As being someone with a great regard for the U.S. Constitution, I thought it appropriate to investigate where the two major political parties stood with respect to it, particularly as stated in their party platforms.
The following is a comparative listing of references to the United States Constitution as found in the 2012 (DNC) Democratic National Platform and the 2012 (GOP) Republican Platform. A party platform is a declaration of principles and policies adopted by a political party, a manifesto, a statement of identity and belief.
Cited references to the U.S. Constitution are limited to those alluding to the document as it now exists, and include opinions of constitutionality. Support for, or opposition to proposed amendments are omitted.
Based on this study alone, there can no doubt that the Republican Party holds the United States Constitution with greater esteem, and as the primary foundation for their political philosophy and character. Furthermore, the comparative lack of references to the Constitution within the Democrat Platform clearly indicates an utter disregard for the document as a whole.
*Update.1: 09.07.12 The DNC published a new version of their platform at the same link I originally provided for this comparison. Haven’t the time right now to compare the two, so I’ve uploaded the archive which was the source of this article. Page nos cited are those on the printed pages, not the PDF file page nos.
(*Updated version of platform as found 09.07.12)
2012 (DNC) Democratic National Platform
https://subconch.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/2012dnc-national-platform-09-05.pdf (note: This document is as published while the party convention still underway, *and the source of the comparisons made in this article)
~Total pages: 40 Total references to the U.S. Constitution: 5
~Never names the Constitution as the “United States Constitution” or the “Constitution of the United States”.
~There are NO statements of overall support or defense of the U.S. Constitution itself.
~The text of the U.S. Constitution is not actually “quoted”.
2012 (GOP) Republican Platform
~Total pages: 56 Total references to the U.S. Constitution: 60+
~Platform appears to be entirely rooted in and based upon the U.S. Constitution.
~Reverence, support, defense, and adherence to the U.S. Constitution are found throughout.
~The Constitution, its framers, and our founders are quoted regularly.
CITED REFERENCES TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION IN THE 2012 PARTY PLATFORMS:
References to the U.S. Constitution found in the 2012 (DNC) Democratic National Platform:
note: page numbering in this document begins at page 31
- Pg. 49: 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 and country.
- Pg.53: 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.
- Pg.54-55: 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. That’s why we enacted the Fair Sentencing Act, reducing racial disparities in sentencing for drug crimes. That’s why President Obama appointed two distinguished jurists to the Supreme Court: Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Moving forward, 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.
- Pg.67: We must always seek to uphold these (universal) 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 Guantánamo 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.
References to the U.S. Constitution found in the 2012 (GOP) Republican Platform:
- Cover page: Includes text from the U.S. Constitution in the background.
- Dedication: This platform is dedicated with appreciation and reverence for: The wisdom of the Framers of the United States Constitution, who gave us a Republic, as Benjamin Franklin cautioned, if we can keep it.
- Preamble: As we embark upon this critical mission, we are not without guidance. We possess an owner’s manual: the Constitution of the United States, the greatest political document ever written. That sacred document shows us the path forward. Trust the people. Limit government. Respect federalism. Guarantee opportunity, not outcomes. Adhere to the rule of law. Reaffirm that our rights come from God, are protected by government, and that the only just government is one that truly governs with the consent of the governed.
The principles written in the Constitution are secured by the character of the American people. President George Washington said in his first inaugural address: “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” Values matter. Character counts.
- Pg.2: Their (taxes) proper role in a free society should be to fund services that are essential and authorized by the Constitution, …
- Pg.3: In any restructuring of federal taxation, to guard against hyper-taxation of the American people, any value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to the simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the federal income tax.
- We suggest a tripartite test for every federal activity. First, is it within the constitutional scope of the federal government?
- Pg. 9: Section Heading (pgs.9-14): We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government
- We are the party of the Constitution, the solemn compact which confirms our God-given individual rights and assures that all Americans stand equal before the law. Perhaps the greatest political document ever written, it defines the purposes and limits of government and is the blueprint for ordered liberty that makes the U.S. the world’s freest, most stable, and most prosperous nation. Its Constitutional ideals have been emulated around the world, and with them has come unprecedented prosperity for billions of people.
- In the spirit of the Constitution, we consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin unacceptable and immoral.
