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A tale of two platforms

July 26, 2016

anti-hillary-signs-republican-national-convention

It’s difficult to decide what annoyed me most about this anti-Clinton protester in Cleveland. Past caring about the “Hillary for Prison” refrain. The rampant misogeny of the main message? The url at the bottom? Or my suspicion (confirmed watching the news last night) that under the mask was a bearded, beer-bellied man? Take your pick. (Poll added at the bottom of the post.)

STEP RIGHT UP, FOLKS!

The US political circus was in Cleveland last week. The featured sideshow of the Republican convention was the house of horrors, which was detailed in the nominee’s lengthy convention speech outlining all the threats posed to good, white US citizens by everyone else in the country and around the world.

The house of horrors is also a good description of the platform put forward by the Republican National Committee and ratified by convention delegates.

Platforms are not binding. They are aspirational statements, something along the lines of “if we’re elected, this is what we’d like to do”. The 2016 RNC platform has been described as the most extreme in living memory.

Here are some of the “highlights” (paraphrased by me):

  • Obamacare must be repealed
  • Same sex marriage is disgusting and the Supreme Court ruling in support of it must be overturned.
  • Over our dead bodies will any legislation ever be passed anywhere that restricts in any way our God-given right to arm ourselves to the teeth.
  • No abortions ever for any reason, including rape and threats to the mother’s health
  • No one can be allowed to use a bathroom that does not reflect the gender assignment made on their birth certificate

(It really would have been more helpful if Trump, instead of promising to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology”, had promised to protect them from the hateful ideology of his own supporters.)

I will not paraphrase this one, but quote directly from page 19: “The Democratic Party does not understand that coal is an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource. Those who mine it and their families should be protected from the Democratic Party’s radical anti-coal agenda.”

Seriously?

And this from page 33: “A good understanding of the Bible being indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry, we encourage state legislatures to offer the Bible in a literature curriculum as an elective in America’s high schools.”

I kid you not.

For anyone who thinks their blood pressure can take it, the entire document can be read online. It is a horror story.

The circus has moved to Philadelphia this week. By any standards it’s a better show already. Corey Booker versus Ben Carson? No contest. Michelle Obama versus the plagiarising Melania Trump? No contest. Paul Simon versus Scott Baio? No contest.

What about the Democratic platform? It’s been described as the most progressive in history.

Again, I paraphrase:

  • The minimum wage should be doubled to $15 an hour.
  • All women have the right to choose and the right to quality health care services.
  • Assault weapons have no place on the streets of America or in the hands of gun nuts.
  • LGBT rights are human rights and must be protected.
  • For-profit prisons and detention centres are just plain wrong and, like the so-called war on drugs have led to the mass incarceration of people of colour.

Bernie Sanders wandered into wishful thinking last night when he said the Democratic platform would guarantee free state college tuition. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but the aspiration is indeed included.

Sanders should give himself and his supporters a big pat on the back for that, for the stated intent to double the minimum wage and many other progressive goals which would never have been included if his message hadn’t resonated so much with so many Democrats.

There are things I do not like about the Democratic platform (continuing to support fracking springs to mind), but overall it’s a clear response to the three-word Republican message of hate, hate, hate.

Love-trumps-hate-DNC

Progressive versus regressive. Forward versus backward. Hate and fear versus love and unity.

How is this not a complete no brainer?

 

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From → Columns

3 Comments
  1. Love? Murdering babies is love? Oh, right…only the mothers life matters. Smh

    • Irmani permalink

      So much hate? Are you for real? If you want to look at hate, take a long, hard look at Donald Trump. He’s an equal opportunity hater. He hates women. He hates Latinos. He hates black people. He hates muslims. Would love to hear what you believe hate really means, bet you call yourself a Christian too…

  2. Dear Front Porch Bliss: Thank you for taking the time to share your views, which I find as abhorent as you no doubt find mine. (Wonder how you did find me?) I would be grateful if you could run grammar check before posting any future comments. The rules which apply to apostrophes are not difficult to master.

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