Who reads the party platforms?

I guess these days it’s on the party website. It seems the media makes a big deal about it when very few people bother to read it. (Pre website days not sure how the average people saw/read it unless they went to the convention)

No one except die hard activists and bored political reporters. They’re like reading a 100 page corporate mission statement.

I read the DNC platform. It was full of grandiose plans and no apparent way to follow through with them.

Opposition research

Yep. We’re going to be seen a lot of platform planks being used by Party A to claim that Party B not only wants X, but also wants it only so they can then slipslope into the most rextreme ad-absurdum extrapolation thereof.

Oh, and members of various intraparty factions trying to see to it that their pet plank is still there. This time around we’re giving a lot of attention to the Bernsters and wanting socialist rainbows and ponies in the Dem platform, but over in Cleveland there’ll be a bunch of Movement Conservatives and Teabags who are going to be very intensely trying to reassure themselves that Mr. Hairball is not going to tear up various old stalwart ideological planks like pro-life and anti-gay and no taxes on anyone for anything.

Does anybody in America remember the 2012 platforms? The 2008 platforms?

Okay, I guess I’m the weird one. I actually read party platforms.

People are always throwing around accusations about what the parties stand for. A platform is one of the few places where a political party gets together, thinks it over, and publicly states what it collectively stands for.

That so many people feel it’s unimportant is a sad commentary on American politics.

Alas, poor platforms. I knew them well!

I feel they are now unimportant because the presidential candidates themselves - of both parties - utterly ignore what the platforms say. So, apparently, do all candidates for lower offices.

If that isn’t the definition of unimportant, it’s hard to imagine what is.

Really, we had no one to blame but ourselves for the Great Robot Holocaust.

So, I saw a bit of the Democratic platform committee meetings on C-Span. I got an immediate flashback to college political science classes and meetings of campus political groups I was involved with. A bunch of purists trying to show off how brilliant they are.

All the Bernie unicorn and pixie dust concessions will be forgotten when Clinton takes office on January 20. It’s at that time that Clinton and her team will decide where best to spend political capital based on the makeup of congress. I think I can safely say it won’t be a $15 minimum wage.

Heh. Ain’t that the truth!!

I don’t read every word, but I do usually take a few minutes to skim the highlights each year.

I agree that it’s of questionable value because individual candidates at all levels tend to take their own positions. I also don’t see a lot of correlation between the platform and the issues that actually get put up for a vote in Congress or get addressed through executive actions.

So instead you read the candidate’s platforms?

I find it hard to believe this is a widespread alternative. I started a thread on Trump’s positions and most people were unaware he had a public platform. His hairpiece gets a lot more attention than his political beliefs.

Besides, the Presidency isn’t the only position up for a vote. Reading the party platforms let’s voters see what the parties are thinking, not just the Presidential candidates.

Maybe the platforms should mean something. They used to mean something. Today’s reality is that they are written to please the other people in the room and have no existence otherwise.

My sense is that this is inevitably tied to the primary system. When the candidate is determined months before the convention, how can he or she be held to what a group not under his or her control decides upon for their own reasons? Obviously the candidate’s previously announced policy positions must take precedence. That, in fact, is a very good argument for eliminating the platforms altogether. Meaningless may be a too polite word for them.

I’ve also argued here before that policies are themselves irrelevant. Being pro-gun and anti-abortion aren’t policies. People determine candidates because of attitudes and character. And I say it’s always been true.

Not “the parties”, just the various hotheads and ideologues who get assigned to the job to get them out of the adults’ way and make them feel important at the same time.

I disagree with that last part. When we’re talking about president, MOST people vote for either the R or the D irrespective of who is running. For the undecided, maybe, it comes down to “attitude and character”, but that seem to be a shrinking demographic (notwithstanding this oddball year of Trumpification).

I was unclear. People do obviously adhere to parties. *Within *their choice of party - they choose candidates for attitude and character. The choice of party is made from broad strokes which don’t deserve the name policies. Hawks vs. doves. Isolationists vs. internationalists. Lower taxes vs. higher wages. Private sector vs. government run.

I don’t believe in independents, BTW. Most “independents” vote consistently within a party even if they profess not to belong. The true undecideds do make a decision on attitude and character. Or the phase of the moon. Or the color of their Slurpee.

The Log Cabin Republicans do and they are pissed!

This is really my take away from the platforms. It just gives an idea of how much clout each individual special interest has within the party establishment. If abolish the IRS makes it into the platform then you can conclude that the Tea Partiests have managed to entrench themselves into the party establishment. Not that the IRS would ever actually be abolished.