Democratic Party in 2012 Democratic Party Platform


On Abortion: Strongly and unequivocally support Roe v. Wade

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman's decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Budget & Economy: Create an economy built to last & built from the middle out

We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth--the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.

This election is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two fundamentally different paths for our country and our families.

We Democrats offer America the opportunity to move our country forward by creating an economy built to last and built from the middle out. Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have a drastically different vision. They still believe the best way to grow the economy is from the top down--the same approach that benefited the wealthy few but crashed the economy and crushed the middle class.

It is not enough to go back to where the country was before the crisis. We must rebuild a strong foundation that ensures it never happens again.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Civil Rights: Enable disability access; plus 100,000 federal jobs

No one should fawce discrimination based on disability status. President Obama and the Democratic Party will continue to lead efforts to facilitate the access of Americans with disabilities to the middle class, employment opportunities, and the ability to lead full, productive, and satisfying lives. The administration and the Democratic Party are committed to assisting the approximately 50 million people in this country living with disabilities, assuring their full integration into society.

"Under President Obama, veterans have started to realize the promise of a square deal. PTSD is no longer a dirty word. More veterans are getting their benefits. More veterans are in college. More veterans have more options in finding good with federal contractors. We are committed to expanding access to employment for people with disabilities and removing barriers to work.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Civil Rights: Equal treatment under law for same-sex couples

We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.

We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Corporations: Auto manufacturers have paid back loans & drive the recovery

"In early 2009, the auto industry was collapsing. Our plant shut down and I was laid off. And, like so many of us, I was scared. But then President Obama bet on the American worker and rescued America's auto industry, and it's paying off for our economy industry; he and Republican leaders opposed the support President Obama extended to rescue an iconic industry.

All three of America's biggest auto manufacturers--Chrysler, GM, and Ford--are stronger today because of Pres. Obama's decisive leadership. GM and Chrysler have repaid their outstanding loans years ahead of schedule, new American cars are inspiring pride, and the auto industry added more than 200,000 jobs in the last three years.

At the same time, President Obama forged an agreement with American carmakers to nearly double fuel efficiency standards in the coming years. Today American carmakers and auto workers are helping to drive a stronger recovery.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Crime: Death penalty must not be arbitrary

We will continue to fight inequalities in our criminal justice system. We believe that the death penalty must not be arbitrary. DNA testing should be used in all appropriate circumstances, defendants should have effective assistance of counsel, and the administration of justice should be fair and impartial.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Drugs: Reduce racial disparities in sentencing for drug crimes

The administration of justice should be fair and impartial. That's why we enacted the Fair Sentencing Act, reducing racial disparities in sentencing for drug crimes.

We will continue to nominate and confirm judges who are men and women of unquestionable talent and character and will always demonstrate their faithfulness to our law and our Constitution and bring with them a sense of how American society works and how the American people live.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Drugs: Join Central American governments to combat narco-traffic

We have strengthened cooperation with Mexico, Colombia, and throughout Central America to combat narco-traffickers and criminal gangs that threaten their citizens and ours. We will also work to disrupt organized crime networks seeking to use the Caribbean to smuggle drugs into our country. As we collectively confront these challenges, we will continue to support the region's security forces, border security, and police with the equipment, training, and technologies they need to keep their communities safe. We will improve coordination and share more information so that those who traffic in drugs and in human beings have fewer places to hide. And we will continue to put unprecedented pressure on cartel finances, including in the United States.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Education: Turn around struggling public schools; expand public options

The Democratic Party understands the importance of turning around struggling public schools. We will continue to strengthen all our schools and work to expand public school options for low-income youth, including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies.

Because there is no substitute for a great teacher at the head of a classroom, the President helped school districts save more than 400,000 educator jobs. We Democrats honor our nation's teachers. If we want high-quality education for all our kids, we must listen to the people who are on the front lines. The President has laid out a plan to prevent more teacher layoffs while attracting and rewarding great teachers. This includes raising standards for the programs that prepare our teachers, recognizing and rewarding good teaching, and retaining good teachers. We also believe in carefully crafted evaluation systems that give struggling teachers a chance to succeed and protect due process.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Education: Double investment in Pell Grants & more tax credits

To help keep college within reach for every student, Democrats took on banks to reform our student loan program, saving more than $60 billion by removing the banks acting as middlemen so we can better and more directly invest in students. To make college affordable for students of all backgrounds and confront the loan burden our students shoulder, we doubled our investment in Pell Grant scholarships and created the American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, and we're creating avenues for students to manage their federal student loans so that their payments can be only 10% of what they make each month.

