Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Texas Democratic Party Platform is Published

Amazing. When the TDP Platform committee made its presentation last Saturday, and Chairman Boyd Richie characterized it as a platform to be proud of and not one to run from, they said that it would be made available for public viewing by Tuesday.

And now that it is Tuesday, I decided to go and check the TDP website. And by golly there it is, the 2010 Texas Democratic Party Platform. You can download the entire PDF file from here.

Where it gets really instructive is to compare the TDP’s 2010 platform to the Republican Party of Texas’ platform. Boyd Richie is right. If I were a Republican I would have a hard time defending that document.

A document that virtually drips of fear, hatred and intolerance.

Case in point. Here is what Democrats have to say on how our Constitution should be used:

“We believe our Constitution is intended to protect our freedoms. Republicans seek ways to ignore or deny those protections. Democrats believe our Constitution is intended to prohibit discrimination in all forms. Republicans wish to make it a tool of discrimination.”
Republicans, on the other hand want to use the US Constitution to ban sodomy.

“Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.”
Sodomy. They put the word “sodomy” in their party platform. My guess is that this affords Republicans a reason to say the word, write the word, and engage in envisioning the act that the word entails. Sexual titillation, in other words.

Oh, and then there is religion. Republicans love to wear their religion on their sleeves. Democrats love to celebrate diversity.

From the TDP Platform on religion:

“Texas Democrats believe government should scrupulously honor every Texan's right to religious freedom, as guaranteed by the Texas and U.S. Constitutions and protected by the separation of church and state.”

“Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties – We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state.”
And near and dear to my heart, how do we compare Democrats and Republicans with regard to educational practices and policies. The differences couldn’t be more stark:

“Texas Democrats believe all children should be able to attend a safe, secure school and have access to an exemplary educational program that values and encourages critical thinking and creativity, not the “drill and kill” teach-to-the-test policy Republicans have forced on students and teachers. To fulfill this commitment, Texas Democrats continue leading the fight to improve student achievement, lower dropout rates, and attract and retain well-qualified teachers.”
Republicans, on the other hand are perfectly willing to “drill and kill” the 3 R’s and continue the insanity of administering high stakes multiple choice tests

“Basic Standards – We favor improvements on the quality of education and a return to the traditional basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic with sufficient discipline to ensure learning. We support standardized testing to ensure minimal standards are met.”
Did you get that?

Not “minimum standards.” Minimum standards are the standards that something must meet, in order for some desired outcome to be certified.

“Minimal standards” has a whole different connotation. Minimal means “only barely adequate.”

But then again, with that rightwing Republican domination we all have seen on the state school board, and the board’s recent revamp of curriculum guidelines in English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies, maybe that wasn’t a misapplication of the word.

Maybe they mean it.

1 comment:

bob said...

They *must* mean it, since their years of teaching students to learn to take a specific test has produced such minimal results.

This is really good stuff, this comparison of platforms. If more people used this to do comparison political shopping, well, there prolly would be fewer Repubs.