We interrupt your irregularly scheduled commentary for this explanatory interlude.
It’s not only because I want to explain. It’s also because this next part is taking longer than I anticipated. (The next part concerns the central theme of the DNC platform.)
The reason it is taking longer to comment on the next section is also one of the reasons I’m writing this commentary in the first place. This commentary isn’t so much about what the Democratic position is, but what my position is. My prejudice going into this project was that my position and the Democratic position were not the same. However, my prejudice was also that my position and the Republican/Trump position were not the same.
So far, that is true.
But, as in most relationships, even the most disagreeable ones, there are elements of agreement. Too many people base their agreement/disagreement on a label, whether that label is Republican, Democrat, Progressive, Tea Party, etc.
I am not willing to do that. If you are reading my commentary, please remember that disagreeing with Democratic statements doesn’t make me a Republican. Agreeing with Democratic statements doesn’t make me a Democrat.
Will I eventually review the Republican platform in the same way? I doubt it, for a couple of reasons. First, I think my statements on the DNC platform will give you enough of an idea of what I really believe. More importantly, the Republican platform seems to be a moot point. President Trump seems to have his own agenda, and I’m not even sure if he knows what it is. He was the Republican nominee, and many Republicans claim him, but he’s not following the Republican platform as much as he is creating it.
This is less than optimal, right?
The Democratic Party Platform, was approved July, 2016. This is Part 2 of my page-by-page commentary, attempting to clarify the things with which I agree and the things with which I disagree.
In Part 1, I covered the Preamble and first major section of the platform. There are thirteen major section. This post covers the second, which is much shorter than the first.
CREATE GOOD-PAYING JOBS
The prologue to this section is very good. It is inspiring and noble.
Building 21st Century Infrastructure
“If we are serious about reversing the decline of the middle class, we need major federal investments to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure…”
I agree. One of the main parts of our infrastructure mentioned in the opening, the Interstate Highway System, points to the difficulty of infrastructure. It is difficult and expensive to put in place, and it remains difficult and expensive to maintain. People tend to be motivated to sacrifice when it comes to building, but they also tend to relax after that and become much less motivated to maintain. That is what has happened in many places. The focus has turned from what was built and has been given to many other items. Tax money that was meant for infrastructure has been redirected to other projects which, as important as they might be, take away from what the money was meant to do. Providing infrastructure is one of the legitimate uses of taxed income.
“Democrats will also create an independent, national infrastructure bank…”
I don’t know what a national infrastructure bank is or what the possible up/downsides of it are.
Fostering a Manufacturing Renaissance
“Democrats believe one of the best ways to innovate, prosper, and create good-paying jobs is to make more in America…”
True. There are some good things in this paragraph. I’m going to point out the not-so-good.
“We must…claw back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas…”
That’s a creative way of saying we’re going to tax companies more if they have manufacturing outside of the country. Making it more expensive to manufacture elsewhere only makes goods more expensive here; it doesn’t help the middle class.
“Democrats will defend the Export-Import Bank…”
Something else about which I know nothing.
Creating Good-Paying Clean Energy Jobs
Pursuing Our Innovation Agenda: Science, Research, Education, and Technology
The first four paragraphs are largely non-specific. There’s nothing to disagree with there.
“Democrats support a free and open internet at home and abroad, and will oppose any effort by Republicans to roll back the historic net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission enacted last year.”
This sentence actually says two very different things. I understand the intent of the net neutrality rules, which are commendable. However, those rules do not produce a “free and open internet”. They do the opposite. They create an internet controlled and managed by the State.
“We will protect the intellectual property rights of artists, creators, and inventors at home and abroad.”
“We will strengthen support for NASA and work in partnership with the international scientific community to launch new missions to space.”
Not everything NASA does is worthwhile, but I’m still in favor of the general purpose and would rather err on the side of aggressiveness over caution in this area.
Supporting America’s Small Businesses
“The Democratic Party will make it easier to start and grow a small business in America…”
That’s good. So many other things in the Democratic agenda point to this not being the case, but I’m will to suspend my disbelief. The rest of this paragraph is non-specific and aspirational.
Creating Jobs for America’s Young People
“Democrats will make investments to spur the creation of millions of jobs for our young people.”
Does the phrase “Democrats will make” mean that they will all be contributing to some fund or contributing in addition to their regular tithes and offerings, or do they really mean they will be taking more money from citizens to fund State-run programs?
I’m all for the first one. Not so much for the second option.
“Democrats will provide direct federal funding for a range of local programs that will put young people to work and create new career opportunities.”
Well, there’s the answer. So, no, I’m not in favor. More jobs for young people are needed, but State-created employment is never the answer in the long run.
End of the section major section.
You might ask, why now? Why didn’t I write all this back in 2016, before the election?
Um…I was stuck in a meeting I couldn’t get out of and the electricity went out in the building and we were trapped on the 18th floor and the telephone system blew, too. Amazingly enough.
Regardless of the delay, the Democratic positions on most things have not changed and many of the disagreements happening today are a result of what they believe vs. what is believed by their opponents.
So, now I’m writing.
Next: “Fight for Economic Fairness and Against Inequality”