We Democrats also recognize the economic opportunities created by our nation's community colleges. That is why the President has invested in community colleges and called for additional partnerships between businesses and community colleges to train two million workers with the skills they need for good jobs waiting to be filled.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Energy & Oil: Preserve ANWR but explore for oil responsibly elsewhere

Building a clean energy future means that new exploration and production needs to be approached safely and responsibly. Democrats are committed to balancing environmental protection with development, and that means preserving sensitive public lands from exploration, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Pacific West Coast, Gulf of Maine, and other irreplaceable national landscapes.

We are saving consumers money on their energy bills--both at home and at the pump--but Republican energy policy is full of empty rhetoric and bad ideas that would make their Big Oil donors even richer at the expense of the middle class. Republicans would keep giving billions of taxpayer dollars a year to profitable oil companies and increase costs on consumers. Democrats will fight to cut tax subsidies for Big Oil while promoting job growth in the clean energy sector, so we can cut the deficit and increase jobs and growth in America.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Environment: Restore wilderness & watersheds for generations to come

We are restoring treasured landscapes like the Great Lakes, the Florida Everglades, and local wilderness areas. We are working with Gulf Coast states to restore the Gulf and hold BP and other responsible parties accountable. Democrats will continue to work with local communities to conserve our publicly-owned lands and dramatically expand investments in conserving and restoring forests, grasslands, and wetlands across America for generations to come. We will ensure that our National Parks are protected while expanding opportunities for Americans to visit and experience these national treasures. Democrats will continue working to ensure the integrity of the waters Americans rely on every day for drinking, swimming, and fishing, by supporting initiatives that restore our rivers, oceans, and watersheds. We will preserve ecosystems and open more lands and waters for hunting, fishing, and recreation. This will bolster local economies and is good for communities today and for generations to come.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Families & Children: Support fatherhood via faith-based groups

It's time we stop just talking about family values and start pursuing policies that truly value families. We believe that all parents and caregivers--regardless of gender--need more flexibility and support in the workplace. We support passing the Healthy Families Act, broadening the Family and Medical Leave Act, and partnering with states to move toward paid leave. We must protect our most vulnerable children by supporting our foster care system, adoption programs for all caring parents, grandparents.

President Obama's administration has offered men who want to be good fathers extra support. We have bolstered community and faith-based groups focused on fatherhood, partnered with businesses to offer opportunities for fathers to spend time with their kids at the bowling alley or ballpark, and worked to help deployed dads connect with their children. We all have a stake in forging stronger bonds between fathers and their children.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Foreign Policy: US leadership at UN, including respectful disagreement

International institutions--most prominently the United Nations--have been a centerpiece of international order since the mid-20th century. And just as American leadership was essential to forging the architecture for international cooperation after WWII, the President and the Democratic Party are committed to modernizing its infrastructure for the 21st century--working to reform international bodies and strengthen national and multilateral capabilities to advance peace, security, and opportunity. We have restored America's leadership at the UN by cooperating with our partners there when we can and respectfully disagreeing with them when we must, reversing the previous administration's disdain for the UN. The President's leadership at the UN has enabled us to make real progress on a number of top national security priorities, including getting Russia and China on board to implement the toughest UN sanctions ever on Iran and North Korea.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Free Trade: Double our exports by 2015 with new trade agreements

Over the last four years, we have made historic progress toward the goal of doubling our exports by 2015. We have taken steps to open new markets to American products, while ensuring that other countries play by the same rules. President Obama signed into law new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama that will support tens of thousands of private-sector jobs, but not before he strengthened these agreements on behalf of American workers and businesses. We remain committed to finding more markets for American-made goods--including using the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the United States and eight countries in the Asia-Pacific, one of the most dynamic regions in the world--while ensuring that workers' rights and environmental standards are upheld, and fighting against unfair trade practices. We expanded and reformed assistance for trade-affected workers, and we demanded renewal of that help alongside new trade agreements.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Government Reform: Curb the influence of lobbyists; no to Citizens United

Our political system is under assault by those who believe that special interests should be able to buy whatever they want in our society, including our government. Our opponents have applauded the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United and welcomed the new flow of special interest money with open arms. In stark contrast, we believe we must take immediate action to curb the influence of lobbyists & special interests on our political institutions.

