Democratic Party on Principles & Values

Party Platform


For religious pluralism, not exemptions for discrimination

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. We will reject the Trump Administration's use of broad religious exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, and others to discriminate.
Source: Democratic Party Platform adopted at 2020 Convention , Jul 27, 2020

Free press essential; look at antitrust impact of mergers

The free press is essential to our free democracy. Democrats roundly reject President Trump's denigration of the free and independent press, which has endangered reporters' lives, helped fuel conspiracy theories, and deepened distrust between Americans and their government. Democrats are concerned about the potentially harmful effects of corporate consolidation and will direct federal antitrust agencies to investigate the economic impacts of mergers in the media industry.
Source: Democratic Party Platform adopted at 2020 Convention , Jul 27, 2020

Planned 12 Democratic 2020 presidential primary debates

In an interview with Politico regarding the March 15 debate, a DNC official confirmed a twelfth debate was still being planned. Two candidates (Gabbard and Sanders) suspended their campaigns between the eleventh and twelfth debates, leaving Biden as the only remaining major candidate. Prior to suspending his campaign, Sanders stated that he planned to participate in the debate. Biden dismissed the idea, however: "My focus is just dealing with this crisis right now. I haven't thought about any more debates. I think we've had enough debates. I think we should get on with this." It is likely that the debate would have been hosted in an East Coast location, such as New York City. On April 8, 2020, Sanders dropped out of the Democratic primary, leaving Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee. In early June 2020, Biden passed the threshold of 1,991 delegates to gain the nomination at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Source: Wikipedia denouement of 12th Democratic primary debate , Mar 26, 2020

Russia hacked into Party computers & released via WikiLeaks

Starting in April 2016, units of the Russian Federation's Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU) hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), targeting email accounts used by the Clinton Campaign. In total, the GRU stole hundreds of thousands of documents from the compromised email accounts and networks.

Military Units 26165, a cyber-unit of the GRU, carried out the computer intrusions. Unit 26165 was sub-divided into departments with different specialties. One department, for example, developed specialized malicious software ("malware") while another department conducted large-scale spearphishing campaigns.

On April 18, 2016, GRU officers gained access to the DNC network via a virtual private network (VPN) connection between the DCCC and DNC networks. Unit 26165 compromised more than 30 computers on the DNC network, including the DNC mail server and shared file server.

Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, pp. 36-8 , Apr 23, 2019

Sue Trump for conspiracy with Russia to win 2016 election

The Democratic Party sued President Trump's presidential campaign, the Russian government and the Wikileaks group, claiming a broad conspiracy to help Trump win the 2016 election.

The multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court says that "In the Trump campaign, Russia found a willing and active partner in this effort" to mount "a brazen attack on American Democracy" based on "preexisting relationships with Russia and Russian oligarchs" with Trump.

The common purpose of the scheme, according to the Democratic National Committee, was to "bolster Trump and denigrate the Democratic Party nominee," Hillary Clinton, while boosting the candidate of Trump, "whose policies would benefit the Kremlin."

The DNC said that while it would be impossible "to fully repair the harm caused by the defendants, the DNC has filed this civil complaint to hold the defendants accountable for their misconduct and to ensure transparency."

"No one is above the law," the suit says.

Source: CNBC's coverage of 2018 impeaching Trump , Apr 20, 2018

2016: GOP obstructed Russia election interference probe

The House's Russia investigation [disagrees with key aspects of] the intelligence community's findings, enshrined in its January 2017 assessment that Russia and Putin "developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

Some Republicans on the House panel agreed that the evidence failed to support the intel agencies' conclusions.

Democrats issued a 22-page report charging that Republicans abdicated their responsibility to conduct a thorough Russia probe, instead cutting off avenues of investigation and refusing to call dozens of potential witnesses.

"The decision to shut down the investigation before key witnesses could be interviewed and vital documentary evidence obtained will prevent us from fully discharging our duty to the House and to the American people," the Democrats said in their report, which identifies 30 witnesses Democrats wanted to call.

Source: Politico.com on Russia investigation & impeachment of Trump , Mar 13, 2018

196 Congressional Dems sue Trump over Emoluments Clause

Democratic investigators asked to see proof that the Trump Organization donated $151,470 to the Treasury Department, as lawmakers try to determine whether President Donald Trump has profited off of foreign governments.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested all documents related to the donation, in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In a separate letter, Cummings also pressed the Trump Organization for details on how the amount was calculated, including an accounting of which governments did business with the Trump Organization. Cummings also asked whether the company plans to claim the Treasury donation as a gift for tax-deduction purposes.

Cummings is one of 196 members of the House & Senate, all Democrats, who have sued Trump claiming violations of the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which was designed to prevent corruption by foreign influence. Blumenthal v. Trump is pending in US district court.

Source: Politico.com on Emoluments Clause & impeachment of Trump , Mar 12, 2018

Congressional Dems 80% Christian; plus Jews, Hindus, Muslims

Of the 293 Republican members in the House and Senate, 291 are Christians. The remaining two--Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and David Kustoff (R-Tenn.)--are Jewish.

