The Republican Party platform of the 1860 RNC
Back to the days when party platforms were clear and concise and great leaders needed three ballots to win a nomination.
We're against slavery. We're against secession. Admit Kansas as a state. Build a transcontinental railroad. We “denounce(s) the extravagance of the Federal Government, and urge(s) a return to a rigid economy and strict accountability of Federal officers.”
We'll nominate Abraham Lincoln.
The two-party system is born.
Admit Kansas as a state? Never.
It's amazing how irrelevent platforms are now. The people who visit this site are probably pretty in the know politically, and how many of us could accurately describe the Democratic party platform? I know I would do poorly.
It seems, though, that even if party platforms are pretty irrelevent, and probably will be from now on, it would be nice if at least the debate was more in the public eye. Who in the party is willing to take bold posiitons? Which Democrats are really Republicans in disguise? What is Joe Lieberman doing on this side of the fence anyway? etc. Of course, neither party would make the first step for fear of leaving a paper trail and losing those independent swing voters . . .
The parties have gotten so bloated with different interests and goals, there's no way they could list their platform in 16 simple points. The language would be much too direct for the number of Democrats or Republicans in the party to agree to it all.
The documents have to become nuanced, qualified, longer, and unreadable so that they become irrelevant. Very few people who call themselves Democrats or Republicans read the stated party issues. All that matters is the cheers for "Keep this guy in there" or "Get that guy out of there."