The American political parties produce platforms that guide the politicians in their approach to governing. The platforms are important documents that outline the vision of a party and in so doing provide a beginning point for analysis of the candidates. Anyone who votes should read the platforms carefully because they are free of media bias, social media hysteria, and the often the hate filled rhetoric of the politically uneducated.
There are many topics that deserve attention during the political season. The ones that matter most to me are the following:
- Death Penalty
- Gun Control and Gun Safety
- National Defense
- Economic justice
- Freedom (religious, self-determination, from undue influence, etc.)
All parties except the Republican party believe the government should abolish the death penalty. The Republican party supports the death penalty believing it is supported in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. All sections of the party platforms addressing the death penalty are below with links and where available page references.
Each individual must make her or his own decision about about the morality and need for the death penalty.
Each of the four main political parties address the death penalty in their platforms. Yet, they give unequal attention to the issue.
Oppose the death penalty in the United States and worldwide.
Criminal Justice Reform
Abolish the death penalty. (http://www.gp.org/platform)
We oppose the administration of the death penalty by the state.
The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights—life, liberty, and justly acquired property—against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition. (https://www.lp.org/platform)
Bring Americans Together and Remove Barriers to Opportunities
We will abolish the death penalty, which has proven to be a cruel and unusual form of punishment. It has no place in the United States of America. The application of the death penalty is arbitrary and unjust. The cost to taxpayers far exceeds those of life imprisonment. It does not deter crime. And, exonerations show a dangerous lack of reliability for what is an irreversible punishme nt.
We have been inspired by the movements for criminal justice that directly address the discriminatory treatment of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians to rebuild trust in the criminal justice system.
Ensuring Safe Neighborhoods: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform
The constitutionality of the death penalty is firmly settled by its explicit mention in the Fifth Amendment. With the murder rate soaring in our great cities, we condemn the Supreme Court’s erosion of the right of the people to enact capital punishment in their states. In solidarity with those who protect us, we call for mandatory prison time for all assaults involving serious injury to law enforcement officers. (p.40, https://ballotpedia.org/The_Republican_Platform_and_RNC_Platform_Committee,_2016)