Ds and Rs on Energy, the Environment, and Foreign Policy: Party Platforms 2012

Now that both the Democrats and the Republicans have released their official party platforms for 2012, they can be compared side-by-side.  We've done all of the legwork for you and have summarized their main stances on a number of issues. Hyperlinks are included and they will take you to the pertinent section of that party's platform if you want to read the actual text.  

Update September 6: Changes made on the floor of the Democratic Convention have resulted in the platform stating that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the status of Jerusalem as an Israeli holding is a condition for any peace talks.





Use all energy sources, utilize alternative fuel and clean energy

all of the above” approach to energy, let the free market dictate direction


Protect natural resources, realizes threat of global warming to environment and national security

Environment is cleaner today than it has been in the past, should consider making federal lands public to spur jobs, no serious mention of climate change

National Security

Move away from Cold War structures, be more capable of addressing nonconventional threats

Strong military is the pathway to peace, prosperity, and freedom. Cuts in defense are dangerous.

Nuclear Issues

Maintain deterrent capacity as long as nukes are around, ultimate goal is to get rid of them altogether

Reduce nukes, do not abandon missile defense systems around the world


All options are on the table, prefer diplomacy

Obama isn’t doing enough on the issue, support call from Senate for free and fair elections

North Korea

Continue pressure

Obama isn’t doing enough


Emphasis on working together, be candid when we disagree

Friends with the people, oppose government that is repressive

Middle East

2 state solution to Arab-Israeli issue (no peace without security), Jerusalem stays in Israel, work with the Gulf Cooperation Council to check Iran

2 state solution with Jerusalem in Israel, Arab Spring ok as long as it is democratic

The United Nations

Centerpiece of international order, restore US leadership through cooperation and disagreeing when we must

No subjection of US laws to international law, avoid foreign entanglements, call for UN transparency and reform

Global Development

Food, Education, Water, medicine are prerequisites to good governance, support PEPFAR

Support PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief)

Shifting International Status Quo

US won’t impose any form of government on states undergoing political upheaval, support greater liberty in states undergoing turmoil and political shift

Advance rights of peoples everywhere

Women’s Rights

Urge ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Supports the Mexico City Policy (prohibits federal money from going to non-government organizations that support or provide abortions)

International Cooperation

Most threatening issues cannot be solved by one nation alone, broad and concerted international cooperation is required

Avoid foreign entanglement, no subversion of US law to foreign law, no engagements that have unforeseen consequences, actively opposes many initiatives and treaties, including:

  • The U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty
  • Law of the Sea Treaty
  • U.N. Agenda 21
  • U.N. Global Tax
  • U.N. regulation of the internet

Republicans also oppose the International Criminal Court in order to protect members of the Armed Forces acting in our national defense as well as to prevent ideological prosecutions from overseas


This is a classic argument as old as the constitution, state's rights vs. federalism. Instead of states within a country it is countries within a global community. It is an argument of independent action by states against democratic cooperation among states. In American history states rights often meant denyijng rights to otheres, slavery, segregation, and now national sovereignty that ignores or violates international law. It is a system of freedom for a few as opposed to freedom for all. A tradition of Jefferson origin, that all men are free except my slaves, my children from those slaves and the women of my household. The Republican platform comes out of this states right idea that resists democratic progress and change to the global community. Just as America evolved from a confederation of states to a federation of states that works to protect the democratic rights of all its citizens, so must nation-states evolve to a federation of nation-states that works to spread and protect the democratic rights of people around the world. The Democratic platform advances these goals.

   The question remains, can the President, completely let go of the Bush Doctrine of states rights and Republican doctrine of talking tough, drone attacks, and no negotiations, and develop the Obama doctrine a Democratic Doctrine that uses negotiation, demilitarization, and international cooperation to advance peace and build the federated infrastructure of the United Nations for the 21 st century that spreads democracy and ensures the political and human rights of future generations. It wil take the courage and intellect of statesmen, to be as forward looking and persuasive as the founding fathers who realized that true freedom requires working together for the benefit of all.

Related Campaign

Support Our Work

We have a proven track record in making a difference. But we can't build the peaceful future we envision without your support. Become a donor now!