, who was then a Republican Congressman, talking on NPR about his proposal that the Republican party replace its platform with a mission statement. He gave a proposed statement talking about relying more on private enterprise than on government, etc.

But I have been thinking ever since about that idea. This year especially, since the Democrats who made Barack Obama the nominee apparent are so disappointed in his capitulation to the Right, in the guise of "running to the center," a strategy which has lost all presidential elections save two since 1984 and all congressional elections from 1994 through 2004.

What if we didn't have a party platform? What if we put out a mission statement instead?

Every business and organization, even most churches, now have mission statements. It's one of those fad things that run through the corporate mind set from time to time. My university has one, and so does the department in which I teach.

So why not one for the Democratic party?

Let me start by proposing this one, which can be perfected later:

"We, the Democratic Party, are dedicated to electing officials of government who share the values of the majority of the American population. These values include a respect for the Constitution and a belief in the strict division and equality of the three branches of government the Constitution lays out. We believe that the entire society benefits when every person has a chance to succeed on his or her own merits rather than being exploited by persons or institutions more powerful. We believe government has a role to play to ensure the safety of both workers and consumers, and to ensure fairness in competition. The Declaration of Independence asserts the existence of inalienable rights, and the Democratic Party is dedicated to ensuring those rights for all people."

Any thoughts?


Post a Comment

<< Home