The Democratic side is also overwhelmingly Christian, at 80 percent. But of the 242 Democrats in both chambers, there are also 28 Jews, three Buddhists, three Hindus, two Muslims, one Unitarian Universalist and one representative--Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)--who is religiously unaffiliated.

Source: The Hill FactCheck on 2017-2018 Congress' religion , Jan 3, 2017

OpEd: DNC tilted primary in favor of Hillary Clinton

On July 26, 2016, in a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, I endorsed Hillary Clinton and urged my supporters and the American people to elect her as president.

The now-famous DNC emails that we later learned were stolen by hackers working for a Russian intelligence agency had been released at the start of the convention. The content of these emails, which were not a shock to me, showed that the leadership of the DNC had tilted the playing field during the primary in favor of Hillary Clinton's campaign. As a result, the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was forced to resign. Many of my delegate, who were not great fans of Hillary Clinton or the democratic establishment to begin with, were further enraged.

Source: Where We Go From Here, by B.Sanders, p. 19-20, on 2016 DNC , Jul 26, 2016

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

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

Trout Fishers: 1990s generation of foreign policy wonks

Every August, America's leading foreign policy experts gathered together in Colorado for meetings of the Aspen Strategy group. Several attendees from the Clinton administration liked to go off fishing together. They were dubbed "the Trout Fishers."

The Trout Fishers were the Democrats' up-and-coming foreign policy team. They were in their 40s and 50s, in the vanguard of figuring out what the Democrats should do in foreign policy once they returned to office.

The Trout Fishers represented the generation of Democrats who learned how to run foreign policy during the 1990s. They were eager to show that the Democrats were not a bunch of pacifists, that they understood national security issues and were willing to use American force where necessary --though sometimes in different ways and for different purposes than the Republicans. Among other things, the Trout Fishers believed in the use of military action for humanitarian purposes, such as to stop genocide or ethnic cleansing.

Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 56-58 , Jun 14, 2012

Democratic promise to address 6 important issues in Congress

In 2006, the Democratic Party promised to address six important issues in Congress. Now that Democrats are back in charge in the US House and Senate, you can keep up with the Democrats as they follow through on their promise for a new direction.
  1. Honest Government & Open Government
  2. Real Security
  3. Energy Independence
  4. Economic Prosperity and Educational Excellence
  5. A Healthcare System that Works for Everyone
  6. Secure Retirement
Source: 2006 Democratic Party Congressional Promise , Nov 1, 2006

New vision for America: strong at home, respected abroad

We are mindful that the challenges of our times are new and profound. For the first time in generations, we have been attacked on our own shores. Our brave men and women in uniform are still in harmís way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war against terror. Our alliances are frayed, our credibility in doubt. Our great middle class is hard-pressed. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and millions more are struggling under the mounting burden of lifeís everyday costs. In Washington, the President and his allies stubbornly press on, without regard to the needs of our people or the challenges of our times. It is time for a new direction. John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democratic Party bring a new vision for America - strong at home, respected abroad. An America that offers opportunity, rewards responsibility, and rejoices in diversity.
Source: The Democratic Platform for America, p. 1 , Jul 10, 2004

Democrats need bold, innovative ideas, not ideology

[Al From and Bruce Reed, two pundits from the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, write]: The party's problem on Election Day 2002 wasn't ideology; it was ideas. Few voters said Democrats had a clear plan to cure the nation's ills. Here are 5 lessons Democrats can learn from this election:
  1. Democrats need to appeal to all Americans, not just narrow interests. The Democratic message was a tired appeal to groups.
  2. Democrats need to expand their base, not just to energize it. The Democratic base just isn't big enough to win. Moving left is counter-productive.
  3. Democrats need to get the big things right. That means national security and the economy.
  4. Democrats need to offer bold, innovative reforms, not incremental change. A bold tax overhaul would be a good start.
  5. Democrats need to look outside Washington for answers. We have a great opportunity to do this with the increased number of Democratic governors.
Source: Crossroads, by Andrew Cuomo, p.124-126 , Oct 14, 2003

Safety net for no poverty & no discrimination

The Democratic agenda has gone through a process of "moderation," "reinvention," and "triangulation." But the core Democratic principles are fundamentally different from Republican principles.

Historically, the Democratic Party has been responsible for our greatest national advancements, and a common philosophical framework drove these initiatives. These are the principles that allowed Franklin Roosevelt to create Social Security in the 1930's and that led the major progressive movements in this nation's history--civil rights, women's rights, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Marshall Plan, the war on poverty, disability rights, and the race to the moon.

Democratic success means a country where no child sleeps in poverty, where there are no victims of discrimination, where everyone has clean, decent and affordable housing, where each child receives a high-quality public education, where there is a safety net for people who require assistance.

Source: Crossroads, by Andrew Cuomo, p. 62-63 , Oct 14, 2003

Appoint judges committed to Constitutional rights

We will fight to end Republican delays in the Senate that have kept qualified nominees, especially women and minorities, waiting years for a Senate vote. Democrats oppose efforts to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to decide critical issues affecting workers, immigrants, veterans and others of access to justice. Gore will appoint justices to the Supreme Court who have a demonstrated commitment to the individual rights protected by our Constitution.
Source: 2000 Democratic National Platform as adopted by the DNC , Aug 15, 2000

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Page last updated: Feb 24, 2022