- A Restoration of Constitutional Order: Congress and the Executive
We salute Republican Members of the House of Representatives for enshrining in the Rules of the House the requirement that every bill must cite the provision of the Constitution which permits its introduction. Their adherence to the Constitution stands in stark contrast to the antipathy toward the Constitution demonstrated by the current Administration and its Senate allies by appointing “czars” to evade the confirmation process, making unlawful “recess” appointments when the Senate is not in recess, using executive orders to bypass the separation of powers and its checks and balances, encouraging illegal actions by regulatory agencies from the NLRB to the EPA, openly and notoriously displaying contempt for Congress, the Judiciary, and the Constitutional prerogatives of the individual States, refusing to defend the nation’s laws in federal courts or enforce them on the streets, ignoring the legal requirement for legislative enactment of an annual budget, gutting welfare reform by unilaterally removing its statutory work requirement, buying senatorial votes with special favors, and evading the legal requirement for congressional consultation regarding troop commitments overseas. A Republican President and Republican Senate will join House Republicans in living by the rule of law, the foundation of the American Republic.
- Protecting America is the first and most important duty of our federal government. The Constitution wisely distributes important roles in the area of national security to both the President and Congress. It empowers the President to serve as Commander in Chief, making him the lead instrument of the American people in matters of national security and foreign affairs. It also bestows authority on Congress, including the powers to declare war, regulate commerce, and authorize the funds needed to keep and protect our Nation. The United States of America is strongest when the President and Congress work closely together—in war and in peace—to advance our common interests and ideals. By uniting our government and our citizens, our foreign policy will secure freedom, keep America safe, and ensure that we remain the “last best hope on Earth.”
- Pg.10: A serious threat to our country’s constitutional order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to other branches of government.
- The current Administration’s open defiance of this constitutional principle—in its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base, and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts— makes a mockery of the President’s inaugural oath.
- Federalism and The Tenth Amendment
We support the review and examination of all federal agencies to eliminate wasteful spending, operational inefficiencies, or abuse of power to determine whether they are performing functions that are better performed by the States. These functions, as appropriate, should be returned to the States in accordance with the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. We affirm that all legislation, rules, and regulations must conform and public servants must adhere to the U.S. Constitution, as originally intended by the Framers. Whether such legislation is a State or federal matter must be determined in accordance with the Tenth Amendment, in conjunction with Article I, Section 8.
- When the Constitution is evaded, transgressed, or ignored, so are the freedoms it guarantees. In that context, the elections of 2012 will be much more than a contest between parties. They are a referendum on the future of liberty in America.
- Pg.10-11: The Republican Party, born in opposition to the denial of liberty, stands for the rights of individuals, families, faith communities, institutions – and of the States which are their instruments of self-government. In establishing a federal system of government, the Framers viewed the States as laboratories of democracy and centers of innovation, as do we. To maintain the integrity of their system, they bequeathed to successive generations an instrument by which we might correct any misalignment of power between our States and the federal government, the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
- Pg.11: Scores of entrenched federal programs violate the constitutional mandates of federalism by taking money from the States, laundering it through various federal agencies, only to return to the States shrunken grants with mandates attached.
- We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College. We recognize that an unconstitutional effort to impose “national popular vote” would be a mortal threat to our federal system and a guarantee of corruption as every ballot box in every state would become a chance to steal the presidency.
- Pg.12: The First Amendment: The Foresight of Our Founders to Protect Religious Freedom
The first provision of the First Amendment concerns freedom of religion. That guarantee reflected Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which declared that no one should “suffer on account of his religious opinion or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion….” That assurance has never been more needed than it is today, as liberal elites try to drive religious beliefs— and religious believers—out of the public square. The Founders of the American Republic universally agree that democracy presupposes a moral people and that, in the words of George Washington’s Farewell Address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
The most offensive instance of this war on religion has been the current Administration’s attempt to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage, or abortion. This forcible secularization of religious and religiously affiliated organizations, including faith-based hospitals and colleges, has been in tandem with the current Administration’s audacity in declaring which faithrelated activities are, or are not, protected by the First Amendment—an unprecedented aggression repudiated by a unanimous Supreme Court in its Hosanna- Tabor v. EEOC decision.
We pledge to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government. We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer at public school events in public schools and to have equal access to public schools and other public facilities to accommodate religious freedom in the public square. We assert every citizen’s right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious symbols, or submitting to government-imposed hiring practices. We oppose government discrimination against businesses due to religious views. We support the First Amendment right of freedom of association of the Boy Scouts of America and other service organizations whose values are under assault and condemn the State blacklisting of religious groups which decline to arrange adoptions by same-sex couples. We condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and vandalism by proponents of same-sex marriage against advocates of traditional marriage and call for a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious believers their civil rights.
