Yesterday afternoon I received a 2010 PRESIDENTIAL SURVEY in the mail from the Democratic Party (I’m not now and have never been a Democrat, but somehow I’ve been added to their mailing list). You’ve probably seen something similar; the Republicans send them out too. Part one of the “SURVEY” is always a list of questions about you to enrich the party’s data profile, and part three is a solicitation for contributions to enrich the party’s coffers.
Part two is the “survey,” a list of questions appearing to solicit your opinion on matters of national policy. Of course, the Democratic Party isn’t going to read this “survey” — it only wants to make you feel included enough to get you to whip out your checkbook. Rather than reading the document as a literal survey, we should read it as the Democratic Party’s depiction of itself to its target audience. And so the part of the survey entitled NATIONAL PRIORITIES was particularly interesting to me. It asked respondents to “rank the following 14 national issues by their level of priority.”
America’s Economic Situation
Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets
Dealing with Iran
Health Insurance Reform
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Improving Race Relations
America’s Image in the World Community
Dealing with North Korea
6 out of the 14 “priorities” listed by the Democratic Party have to do with foreign policy and forms of fighting. 3 of the 14 listed “priorities” had to do with the economy, and 2 others regarded social provision. The Democratic Party appears to be prioritizing bread-and-butter issues, the military and foreign affairs in its presentation of policy.
Policy issues completely missing from this list of “priorities” compiled by the Democratic Party:
1st Amendment rights to assembly and speech
Access to abortion and contraception
Due process and habeas corpus rights
Drug sentencing and legalization
Equal rights for same-sex couples
Firearm regulation or deregulation
Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment
Separation of Church and State
Surveillance and Searches of Americans without warrants
In the Democratic Party’s consideration of “priorities,” these issues are apparently off the table.