The Global Citizen: Republican
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.
The 1960 Republican platform pledged to "support and strengthen the UN." Today, the 2012 Republican Platform is vastly different from the ideals that the GOP once held, and shockingly polarizing.
This election year, the Republican platform opposes U.S. involvement with the International Criminal Court on the mistaken basis that this would give the ICC jurisdiction over U.S. troops. It discounts our commitment to reduce our stockpile of nuclear weapons, reversing the U.S. commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. The human rights section is a measly five sentences. The most shockingly offensive section, however, is the point encouraging that the US should limit the amount of foreign aid and UN funding, despite saying that "Foreign aid should serve our national interest, an essential part of which is the peaceful development of less advanced and vulnerable societies in critical parts of the world."
Yesterday I took my annual pilgrimage from the global to the local and spent the day as poll watcher in Virginia. One of my duties was to hand out sample Democratic ballots to voters before they went inside to vote. The polling station had two parking lots on either side of the entrance. By law we needed to be at least 40 feet from the door. On a busy year there would have been at least two workers per party there, but this was an off year election so there was only one from each party.
"America's Mayor" left office in the Big Apple to a fellow Republican, Michael Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg used to be a Democrat, turned to the GOP, used the media consulting wizardry of Bill Knapp - who ran all the ads for Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election - and is a pro-business, anti-war guy with lots of personal wealth. (He of the Bloomberg LP, with an estimated worth of anywhere from $5-13 billion).
While certainly not as exciting as Sunday Night Football, the eight announced candidates for the Democratic nomination for President took to the stage in New Hampshire last night in a two-hour debate televised by CNN.
The backlash against the comments supporting torture made by most of the Republican candidates at the Tuesday Presidential debate continues. In a powerful OP-ED in the Washington Post today Charles C. Krulak a former commandant of the Marine Corps and Joseph P. Hoar a former commander in chief of U.S. Central Command respond to the debate claims and note that torture is both a betrayal of U.S. values and breeds more enemies. They note that:
Howard just posted and commented on an interesting Washington Post editorial looking at the Presidential debates. It strikes me that one way to improve things is to split the field. By way of illustration my plan would see DNC Chair Howard Dean designate two venues for a Democratic debate on a given night - one in the West/Mountain West and the other in the Central/Eastern Zone. The first debate would be from 7.30-8.30pm and the second from 8.30pm-9.30pm.
As I noted the other day , more people tuned in to watch the Democratic Presidential debate than the Republican gathering last Thursday in California. In today's Washington Post, its editorial board recognized the difficulty in having so many candidates on stage at one time: eight on the Democratic side, compared to 10 GOP candidates.
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