THE IRON PEN by Daniel Hite

April 25, 2016

Party Platforms should Grow Teeth

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 7:38 am

It is time for political party platforms to grow some teeth.

I certainly understand the principle of conscience when it comes to allowing diversity of opinion on issues of importance. But I also think the time has come, not to bind someone’s conscience, but to inquire precisely where a candidate stands on pertinent principles and issues. Politicians can easily dance around issues and principles in a number of ways, but a required specific disclosure of principles and views could change all that. How? Help the party platform grow some teeth. Require not so much conformity to it, but require specific disclosure of agreement and disagreement with it.Platform Planks

Party platforms are supposed to reflect the values of the majority of delegates at any given quadrennial period. But candidates and office holders are not bound to those values, nor are they held accountable for any infraction of them. What is needed is a method of disclosure of agreement or disagreement with platform planks. That way, consciences and preferences are preserved, but party members as well as voters can get a sense of where a candidate or office holder stands on issues and principles. It can also serve as a point of comparison with opponents. This gives some meaning and substance to the platform as a whole. Again, conformity to the platform is not required, but a specific disclosure of agreement/disagreement with it is.

All of that hard work on party principles and precise wording can mean something other than just a philosophical, esoteric exercise in ideals. It can mean something to the party and the party faithful. It can mean something to the voter. It can means something to the candidate as well as his opponent. It is time for the party platform to really mean something again. If I can make this application of George Washington’s grand statement, “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair.” It is time for the party platform to be more than just a symbol, but a statement that defines the party, anchors the faithful, and unifies the whole.

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1 Comment »

  1. Thursday, April 28, 2016
    Good afternoon, Daniel Hite!
    Yes, those riveting sentences (above), “It can mean something …” Thank you so very much.
    And, as we well know, when it’s founded on the One Who means something, it THEN means something.
    With sincerest regards,
    Bud and Nancy Williams
    Troy, MO

    Comment by the Williams Family — April 28, 2016 @ 4:51 pm | Reply


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