The Democratic Agenda

Educate Yourself on the Democratic Agenda

By JAMES F. HENRY

Bull Moose Magazine Publisher

Far too often, people "learn" about issues that are important to the Presidential candidates filtered through the invariably negative lens of their opponent. This is nothing new. During graduate school I studied the Presidential Election of 1800, which featured Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. If people believed what they read in the newspapers of the day (which were actually owned by the Democratic-Republican and Federalist Parties) you would think that both Jefferson and Adams were headed straight to hell, without passing go and without collecting $200. So we shouldn't be surprised when Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are on the stump that they invariably take shots at each other. It's how the game has been played for centuries.

However, I am firmly of the opinion that in this election, perhaps more than any other in my life time, there is a profound difference between the priorities of the two parties. Furthermore, as a proud Democrat, I happen to believe that the Democratic Party is right on the preponderance of the issues. I firmly believe that if people educate themselves on the issues and what the Democratic Party actually stands for (as opposed to what Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin would have you believe) you will see why Barack Obama should be elected President of the United States.

Toward that end, I undertook an exercise tonight. I went through the entire Democratic Platform and ranked the issues. I ranked them based upon the amount of space each issue received within the platform, by counting words in each plank. Truth be told, my computer did the counting! There are actually 93 issues and subissues contained in the document. Since no one (not even me) would care to read about all 93 issues, I have combined many that run along common themes, and have highlighted the top 10 of these combined rankings.

In the weeks ahead, my plan is to write 10 hubs, each featuring one of these issues. As the hubs are put online, I will link them here, for easy access. Please know that this exercise is not news. Objective journalists, if they still exist (or ever did), are required to seek out divergent positions, to maintain a balance. My intention is to present my decidedly biased opinion on the important issues facing our nation today.

And so, without further ado, I present the Democratic Agenda:

1. Empowering Families for a New Era

2. Economic Stewardship

3. Working for our Common Security

4. Revitalizing and Supporting the Military, Keeping Faith With Veterans

5. Ending the War in Iraq, Defeating Al Qaeda, Winning in Afghanistan

6. Education - K12 & Higher Education

7. Preventing the Spread and Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction

8. Invest in our Common Humanity

9. Reclaiming our Constitution and our Liberties

10. Open, Accountable and Ethical Government

Democratic Nominee, Sen. Barack Obama
Democratic Nominee, Sen. Barack Obama

What Is Important To You?

There is a theory called Agenda Setting that contends that the media aren't very good at telling you what to think but are very good at telling you what to think about. Now you can have your say and let everyone know what is important to you.

If you would care to share, leave a comment below answering this question:

What is the most important issue facing the United States of America today?

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Comments 8 comments

blogging2 profile image

blogging2 8 years ago from Florida

I recently posted a request asking this... now I would ask, that maybe if you could (I get lost in all the various stages since I am not very political) possibly write a group of hubs relating to what you wrote above. I have done some research and I am not bashing here, I am very interested in hearing another side.

In answer to your question (fair is fair :) ) My largest concern right now is too vast to address but what I fear with the Democrats is that while I agree that all of the tax breaks should not be for the Oil Companies etc, but I believe the Democrats current "plan" targets people like me (self employed or business owner who brings in more than $50k a year). Notice I said brings in, I put out quite a bit more and I barely make ends meet as is. If my taxes go up at all I will be unable to afford even the small things like a YMCA membership, and my money will be given to people who are "in need." I work very hard for what I make and people I know who make substantially more than me work hard for what they make, I think that the Democrats want to help too many that we just can't help. In fairness though the Republicans are giving breaks to the people who don't need it!


pgrundy 8 years ago

Obama's tax plan gives a substantial break to anyone making under 250K, but if you make more than 250K a year, your taxes will increase. Less than 2% of U.S. households make over 250K. This info is right at his website, in detail, and he explains it over and over again, and yet the McCain ads say over and over that Obama will raise taxes. Yes--on Cindy & John McCain and on Barack & Michelle Obama, all of whom can afford it, but not on most of the rest of us.

