by Matt lacy –
Following intense media scrutiny of the Democratic platform’s choice to omit a reference to God-given rights and refusing to say Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, the party ramrodded through a change reinstating the phrases.
In 2008, the platform plank read, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
However, when the Democratic Party approved the platform language on Tuesday at their convention in Charlotte, South Carolina they omitted the word “God” from the phrase as well as the entire document. The approved phrase read, “We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth – the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.”
The omission is significant as one of the core foundational tenets of America is a belief in what is known as “natural law,” which is a belief that rights come from God rather than the government. If they come from God than no one has the authority to take them away, but if a person’s rights come from government, than they can be taken away by that same government.
Additionally, the platform language which also contains support for homosexual marriage and taxpayer funded abortion on demand refused to state that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Some have suggested this was an attempt to appeal to Hamas and the Palestinian government who have claimed the city as their capital.
Following intense media scrutiny, including a tense moment by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill,) and Fox News Brett Baier, the leadership adopted a change to the platform adding the sections back in.
In the interview with Durbin, Baier simply asked why the DNC had removed the reference to God. Durbin then accused Baier of claiming that all Democrats were godless, despite Baier making no such comment.
Amidst boos, the party suspended the rules and refused to allow debate on the changes which would put “God-given” into the platform and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The vote to suspend the rules clearly showed the vast majority of the motion.
Approving the actual changes also required a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates present. When Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles called for a voice vote, the delegates clearly appeared evenly split on the measure to include God in the platform.
Apparently not expecting the high level of dissent, Villaraigosa began to say the amendment to the platform was approved, however, apparently recognizing the vote was not decisive, he called for a second vote, with the same results.
He then held a third vote where both sides attempted to shout the other out, however just as the previous votes, the delegates appeared split on the issue.
Appearing flummoxed at the results, Villaraigosa said, “In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative. The motion is adopted and the platform has been amended.”
Video of the event shows a woman holding a sign saying, “Arab American Democrat” shaking her head after the approval of the amendment of the platform.