We believe in America and the ideals it embodies - as John Adams said, we are a nation of laws not men. We believe no one is above the law, not even a wealthy president. Likewise we believe no one is undeserving of fair treatment, dignity, and justice, not the poor, not the sick, not the elderly, not the powerless. As Democrats, believe the fundamental obligation of Government is to ensure the well-being of the People. We believe in community, compassion, dignity, equality of opportunity, fairness, tolerance, respect, and supporting the common good. These values provide the basis for our ideals and we believe they form the foundation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
We believe Government has a duty to defend the People against enemies both foriegn and domestic. We believe those who voluntarily take on this role, and put thier lives at risk in our defense, are owed the best equipment and training possible, and they are owed proper health care, both physical and mental when they return. Veterans deserve more than just thanks and bumber stickers, they deserve jobs and an education. We believe that we, The People, have a moral obligation to ensure the government provides for it's veterans. Our military veterans must not be forced to rely on charitable contributions for their healthcare, wellfare and livelyhood.
We believe that an excellent, quality, public education is paramount to maintaining a healthy democracy. By "quality" public education we mean preschool through post-secondary, accessable to all, in a safe and healthy environment, and staffed by well trained well paid teachers. The free, public school system, dedicated to developing informed, reasoning, and thoughtful citizens who are lifelong learners is the foundation of a civilized society. We believe teachers provide a singularly unique and valuable service to the country and deserve wages commensurate with their required level of education and their contribution to society and the economy. We believe public schools and public school teachers are being attacked and unjustly blamed for conditions they have no control over. Numerous studies have shown, that the primary cause of poor student performance in the U.S. is Poverty, not schools and not poor school teachers. The majority of U.S. public school students today live in poverty. That is an unacceptable condition and it's solution does not lie in closing schools and dimissing teachers. We are convinced the solution is in restoring Government as an instrument of the people and not merely a mechanism for promoting corporate interests.
We believe, as did Oliver Wendell Holmes, that Taxation is the price which we pay for civilization. It provides our social, civil, political and military institutions. Taxes provide for the security of country, our lives and our property. Without a tax system we would be reduced to lives of desperate barbarism. But we also believe the payment of taxes should be distributed fairly. The current tax structure is regressive with the poor and middle classes people paying the largest share of their income in taxes while the wealthy, those who gain the most benefit from government, actually pay the lowest proportion of thier income in taxes.
We believe that corporations, as artificial entities, are not entitled to the same Constitutional rights as people. It’s time to restore responsibility and to limit the power of money to influence politics.
We believe in a world with clean water, clean breathable air, living oceans, and a healthy and sustainable food source. We believe a world rich in biodiversity is indispensable for our own well being. We beieve we have a moral obligation to protect the only home we have, the earth, both for our own sake and for the sake of future generations.
Government derives its legitimacy solely from the People and must be answerable to the People. Government is the people’s instrument to achieve what we cannot achieve individually. We are committed to a representative democracy that encourages maximum active participation and a voting process that is fair, transparent, verifiable and open to all citizens. We actively support the right to vote, and to have that vote accurately counted. We support easy and equitable access to the voting booth for every eligible voter in society.
Democrats believe organized labor is essential to the social, economic, and political health of our democracy. The tremendous improvement in the overall standard of living that occurred in the years after World War II was due to the preceding and ongoing struggles of unions and working people who fought, sacrificed, and died to gain the right to organize and bargain collectively for better working conditions and a share in economic prosperity. The decline of real wages over the past three decades, accompanied by powerful anti-union political attacks, intensifies the need for the protective efforts of a strong union movement.
The inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all human beings are the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world. The strength of our democracy rests on the rights and responsibilities set forth in the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Democrats remain at the forefront of the struggle to extend social, political, economic and legal rights to all persons and to oppose policies that would tend to reverse or impede those gains in human dignity.
We believe the First Amendment guarantees every American the right to worship as they choose. We oppose discrimination against any group for their religious beliefs. We oppose the interpretation of the first ammendment to mean that a majority can impose it's religious beliefs on a minority. We support the 1971 Supreme Court decision which ruled unconstitutional any government action which has (1) A religious purpose. (2) That promotes or favors any set of religious beliefs over any other. Or (3) Involves the government with religion.