Those who leave the executive branch may not lobby this administration and officials may not accept gifts from lobbyists. We support campaign finance reform, by constitutional amendment if necessary. We support legislation to close loopholes and require greater disclosure of campaign spending. Pres. Obama and the national Democratic Party do not accept contributions from federal lobbyists this cycle. We support requiring groups trying to influence elections to reveal their donors so the public will know who's funding the political ads it sees.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Government Reform: Your vote should count; no voter ID laws

We believe the right to vote and to have your vote counted is an essential American freedom, and we oppose laws that place unnecessary restrictions on those seeking to exercise that freedom. Democrats have a proud history of standing up for the right to vote. During the Obama administration, the Justice Department has initiated careful, thorough, and independent reviews of proposed voting changes, and it has prevented states from implementing voter identification laws that would be harmful to minority voters. Democrats know that voter identification laws can disproportionately burden young voters, people of color, low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly, and we refuse to allow the use of political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Gun Control: Right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation

We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans' Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements--like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole--so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Health Care: No arbitrary insurer cancelation; yes pre-existing condition

We believe accessible, affordable, high quality health care is part of the American promise, that Americans should have the security that comes with good health care, and that no one should go broke because they get sick. We enacted landmark reforms that are already helping millions of Americans, and more benefits will come soon.

As a result of our efforts, today, young Americans entering the workforce can stay on their parents' plans. Insurers can no longer refuse to cover kids with pre-existing medical conditions. Insurance companies will no longer be able to arbitrarily cap and cancel coverage, or charge women more simply because of their gender.

Soon, working families will finally have the security of knowing they won't lose health care or be forced into bankruptcy if a family member gets sick or loses their job. And soon, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Health Care: Preserve promise of Medicare; don't privatize or voucherize

America's seniors have earned their Medicare and Social Security through a lifetime of hard work and personal responsibility. President Obama is committed to preserving that promise for this and future generations.

The Republican budget plan would end Medicare as we know it. Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare; unlike our opponents we will not ask seniors to pay thousands of dollars more every year while they watch the value of their Medicare benefits evaporate. Democrats believe that Medicare is a sacred compact with our seniors. Nearly 50 million older Americans and Americans with disabilities rely on Medicare each year, and the new health care law makes Medicare stronger by adding new benefits, fighting fraud, and improving care for patients. And, over 10 years, the law will save the average Medicare beneficiary $4,200.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Homeland Security: Confront terrorism while upholding Constitutional values

We must always seek to uphold our values at home, not just when it is easy, but, more importantly, when it is hard. Advancing our interests may involve new actions and policies to confront threats like terrorism, but the President and the Democratic Party believe these practices must always be in line with our Constitution, preserve our people's privacy and civil liberties, and withstand the checks and balances that have served us so well. That is why the President banned torture without exception in his first week in office. That is why we are reforming military commissions to bring them in line with the rule of law. That is why we are substantially reducing the population at Guant namo Bay without adding to it. And we remain committed to working with all branches of government to close the prison altogether because it is inconsistent with our national security interests and our values.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Immigration: DREAM Act for now; comprehensive reform next

President Obama and the Democrats fought for the DREAM Act, legislation ensuring that young people who want to contribute fully to our society and serve our country are able to become legal residents and ultimately citizens. Although this bill has a long history of bipartisan support, Republicans decided to play politics with it rather than do the right thing. So the Obama administration provided temporary relief for youth who came to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, grew up as Americans and are poised to make a real contribution to our country.

"We congratulate President Barack Obama for giving hope to millions of aspiring citizens when he announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Immigrant you Democratic Party stand for comprehensive immigration reform that intelligently prioritizes our country's security and economic needs, while Mitt Romney and the Republicans have opposed commonsense reforms and pandered to the far right.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Jobs: Bridge to Work: help the long-term unemployed

When President Obama took office, the economy was in the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Just as the recession was not created overnight, we knew it would take time to recover from the crisis--and more needs to be done. Last September, President Obama put forward the American Jobs Act to provide an immediate boost to the economy and strengthen the recovery. We have already enacted key parts of the American Jobs Act--payroll tax relief, tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, and an extension of unemployment insurance that also included reforms like work-sharing, a "Bridge to Work" to help the long-term unemployed reconnect with the labor force, and support for unemployed workers looking to become entrepreneurs. But Republicans in Congress blocked other provisions that independent analysis said could create one million jobs.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Principles & Values: There is more we need to do; let's continue what we started

Four years ago, Democrats, independents, and many Republicans came together as Americans to move our country forward. We were in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the previous administration had put two wars on our nation's credit card, and the American Dream had slipped out of reach for too many.

Today, our economy is growing again, al-Qaeda is weaker than at any point since 9/11, and our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time in more than a decade. But there is more we need to do, and so we come together again to continue what we started.

Democrats see a young country continually made stronger by the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity in the world, and a nation of people drawn to our shores from every corner of the globe. We believe America can succeed because the American people have never failed and there is nothing that together we cannot accomplish.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Social Security: Preserve promise of Social Security; don't privatize

We believe every American deserves a secure, healthy, and dignified retirement. During their working years, Americans contribute to Social Security in exchange for a promise that they will receive an income in retirement. Unlike those in the other party, we will find a solution to protect Social Security for future generations. We will block Republican efforts to subject Americans' guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market through privatization. We reject approaches that insist that cutting benefits is the only answer. President Obama will also make it easier for Americans to save on their own for retirement and prepare for unforeseen expenses by participating in retirement accounts at work.

