Why Forget the Platform?

platformFor the Democrats to forget their platform after the Convention is puzzling. That’s why I opened “Make It Binding?” with a series of questions, including “Why must it merely be symbolic?” and “Could all Democratic office holders be expected to actively support the platform?”

On Facebook, Valerie Winemiller replied, “Why go to the bother if it’s going to be dumped in weeks?” I responded:

Good question. If you are so inclined and are able to get an answer, it might be interesting to ask your Congressperson that question. Personally, I think people do it because ideologues like to have ideological battles.

They can make a point, educate the public, and build support for the future, while sacrificing the present and failing to establish democratic collaborative structures.

Valerie commented, “Sounds about right. I will write to Barbara Lee [who’s on the Drafting Committee].”

It will be interesting to see if Congresswoman Lee clarifies the reasons.

Later Roy Birchard touched on another point that was already on my mind. He said, “Because it’s the pretty wrapping on the present under the tree.” His comment prompted me to say, “Yes. A marketing tool. That may be the main reason.”

But those answers don’t seem sufficient. So later I googled “why political parties weak,” reviewed some results, and reflected more on the issue.

Two thoughts come to mind. Party leaders hesitate to punish officeholders who don’t support the platform on one issue because they want support on other issues. And leaders don’t want the rank-and-file to oppose disloyal incumbents in primaries, because any such challenge might be a precedent that could threaten them as well later.

Regardless, if only to satisfy my curiosity, I intend to investigate the matter further. Your thoughts are welcome.

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