- The First Amendment: Speech that is Protected
We oppose any restrictions or conditions that would discourage Americans from exercising their constitutional right to enter the political fray or limit their commitment to their ideals
- Pg.13: The Second Amendment: Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms
We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment.
We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban.
- The Fourth Amendment: Liberty and Privacy
Affirming “the right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” we support pending legislation to prevent unwarranted or unreasonable governmental intrusion through the use of aerial surveillance or flyovers on U.S. soil, with the exception of patrolling our national borders. All security measures and police actions should be viewed through the lens of the Fourth Amendment; for if we trade liberty for security, we shall have neither.
- The Fifth Amendment: Protecting Private Property
The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment– “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation”–is a bulwark against tyranny; for without property rights, individual rights are diminished.
- The Ninth Amendment: Affirming the People’s Rights
This speaks most eloquently for itself: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” This provision codifies the concept that our government derives its power from the people and all powers not delegated to the government are retained by the people. This is an essential feature of our governmental system, and we therefore celebrate the grassroots rediscovery of this and other constitutional guarantees over the last four years and welcome to our ranks all our fellow citizens who are determined to reclaim the rights of the people that have been ignored or violated by government.
- Pg.14: We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.
- Respect for Our Flag: Symbol of the Constitution
The symbol of our constitutional unity, to which we all pledge allegiance, is the flag of the United States of America. … We condemn the actions of those who deny our children the means by which to show respect for our great country and the constitutional principles represented by our flag.
- Subjecting American citizens to foreign laws is inimical to the spirit of the Constitution. It is one reason we oppose U.S. participation in the International Criminal Court. There must be no use of foreign law by U.S. courts in interpreting our Constitution and laws. Nor should foreign sources of law be used in State courts’ adjudication of criminal or civil matters.
- Pg.21: Our goal is not just less spending in Washington but something far more important for the future of our nation: protecting the constitutional rights of citizens, sustainable prosperity, and strengthening the American family.
- Pg.23: (on internet freedom) We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties; the only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector.
- Pg.25: Judicial Activism: A Threat to the U.S. Constitution
Despite improvements as a result of Republican nominations to the judiciary, some judges in the federal courts remain far afield from their constitutional limitations. The U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. Judicial activism which includes reliance on foreign law or unratified treaties undermines American law. The sole solution, apart from impeachment, is the appointment of constitutionalist jurists, who will interpret the law as it was originally intended rather than make it.
- Pg.29: We honor the extraordinary sacrifices of the men and women of the territories who protect our freedom through their service in the U.S. Armed Forces. We welcome their greater participation in all aspects of the political process and affirm their right to seek the full extension of the Constitution, with all the rights and responsibilities it entails.
- Pg.29: We recognize that Congress has the final authority to define the constitutionally valid options for Puerto Rico to achieve a permanent non-territorial status with government by consent and full enfranchisement.
- Pg.32: The Internet must be made safe for children. We call on service providers to exercise due care to ensure that the Internet cannot become a safe haven for predators while respecting First Amendment rights.
- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—was never really about healthcare, though its impact upon the nation’s health is disastrous. From its start, it was about power, the expansion of government control over one sixth of our economy, and resulted in an attack on our Constitution, by requiring that U.S. citizens purchase health insurance. We agree with the four dissenting justices of the Supreme Court: “In our view the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”
- Pg.35: (support in education) …renewed focus on the Constitution and the writings of the Founding Fathers, and an accurate account of American history that celebrates the birth of this great nation…
- Pg.39: While the twentieth century was undeniably an American century— with strong leadership, adherence to the principles of freedom and democracy our Founders’ enshrined in our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and a continued reliance on Divine Providence—the twenty-first century will be one of American greatness as well.
- Pg.39: As history has sadly shown, even our fellow citizens may rarely become enemies of their country. Nevertheless, our government must continue to ensure the protections under our Constitution to all citizens, particularly the rights of habeas corpus and due process of law.
- Pg.45: Under our Constitution, treaties become the law of the land. So it is all the more important that the Congress—the Senate through its ratifying power and the House through its appropriating power—shall reject agreements whose long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear.
- DNC ad touches the Unholy Grail of anti-Constitutional thought (americanthinker.com)
- A sad farewell to the U.S. Constitution (wnd.com)