Political Parties

DRAFT Look at 3 party platforms of the major political parties over a long period of time. Describe the continuities and changes that have occurred in the planks of the party platform. Ask the following questions: Has the party changed its position? What issues have been dropped? What new issues appear? What explains the changes? In the midst of overwhelming competition in the American political arena, the major political parties have always geared up for election by making competing party platforms. However, it is interesting to note that whereas the party platforms have always provided avenues for party election and endorsement for presidency, some of the platforms have been difficult to realize in the practical sense. Additionally, the main parties have always found it difficult to retain some of the platform planks. Nevertheless, some party platforms have always appealed to the general public and have therefore been retained for a long time. In this context, three democrat party platforms will be discussed in regard to continuity, changes, emerging issues, as well as possible causes of changes of the notable emerging issues. The paper will discuss the Republican Party platform of 1872, 1924, and 2008. The political arena in the late 1800s was predominantly marked by constitutional amendments, slavery, quest for human rights, liberty, and peace. It seems that Republican Party was well aware of the importance of these important elements and indeed incorporated them in their party platform of 1872. The party advocated for obedience to the law, human rights, and restructuring of financial instruments. The party supported the amendments to the constitution, equality and liberty, world peace, and special consideration on civil service remunerations. Most significant in this Republican Party platform was the advocacy on principles of annual revenue, increase on legislation, honor to state security, negation of federal debt, and additional rights to women. Considering the Republican Party platform of 1924, it is evident that most of the planks remained unchanged. However, some of the planks were changed perhaps reflecting the changing needs of the American society after a considerable period. For instance, the issues of finance and taxation, improvement of civil service, America’s financial status, and foreign relations among others characterized the 1924 party platform. It is worth noting that the rate of American Revolution between these periods was arguably slow as compared to what has been experienced in the 21st century. Therefore, the Republican Party must have deemed it fit to continue addressing these pertinent issues. However, in the wake of industrial revolution, increase in America’s population, new issues emerged thereby causing parties to inject new ideologies to their platforms. For instance, industrial revolution may have caused the party to put more focus on labor as key economic driver. Specifically the platform sought to address the issue of undue labor exactions. Other notable new inputs in this period were the issues of transport infrastructure, coal, merchant marine, aviation industry, and immigration. These new changes are a precursor to changes with the needs of the society. The Republican Party therefore had to put into consideration these emerging issues in the party platform in order to retain its relevance with time. At the same time, some issues were dropped altogether in subsequent party platforms. For example, the issues pertaining to constitutional amendments were evidently missing from Republican Party platform of 1924. Among other issues dropped between the period 1872 and 1924 were the issue of grants and public, civil rights, war veterans, franking privileges, gender and women issues, as well as specific endorsement flag bearer such as Henry Wilson for elective positions. Certainly, some of the planks changed automatically when the specific personalities associated with those planks ceased to be of public importance. For example, Henry Wilson would not have been of any use 30 years later despite being the key to end of corruption.