Democrats believe that Social Security and Medicare must be kept strong for seniors, people with disabilities, and future generations. Our opponents have shown a shocking willingness to gut these programs to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest, and we fundamentally reject that approach.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Tax Reform: Cut taxes for every working family, but not millionaires

President Obama and Democrats in Congress cut taxes for every working family, putting more money in the pockets of Americans who need it most. A typical family has saved $3,600 during his first term. Now he's fighting to stop middle class families and those aspiring to join the middle class from seeing their taxes go up and to extend key tax relief for working families and those paying for college, while asking the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share. That is why we will always vigorously oppose the type of tax reform supported by Mitt Romney, which independent experts have found would require raising taxes on typical families with children by at least $2,000 if it were paid for. At the same time, Mitt Romney's plan would cut taxes for those making over $3 million by an average of $250,000 and would create incentives that will lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs going overseas at the expense of American workers.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Technology: Recognize and defend Internet freedom worldwide

The Obama administration has led the world to recognize and defend Internet freedom--the freedom of expression, assembly, and association online for people everywhere--through coalitions of countries and by empowering individuals with innovative technologies. The administration has built partnerships to support an Internet that is secure and reliable and that is respectful of U.S. intellectual property, free flow of information, and privacy. To preserve the Internet as a platform for commerce, debate, learning, and innovation in the 21st century, we successfully negotiated international Internet policymaking principles, support the current multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance, and oppose the extension of intergovernmental controls over the Internet.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On War & Peace: No US forces in Iraq; no US bases in Iraq

For over half a decade, our focus on Iraq meant we had taken our eye off of al-Qaeda, and it had cost us thousands of lives, a trillion dollars, and severely strained our key alliances. When President Obama took office, there were over 140,000 American troops in harm's way in Iraq. Today, all of those forces are out of Iraq, and there are no American bases there either. The Iraqi people, in continued partnership with the United States, now have the opportunity to build a better future.

After taking office, President Obama removed our combat brigades and ended our combat mission on a 19-month timetable. And after an interim period in which we continued to advise Iraqis and conduct counterterrorism operations, we completed the drawdown of all U.S. troops last December. This decision was reached after extensive discussions and with the full agreement of the Iraqi government, and it was determined to be in the best interest of both nations.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On War & Peace: Bring our troops home from Afghanistan by 2014

We have begun the process of bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, including removing 33,000 by September 2012. And, with the support of our allies, the President has outlined a plan to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014.

Already, the US and our NATO allies have begun to transition responsibility to Afghan security forces. At the same time, we are keeping up the pressure on the Taliban, pursuing the possibility of a political resolution to parts of the conflict, and continuing our capacity-building efforts. Beyond 2014, we will continue to provide counterterrorism and training assistance and to build an enduring relationship with Afghanistan. But we will not build permanent bases in Afghanistan. More broadly, we will also continue to support peace and stability in South Asia. Pakistan can be a partner in that process. The US will make clear that we respect Pakistan's sovereignty and democratic institutions, and that our interest is in putting an end to al-Qaeda's safe havens.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Welfare & Poverty: Partner with faith-based organizations to serve the needy

Faith has always been a central part of the American story. We know that our nation, our communities, and our lives are made vastly stronger and richer by faith and the countless acts of justice and mercy it inspires. Faith-based organizations will always be critical allies in meeting the challenges that face our nation and our world--from domestic and global poverty, to climate change and human trafficking. People of faith and religious organizations do amazing work in communities across this country & the world, and we believe in lifting up and valuing that good work, and finding ways to support it where possible. We believe in constitutionally sound, evidence-based partnerships with faith-based and other non-profit organizations to serve those in need and advance our shared interests. There is no conflict between supporting faith-based institutions and respecting our Constitution, and a full commitment to both principles is essential for the continued flourishing of both faith & country.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 4, 2012

On Principles & Values: FactCheck: "God" removed from DNC platform

Guess what? God's name has been removed from the Democratic platform. This is the paragraph that was in the 2008 platform:

"We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, & interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."

Now the words "God-given" have been removed. The paragraph has been restructured to say this:

"We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth--the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us."

[Note: As a result of this report, the DNC voted to re-insert the term 'God' into the Platform. A voice vote was taken on Sept. 5th; the NAY vote was greater than the YEA vote, but the chairman called for YEA].

Source: Fact-check by CBN.com on 2012 Democratic Party Platform Sep 5, 2012

The above quotations are from 2012 Democratic Party Platform.
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Page last updated: Sep 08, 2012