July 5, 2014

1940. The Republican and Democratic Party Platforms Compared

The Platforms Compared
"The Platforms Compared," New York Times, July 21, 1940, E7
"On June 26, at Philadelphia, the Republicans adopted their platform for the Presidential campaign. Last Wednesday, July 17, at Chicago, the Democrats adopted their platform. In the columns below the most important planks are compared."

FOREIGN POLICY
REPUBLICAN: The Republican party is firmly opposed to involving this nation in foreign war.
Our sympathies have been profoundly disturbed by invasion of unoffending countries and of disaster to nations whose ideals most closely resemble our own. We favor the extension to all peoples fighting for liberty, or whose liberty is threatened, of such aid as shall not be in violation of international law or inconsistent with the requirements of our own national defense.

DEMOCRATIC: The American people are determined that war, raging in Europe, Asia and Africa, shall not come to America.

We will not participate in foreign wars, and we will not send our Army, naval or air forces to fight in foreign lands outside of the Americas, except in case of attack. We favor and shall rigorously enforce and defend the Monroe Doctrine.

The direction and aim of our foreign policy has been, and will continue to be, the security and defense of our own land and the maintenance of its peace.

In self-defense and in good conscience, the world's greatest democracy cannot afford heartlessly or in a spirit of appeasement to ignore the peace-loving and liberty-loving peoples wantonly attacked by ruthless aggressors.

We pledge to extend to these peoples all the material aid at our command, consistent with law and not inconsistent with the interests of our own national self defense, all to the end that peace and international good faith may yet emerge triumphant.

NATIONAL DEFENSE
REPUBLICAN: The Republican party stands for Americanism, preparedness and peace. We accordingly fasten upon the New Deal full responsibility for our unpreparedness and for the consequent danger of involvement in war.

We declare for the prompt, orderly and realistic building of our national defense to the point at which we shall be able not only to defend the United States, its possessions and essential outposts from foreign attack, but also efficiently to uphold in war the Monroe Doctrine. To this task the Republican party pledges itself when entrusted with national authority.

In the meantime, we shall support all necessary and proper defense measures proposed by the Administration in its belated effort to make up for lost time; but we deplore explosive utterances by the President directed at other governments, which serve to imperil our peace, and we condemn all Executive acts and proceedings which might lead to war without the authorization of the Congress of the United States.

DEMOCRATIC: It is a tribute to the President's foresight and action that our defense forces are today at their peak of their peacetime effectiveness.

Weakness and unpreparedness invite aggression. We must be so strong that no possible combination of powers would dare to attack us. We propose to provide America with an invincible Air Force, a Navy strong enough to protect all our seacoasts and our national interests and a fully equipped and mechanized Army.

We shall continue to coordinate these implements of defense with the necessary expansion of industrial productive capacity and with the training of appropriate personnel.

LABOR RELATIONS
REPUBLICAN: We shall maintain labor's right of free organization and collective bargaining.
We believe that peace and prosperity at home require harmony, teamwork and understanding in all relations between worker and employer. When differences arise they should be settled directly and voluntarily across the table.

Recent disclosures respecting the administration of the National Labor Relations Act require that this act be amended in fairness to employers and all groups of employes [sic] so as to provide true freedom for, and orderliness in, self-organization and collective bargaining.

DEMOCRATIC: We pledge to continue to enforce fair labor standards; to maintain the principles of the National Labor Relations Act; to expand employment training and opportunity for our youth, older workers and workers displaced by technological changes; to strengthen the orderly processes of collective bargaining and peaceful settlement of labor disputes, and to work always for a just distribution of our national income among those who labor.

UNEMPLOYMENT
REPUBLICAN: The New Deal's failure to solve the problem of unemployment and revive opportunity for our youth presents a major challenge to representative government and free enterprise. We propose to re-create opportunity for the youth of America and put our idle millions back to work in private industry, business and agriculture. We propose to eliminate needless administrative restrictions, thus restoring lost motion to the wheels of individual enterprise.

DEMOCRATIC: The Democratic party wages war on unemployment, one of the gravest problems of our times, inherited at its worst from the last Republican administration. Since we assumed office 9,000,000 additional persons have gained regular employment in normal private enterprise. All our policies—financial, industrial and agricultural—will continue to accelerate the rate of this program.

RELIEF
REPUBLICAN: We shall remove waste, discrimination and politics from relief through administration by the States with Federal grants-in-aid on a fair and nonpolitical basis, thus giving the man and woman on relief a larger share of the funds appropriated.

DEMOCRATIC: By public action, where necessary to supplement private re-employment, we have rescued millions from idleness that breeds weakness and given them a real stake in their country's well-being. We shall continue to recognize the obligation of government to provide work for deserving workers who cannot be absorbed by private industry. 
We are opposed to vesting in the States and local authorities the control of Federally financed work relief. We believe that this Republican proposal is a thinly disguised plan to put the unemployed back on the dole.

SOCIAL SECURITY
REPUBLICAN: We favor the extension of necessary old-age benefits on an earmarked pay-as-you-go basis to the extent that the revenue raised for this purpose will permit. We favor the extension of the unemployment compensation provisions of the Social Security Act, wherever practicable, to those groups and classes not now included.

For such groups as may thus be covered we favor a system of unemployment compensation with experience rating provisions, aimed at protecting the worker in the regularity of his employment and providing adequate compensation for reasonable periods when that regularity of employment is interrupted. The administration should be left with the States with a minimum of Federal control.
DEMOCRATIC: The Democratic party, which established social security for the nation, is dedicated to its extension. We pledge to make the Social Security Act increasingly effective by strengthening our unemployment insurance system and establishing more adequate and uniform benefits, through the Federal equalization fund principle, by progressively extending and increasing the benefits of the old age and survivors' insurance system, including protection of the permanently disabled, and by the early realization of a minimum pension for all who have reached the age of retirement and are not gainfully employed.

BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT
REPUBLICAN: We shall encourage a healthy, confident and growing private enterprise, confine government activity to essential public services, and regulate business only so as to protect consumer, employe [sic] and investor, and without restricting the production of more and better goods at low prices.

We promise to reduce to the minimum Federal competition with business.

The New Deal policy of interference and arbitrary regulation has injured all business, but especially small business. We promise to encourage the small business man by removing unnecessary bureaucratic regulations and interference.

DEMOCRATIC: We have defended and will continue to defend all legitimate business.

We have attacked and will continue to attack unbridled concentration of economic power and the exploitation of the consumer and the investor.

We recognize the importance of small business concerns and new enterprises in our national economy, and favor the enactment of constructive legislation to safeguard the welfare of small business.

THE OTHER NOMINEE
REPUBLICAN: To insure against the overthrow of our American system of government, we favor an amendment to the Constitution providing that no person shall be President of the United States for more than two terms.

DEMOCRATIC: The nomination of a utility executive by the Republican party as its Presidential candidate raises squarely the issue, whether the nation's water power shall be used for all the people or the selfish interests of a few. We accept that issue.