On November 3, 2020, Americans will head to the polls to determine which political party will lead the nation. Recently, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) released a draft of its party platform, which tells Americans what the party plans to focus on during the 2020 election and beyond.
In the preamble of its party platform, the DNC reads in part, “America is an idea—one that has endured and evolved through war and depression, prevailed over fascism and communism, and radiated hope to far distant corners of the earth. Americans believe that diversity is our greatest strength. That protest is among the highest forms of patriotism. That our fates and fortunes are bound to rise and fall together. That even when we fall short of our highest ideals, we never stop trying to build a more perfect union.”
“We know that four more years of the crass, craven, corrupt leadership we have seen from Donald Trump and the Republican Party will damage our character and our country beyond repair. We pray, as Langston Hughes did, ‘O, let America be America again—the land that never has been yet—and yet must be—the land where every man is free.’ Democrats call on all Americans to come together and seize this last, best chance to restore the soul of our nation—and vote this November to ensure our greatest days are still to come.”
President Donald Trump is mentioned more than 114 times in this particular draft of the party platform.
In a section titled, ‘Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice, the DNC stated, “Like the majority of Americans, Democrats believe that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive healthcare services, including safe and legal abortion. We will restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides vital preventive and reproductive healthcare for millions of women, especially low-income women and women of color, and LGBTQ+ people, including in underserved areas. Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and rights. We will repeal the Hyde Amendment, and protect and codify Roe v. Wade.”
The most noteworthy piece of the statement is the emphasis on repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer funding of abortions, and the desire to restore Planned Parenthood’s Title X funding.
On the issue of LGBTQ+ Health, the party states, “We condemn the Trump Administration’s discriminatory actions against the LGBTQ+ community, including the dangerous and unethical regulation allowing doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to discriminate against patients based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Democrats will reverse this rulemaking and restore nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people in health insurance. We will also take action to guarantee that LGBTQ+ people have full access to needed health care and resources, including by requiring that federal health plans provide coverage for HIV/AIDS treatment and HIV prevention medications like PrEP and PEP, gender confirmation surgery, and hormone therapy. Democrats will recommit the federal government to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025.”
Religious freedom, which is enshrined in the U.S. Bill of Rights, has come under considerable attack in recent years. It is only mentioned once in the 2020 DNC platform. “Democrats believe that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right, and we will never use protection of that right as a cover for discrimination. We will reverse the Trump Administration’s politicization of religious freedom in American foreign policy, and we condemn atrocities against religious minorities around the world—from ISIS’ genocide of Christians and Yezidis, to China’s mass internment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, to Burma’s persecution of the Rohingya.”
Earlier in the document, the DNC stated, “Democrats celebrate America’s history of religious pluralism and tolerance and recognize the countless acts of service of our faith communities, as well as the paramount importance of maintaining the separation between church and state enshrined in our Constitution. During the Trump Administration, too many of our religious communities have been victimized by acts of intolerance, bigotry, and violence. We will reject the Trump Administration’s use of broad religious exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, and others to discriminate. Democrats will increase funding and support for security investments and protection at houses of worship, because everyone should be able to pray without fear. We will confront white nationalist terrorism and combat hate crimes perpetrated against religious minorities. Democrats will also work to restore trust with our Muslim communities by ensuring the government’s engagement is not discriminatory nor viewed through a security lens.”
In addition to these major issues, the draft also addresses the environment (it plans to make the U.S. carbon neutral by 2025), $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, increased federal gun control and other issues. It does not address Medicare for All.
According to an NPR report, the draft was the result of a taskforce created by presidential candidate Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, which is designed to help bridge divisions between the party’s progressive and moderate members.
This draft is subject to change as the DNC will meet next month to discuss and finalize the party’s 2020 platform.
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