PHILADELPHIA — The Democratic platform approved by party leaders this week calls for strengthening the military through “predictable” funding, less dependence on defense contractors and better protections for minorities.
Like the GOP platform approved in Cleveland last week, the document is not a strict guideline for the remaining months of the campaign but instead a general outline of party priorities and goals for the next four years.
But unlike the Republican platform, the Democratic platform does mention GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump multiple times, calling his campaign’s statements and policies dangerous for America.
“Donald Trump has called our military ‘a disaster,’” one section reads. “We reject that view of our brave men and women serving in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. They perform admirably while sacrificing immeasurably.”
The platform states that “America must continue to have the strongest military in the world” but stops short of calling for significant defense funding hikes favored by conservatives.
Instead, it calls for leaders to “prioritize military readiness by making sure our active, reserve and National Guard components remain the best trained and equipped in the world.” It backs repealing defense budget caps passed by Congress in 2011, an elusive compromise for lawmakers over the last five years.
Authors also included a mandatory audit of the Pentagon in the platform, and a vow to “end waste in the defense budget.” Overall, Democrats are backing a “a more agile and flexible force” promoted by President Barack Obama during his time in office.
The platform specifically rejects any ban on immigrants on the basis of religion, as Trump has promised on the campaign trail.
It also promotes diversity as a strength of the American military.
“We are proud of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it states, a reference to the law, approved during Bill Clinton’s tenure at president, prohibiting openly gay troops from serving in the military. “We are also proud of the opening of combat positions to women. Our military is strongest when people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities are honored for their service to our country.”
Read more at militarytimes.com