Great hub Crash Cromwell. I'm looking forward to the others!


blogging2 profile image

blogging2 8 years ago from Florida

OK, I went and looked at it very closely and frankly it doesn't help me much if at all. If I ever do get to where I make more though I would rather not have more taken from me because I will have worked hard to get from here to there... Do any target specifically the problem with the Oil and large companies? Random question since I am forever comming up with them...  What happens if either or both decide to just throw either of their current plans out the window when elected?  Can the do that?


blogging2 profile image

blogging2 8 years ago from Florida

Oh and how can they make anything permanent? Can't the next president come in and change it? Isn't that the point of 4 year terms?


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Thanks for going over the Democratic platform, Crash. I would like to know how they plan to achieve these objectives, but it's good to read what the goals are.

I would like to weigh in a bit on the emotional button, Big Oil and on oil industry salaries...

First, what do people mean by Big Oil?  Do they assume everyone in Oil is Big Oil and everyone in Oil makes obscene profits? 

My husband is in little oil.  He is a wildcatter, pretty much and our life together has been a financial roller coaster ride.  Frequently we haven't had health care because we couldn't afford it- not even the so-called cheap State version of children's health care.  It was ridiculously expensive.  Once, a teacher in my son's school told him I was an abusive parent because he wasn't covered by a plan.  We have never made near $250K and what we do make now that things have improved is going towards paying off 29.99% credit cards we opened in order to survive years of negative income.  We live paycheck to paycheck.

Getting back to Big Oil, I wonder how we are we going to stop depending on foreign oil, i.e., Opec and stop funding terrorists inadvertently, if we don't support our American oil companies?  In other words, it seems to me we need to come up with some policy that encourages Big Oil companies like Exxon etc. to continue providing us with oil- while we develop alternative fuel sources- without raping the public or the earth.  

(My husband and I were in graduate school hoping for careers in solar energy back in the 80s but when Carter lost, Reagan put the kabosh on that industry.  Now that solar is economically viable, we are excited about its reemergence in the energy mix. High oil prices make solar energy and other alternative sources economic, which motivates the market. This was not the case back in the 80s.)

Income-wise, I think it's challenging to create an incentive program for people that is equitable.  I mean, yes we want to motivate executives, but is one hour of their time really 1000+ times more valuable than one hour of a mother's day, nursing her child in the ghetto?  This is where I have a hard time.  Those on the lowest rungs make minimum wage, around $5/hour, if they are lucky, while Presidents of companies, movie stars, etc. make over $5000/hour. 

Theoretically, that mother's child could grow up in poverty, get into a gang, get hold of a gun, and shoot the executive. Doesn't it help everyone when we ease the inequities and raise everyone's quality of life?


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Thanks for showing us the basic ideas to be worked on by the Democracts.  I am generally in favor of most of them, and some others I am enthusiastic about.

I would lke to know where we are getting the $10 billion each month right now to pay for the Iraq war?  Is that just simple borrowing against the national debt? Is there some secret fund at the hands of the President & Congress which allows for contingencies like this?  The way I figure it, $120 billion per year would logically be saved by getting our troops out of Iraq.  But are some of those costs just simply pay, housing, equipment, which would not necessarily decrease no matter where the troops are stationed?

Also, I am a huge supporter of education, and by that I mean REAL education, not the teaching to the test schools are more or less forced to do these days.

I also am a proponent of alternative energies.  We will always have a need for oil, but is it wise to put all of our fuel in one tank?  It seems to me the basis of national security depends upon an uninterrupted source of energy, and being dependent upon the Middle east for almost three-quarters of our oil is unfathomoable.

When I lived in Spain all the taxis were converted to butano (butane) and that cut their costs by more than half.  We have huge reserves of natural gas and could rather easily conver existing sutos to that fuel.  Why is this not being done?  I hope that who ever gets the nod to be president gets on the bandwagon to convert autos to natural gas.

Great hub!  I'll be looking forward to the rest of your project!  Good luck!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Good hub, Crash. I am a registered Independent, but still completely agree: Obama and Biden absolutely MUST win the upcoming election.


solarcaptain profile image

solarcaptain 8 years ago from california

I am inde but an all or nothing obama fan who is going to bring the country out of the dark ages and into the light.  Great hub mister I'm tired of lies and that trailer trash from alaska

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