Issues

What we as Democrats had hoped for, and what we may have instead with a Republican presidency—a few highlights from the 2016 Democratic and Republican platforms [Thanks to Jonathan D. Salant, NJ Advance Media, jsalant@njadvancemedia.com]

 

IMMIGRATION

Democrats: 

Called for fixing the “broken immigration system,” including a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Republicans:

Embraced Trump’s call for a wall along the US-Mexican border though was silent on whether to back their nominee’s demand to deport all 11 million.


CLIMATE CHANGE

Democrats:

 “Climate change poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures.”

Republicans: 

They cast doubts on whether the climate is changing, rejecting the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as “a political mechanism, not an unbiased scientific institution” with “intolerance toward scientists and others who dissent from its orthodoxy.”


MEDICARE

Democrats:

They would not only “fight any attempts by Republicans in Congress to privatize, voucherize, or ‘phase out’ Medicare,” but would allow Americans older than 55 to enroll.

Republicans: 

They would end the health care program for the elderly as we know it, requiring seniors to either enroll in a private insurance plan or face limits on how much the government will pay.

 

WALL STREET

Democrats:

The party promised to “vigorously implement, enforce, and build on” banking regulations enacted to curb risky practices by financial institutions and “will stop dead in its tracks every Republican effort to weaken it.”

Republicans: 

They blamed the Great Recession on “the government’s own housing policies,” not Wall Street actions, and called the regulations “an excuse to establish unprecedented government control over the nation’s financial markets.”


IRAN

Democrats:

President Barack Obama’s agreement to relax economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program “verifiably cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb without resorting to war.”

Republicans: 

The deal “gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the survival of our friends.” The Republican platform called it “a personal agreement between the president and his negotiating partners and non-binding on the next president.”


ISRAEL

Democrats:

The platform backed a “secure and democratic Jewish state” of Israel and a chance for Palestinians to “govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.”

Republicans: 

While both parties support Israel, the Republicans said nothing about the two-state solution that has been the bipartisan cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy for decades.


MONEY IN POLITICS

Democrats:

Want to overturn the Citizens United decision, which eased restrictions on corporate and union campaign spending.

“We need to end secret, unaccountable money in politics by requiring, through executive order or legislation, significantly more disclosure and transparency — by outside groups, federal contractors, and public corporations to their shareholders,” the platform said.

Republicans: 

They would repeal or raise contribution limits and allow outside groups spending millions on campaigns to hide their donors.

“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people who cannot defend themselves,” Trump said in accepting the presidential nomination.
The GOP platform would make things much easier for the powerful.


VOTING RIGHTS

Democrats: 

The party said it would fight laws requiring certain forms of voter identification “to preserve the fundamental right to vote.”

A leader of the 1963 landmark Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), helped nominate Clinton for president.

Republicans: 

The GOP platform endorsed state efforts to impose voter identification requirements that the U.S. Justice Department and several federal and state courts have said discriminate against minority and poor voters. The platform called Justice’s actions “bullying.”

Cases of in-person voter fraud, which such voter-ID laws are supposed to prevent, are “nearly non-existent,” according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.

 

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Democrats:

Applauded the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

Republicans:

Condemned the court decision.

“Five unelected lawyers robbed 320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” the platform said.

 

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

Democrats:

“We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion.”

Republicans: 

Abortion should be illegal in all cases and the Constitution should be amended to ban the procedure. 

“We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed,” the platform said. 

The GOP argued that supporting the constitutional right to abortion was the “extreme” position.

We said NO to Amendment 1 in November 2016.
Thank you to Floridians for defeating it.

The amendment was funded by the big utility companies who spent well over $15 million to promote the measure with misleading language.

  • Would have only maintained the status quo in what is already legal for Floridians
  • Would have assured slow expansion and slow affordability of solar for consumers and businesses alike
  • Would have created a constitutional barrier to consumers buying electricity from solar companies

“What Amendment 1 does not have is the support of a broad, very diverse, grassroots coalition It is exactly what it is, a utility-backed, utility-funded, self-promoting approach to try to keep a monopoly control on their terms.”

— Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

 

We said YES on Amendment 2.
Thank you to Floridians for passing this.

The amendment will give physicians the ability to prescribe marijuana to Floridians with ALS, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s Disease, PTSD, and other debilitating diseases.