Not all Democrats unified over their 2020 Biden platform

Some Democrats are voting 'no' on their party's 2020 platform this week.

Updated: August 17, 2020 - 12:32pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

While the "Unity America" theme is front and center at the Democratic National Convention this week, not all is settled within the party when it comes to its policy platform.  

The far left-wing insurgency of the Democratic National Committee agrees with the progressive and reformer Democrats on one notion, and that is defeating President Trump in 2020. 

“The party has coalesced around the Biden-Harris ticket,” says Mark Penn, one of the leading Democratic strategist. 

The reformers won on the platform, but next week, other Democrats' voices are expected to be heard when they vote 'no' for the platform. While the platform is expected to be approved, the real suspenses will be how many delegates vote against it.

The revolutionaries abhor capitalism, while centrists recognize the financial inequalities stemming from globalization of capitalism. Most Democrats do not want to abolish capitalism and embrace socialism. 

The 2020 Democratic Platform does not endorse: 

  • Medicare for All; 
  • The Green New Deal; 
  • Slavery reparations;  
  • Defunding the police; 
  • Free college for all;
  • Cancellation of all student debt; 
  • Open borders;
  • Abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); 
  • A national ban on fracking; 
  • Deep cuts in the defense budget: 
  • and the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The 2020 platform calls for: 

  • Reforms to existing programs aimed at making affordable health insurance available to all; 
  • Reducing carbon emissions with new technologies; 
  • Improving police practices; 
  • Equalizing opportunity across racial and ethnic lines; 
  • Reducing university costs; 
  • Making immigration enforcement more humane; 
  • A $15 hourly wage;
  • and reducing the costs of defense procurement.

The platform calls for rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, the World Health Organization, and the Iran nuclear deal in striking contrast with the Trump administration.

The Democrats are calling for better relationships with European and Asian allies, and although cautious of China, they do not blame Beijing for the pandemic. They blame Trump. 

The Democratic Party is calling for substantially expanding the size of government while admitting that would require higher taxes on corporations, the wealthy and estates. 

The platform espouses a rigorous call to action for equality for women, racial and ethnic communities, the disabled, and the full range of gender identities.  

To some Democrats, none of what the platform put forth is as important as that which the party has left out. Namely, Medicare for All.  He's being joined by "The Squad" member Rashida Tlaib, who announced Sunday she will vote against the platform too.

“I will be voting ’No’ on the platform because when we say that healthcare is a human right, we must truly mean it, and fight for it,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said. 

Khanna serves as First Vice-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, national co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, and co-chair of California’s delegation to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. 

In Common Dreams, Khanna explained his objection. 

"With Trump in the White House," some might say, "we need 100 percent unity, and anything that would chip away at unity is dangerous to undertake—including a no vote on the platform,” wrote Khanna.

“No doubt, the specter of four more years of Donald Trump is a compelling argument for unity—but the thing is, I see a vote of conscience against the platform as an ultimate show of unity,” Khanna added.

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