Platform Comparisons

What Do The Republican and Democratic Parties Stand For?

What Do The Parties Value?

Before you cast your vote this November, it is crucial for voters to read and understand each Party’s platform, as it is a firm indication of a candidate(s) values and beliefs. Regardless of the level of the elected office — federal, state or local — the Party your candidate aligns with is a sure sign of how he/she will vote — or be influenced to vote — while in office. They may say many things on the campaign trail; however, voters are wise to verify the candidate’s voting record (if they’ve served in elected office before) against the Party platform to see if they are truly representing your values.

For your convenience, you will find direct quotes on key social issues taken from the two primary* political party platforms. In your quest to be good stewards and citizens, we encourage you to review the platforms in their entirety, to have a holistic understanding of what each Party believes.

*Here are links to other Party Platforms (alphabetically):Constitution, Green and Libertarian.

REPUBLICANS ON:

God and the Foundation of Government

“…if God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail…” (p.9-10)

“…there is a moral law recognized as ‘the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God’…” (p.9-10)

“In a free society, the primary role of government is to protect the God-given, inalienable rights of its citizens.These constitutional rights are not negotiable for any American. We affirm that all legislation, regulation, and official actions must conform to the Constitution’s original meaning as understood at the time the language was adopted.” (p. 9-10)

DEMOCRATS ON:

God and the Foundation of Government

“In 2016, Democrats met in Philadelphia with the same basic belief that animated the Continental Congress when they gathered here 240 years ago: ‘Out of many, we are one.’ ” (p.1)

“Two hundred and forty years ago, in Philadelphia, we started a revolution of ideas and of actions, which continue to this day.” (p.3)

REPUBLICANS ON:

Religious Freedom

“We pledge to defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control.” (p.11)

“We support laws to confirm the longstanding American tradition that religious individuals and institutions can educate young people, receive government benefits, and participate in public debates without having to check their religious beliefs at the door.” (p.11)

“We support the right of the people to conduct their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs and condemn public officials who have proposed boycotts against businesses that support traditional marriage. We pledge to protect those business owners who have been subjected to hate campaigns, threats of violence, and other attempts to deny their civil rights.” (p.11)

“We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage and further affirm the rights of religious students to engage in voluntary prayer at public school events and to have equal access to school facilities.” (p.11)

“We assert the First Amendment right of freedom of association for religious, private, service, and youth organizations to set their own membership standards.” (p.11)

(Internationally) “A Republican administration will return the advocacy of religious liberty to a central place in its diplomacy, will quickly designate the systematic killing of religious and ethnic minorities a genocide, and will work with the leaders of other nations to condemn and combat genocidal acts.” (p.52)

DEMOCRATS ON:

Religious Freedom

“We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate.” (p.19)

“Democrats know that our nation, our communities, and our lives are made vastly stronger and richer by faith in many forms and the countless acts of justice, mercy, and tolerance it inspires. We believe in lifting up and valuing the good work of people of faith and religious organizations and finding ways to support that work where possible.” (p.19)

(Internationally) “We are horrified by ISIS’ genocide of Christians and Yezidis and crimes against humanity against Muslims and others in the Middle East. We will do everything we can to protect religious minorities and the fundamental right of freedom to worship and believe.” (p.47)

REPUBLICANS ON:

Conscience Rights in Healthcare

“We support the ability of all organizations to provide, purchase, or enroll in healthcare coverage consistent with their religious, moral, or ethical convictions without discrimination or penalty.” (p.37)

“American taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion.” (p.37)

“Providers should not be permitted to unilaterally withhold services because a patient’s life is deemed not worth living.” (p.37)

“We call for codification of the Hyde Amendment and its application across the government, including Obamacare. We call for a permanent ban on federal funding and subsidies for abortion and healthcare plans that include abortion coverage.” (p.37)

DEMOCRATS ON:

Conscience Rights in Healthcare

“Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured.” (p.37)

“We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide critical health services to millions of people. We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.” (p.37)

REPUBLICANS ON:

Marriage and Family

“Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values.” (p.11)

“We, therefore, support the appointment of justices and judges who respect the constitutional limits on their power and respect the authority of the states to decide such fundamental social questions.” (p.11)

“We oppose policies and laws that create a financial incentive for or encourage cohabitation.” (p. 31)

“We do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states.” (p.31)

“Families formed or enlarged by adoption strengthen our communities and ennoble our nation. Private entities which facilitate adoptions enrich our communities. We support measures such as the First Amendment Defense Act to ensure these entities do not face government discrimination because of their views on marriage and family.” (p.31)

“We urge marriage penalties to be removed from the tax code and public assistance programs.” (p. 31)

DEMOCRATS ON:

Marriage and Family

“Democrats applaud last year’s decision by the Supreme Court that recognized LGBT people — like every other American — have the right to marry the person they love. But there is still much work to be done.” (p.19)

REPUBLICANS ON:

Abortion and Life Issues

“…we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.” (p.13)

“We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide healthcare.” (p.13)

“We will not fund or subsidize healthcare that includes abortion coverage.” (p.13)

“We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.” (p.13)

“We support funding for ultrasounds and adoption assistance.” (p.14)

“We salute the many states that now protect women and girls through laws requiring informed consent, parental consent, waiting periods, and clinic regulation.” (p.14)

“We support state and federal efforts against the cruelest forms of abortion, especially dismemberment abortion procedures, in which unborn babies are literally torn apart limb from limb.” (p.14)

