October 16, 2002 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Platforms A summary of Democratic, Republican, and other party platforms over the last 150 years. Prettied up, current versions can be found for Republican,Democrat,Green, and Libertarian parties (and probably others!). Do you read such things? Do you find that when you read them, your perception of the party matches with the text of the platform? Do you find yourself persuaded by the text of any platform? Provoked to thoughts on policy?
posted by namespan (8 comments total)
My own reaction to most of them is suspicion... there's no shortage of self-congratulating rhetoric, so even when I find myself agreeing with a position, I'm still on edge.

This reflection actually started while I was looking at a platform for a grassroots organization (ACORN) whose general direction and goals (social and economic justice) I thought I supported, but on reading the platform, I realized I had some fairly large differences of opinion. Affordable, accessible, quality health care for all is something I'm all for, but I don't know that "throw[ing] doctors and hospital administrators off the boards of directors, and replac[ing] them with a low- and moderate-income majority" is a wise move.

So... do we know where we stand if we stand behind an organization? Are the platform statements helpful?
posted by namespan at 3:01 PM on October 16, 2002

What I find interesting is that the Republican Party of 1856 seen to be very libertarian. They specifically point out violations of the Bill of Rights (aka the first 10 Constitutional amendments) -- they're specifically talking about Kansas in all of this, but I found it an interesting and brief platform. The more recent platforms are too damned long.
posted by meep at 3:26 PM on October 16, 2002

Hey, cool link namespan.. I've been looking for a subject to do a discourse analysis paper on for an English class, and this gives me some ideas. Gracias.
posted by Hildago at 3:54 PM on October 16, 2002

meep- do these factor in the "turnover" during the civil war years? It is my understanding that the original Republican Party is what is now the Democratic Party, and the current Republican Party was originally something else, or something like that. Could that explain any vast differences in party platforms?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:09 PM on October 16, 2002

We hold that the Constitution follows the flag, and denounce the doctrine that an Executive or Congress deriving their existence and their powers from the Constitution can exercise lawful authority beyond it or in violation of it. We assert that no nation can long endure half republic and half empire, and we warn the American people that imperialism abroad will lead quickly and inevitably to despotism at home. From the 1900 Democratic platform.

Great link.
posted by pejamo at 5:09 PM on October 16, 2002

I do try to read them when they are available to give them a fair chance. During the 1992 debate Clinton kept speaking about his plan this and his plan that for the economy and other things so I went to the local Democratic party office and asked to have a copy of his plan, that I was interested in reading the details. They didn't have a clue what I was talking about.

All they could do was hand me a couple of one page press statements that had nothing to do with what he said. Rather disappointing at the time, at least candidates in theory could post such documents to their website now...
posted by geist at 9:40 AM on October 17, 2002

Thanks, namespan. Great link!
posted by troutfishing at 10:34 AM on October 17, 2002

Namespan, somehow this post manage to hide on the frong page and pass unnoticed. Maybe it was bad timing. But I just want to thank you for a great FPP. I've spent the past few hours browsing the platforms you linked to, then I went a couple levels up to the more general site. Tons and tons of great information.
posted by oissubke at 10:29 PM on October 17, 2002

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