“We call on Congress to ban sex-selection abortions and abortions based on disabilities — discrimination in its most lethal form. We oppose embryonic stem cell research. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. We support adult stem cell research and urge the restoration of the national placental stem cell bank created by President George H.W. Bush but abolished by his Democrat successor, President Bill Clinton. We oppose federal funding for harvesting embryos and call for a ban on human cloning.” (p.14)

DEMOCRATS ON:

Abortion and Life Issues

“Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice.” (p.37)

“We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide critical health services to millions of people.” (p.37)

“We will continue to oppose — and seek to overturn — federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.” (p.37)

“And we strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child, including by ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth, and by providing services during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including adoption and social support services, as well as protections for women against pregnancy discrimination. We are committed to creating a society where children are safe and can thrive physically, emotionally, educationally, and spiritually. We recognize and support the importance of civil structures that are essential to creating this for every child.” (p.37)

REPUBLICANS ON:

Judges and the Rule of Law

 

“The rule of law is the foundation of our Republic.  A critical threat to our country’s constitutional order is an activist judiciary that usurps powers properly reserved to the people through other branches of government. Only a Republican president will appoint judges who respect the rule of law expressed within the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, including the inalienable right to life and the laws of nature and nature’s God, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia. We are facing a national crisis in our judiciary. We understand that only by electing a Republican president in 2016 will America have the opportunity for up to five new constitutionally-minded Supreme Court justices appointed to fill vacancies on the Court. Only such appointments will enable courts to begin to reverse the long line of activist decisions — including Roe, Obergefell, and the ObamaCare cases — that have usurped Congress’s and states’ lawmaking authority, undermined constitutional protections, expanded the power of the judiciary at the expense of the people and their elected representatives, and stripped the people of their power to govern themselves.” (p.10)

“We believe in the constitutional checks and balances and that the Founders intended the judiciary to be the weakest branch. We encourage Congress to use the check of impeachment for judges who unconstitutionally usurp Article I powers. In tandem with a Republican Senate, a new Republican president will restore to the Court a strong conservative majority that will follow the text and original meaning of the Constitution and our laws.” (p.10)

“Foreign laws and precedents should not be used to interpret our Constitution or laws, nor should foreign sources of law be used in state courts’ adjudication of criminal or civil matters.” (p.10)

“We will not recognize as binding upon the United States any international agreement forged without the constitutionally required assent of two-thirds of the United States Senate.” (p.10)

DEMOCRATS ON:

Judges and the Rule of Law

 

“We will appoint judges who defend the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, curb billionaires’ influence over elections, because they understand that Citizens United has fundamentally damaged our democracy, and believe the Constitution protects not only the powerful, but also the disadvantaged and powerless.” (p.25)

REPUBLICANS ON:

Education/Sex Education/Parental Rights

 

“Parents are a child’s first and foremost educators, and have primary responsibility for the education of their children. Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing. We support a constitutional amendment to protect that right from interference by states, the federal government, or international bodies such as the United Nations. We reject a one size-fits-all approach to education and support a broad range of choices for parents and children at the state and local level.” (p.33)

“We support options for learning, including home-schooling, career and technical education, private or parochial schools, magnet schools, charter schools, online learning, and early-college high schools.” (p.34)

“A good understanding of the Bible being indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry, we encourage state legislatures to offer the Bible in a literature curriculum as an elective in America’s high schools.” (p.33)

“We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children. We support the right of parents to consent to medical treatment for their minor children and urge enactment of legislation that would require parental consent for their daughter to be transported across state lines for abortion.” (p.37)

“We emphatically support the original, authentic meaning of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. … That same provision of law is now being used by bureaucrats — and by the current President of the United States — to impose a social and cultural revolution upon the American people by wrongly redefining sex discrimination to include sexual orientation or other categories. Their agenda has nothing to do with individual rights; it has everything to do with power. They are determined to reshape our schools — and our entire society — to fit the mold of an ideology alien to America’s history and traditions. Their edict to the states concerning restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities is at once illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues. We salute the several states which have filed suit against it.” (p.34)

“We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with sexual risk avoidance education that sets abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior.” (p.34)

DEMOCRATS ON:

Education/Sex Education/Parental Rights

 

 

“We believe a good education is a basic right of all Americans, no matter what zip code they live in. We will end the school-to-prison pipeline and build a cradle-to-college pipeline instead, where every child can live up to his or her God-given potential.” (p.2)

“Bold new investments by the federal government, coupled with states reinvesting in higher education and colleges holding the line on costs, will ensure that Americans of all backgrounds will be prepared for the jobs and economy of the future.” (p.30)

“Democrats are committed to providing parents with high-quality public school options and expanding these options for low-income youth. We support democratically governed, great neighborhood public schools and high-quality public charter schools, and we will help them disseminate best practices to other school leaders and educators. Democrats oppose for-profit charter schools focused on making a profit off of public resources. We believe that high-quality public charter schools should provide options for parents, but should not replace or destabilize traditional public schools. Charter schools must reflect their communities, and thus must accept and retain proportionate numbers of students of color, students with disabilities and English Language Learners in relation to their neighborhood public schools. We support increased transparency and accountability for all charter schools.” (p.32)

“We recognize that quality, affordable comprehensive health care, evidence-based sex education, and a full range of family planning services help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.” (p.37)

“Democrats will invest in early childhood programs like Early Head Start and provide every family in America with access to high-quality childcare and high-quality preschool programs.” (p.36)

REPUBLICANS ON:

Pornography

 

“The internet must not become a safe haven for predators. Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the lives of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well-being. We applaud the social networking sites that bar sex offenders from participation. We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography, which is closely linked to human trafficking.” (p.40)

DEMOCRATS ON:

Pornography

 

N/A

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