Bernie Sanders’ Influence Reflected In New Dem Party Platform


The newest draft of the Democratic Party platform reflects a strong Bernie Sanders influence.

Bernie Sanders has now admitted that he will not be the Democratic nominee and that he will be voting for Hillary in November. But he has yet to concede or endorse her. He has chosen to remain in the race for the purpose of influencing the Democratic Party platform. And based on the latest draft of the platform, he has done just that.

Bernie certainly didn’t get everything he was asking for, but he did get the committee to include the $15 minimum wage, breaking up big banks on Wall Street, expanding Social Security, and a push to abolish the death penalty.

While Sanders did get the $15 minimum wage, he was also asking that the draft specifically tie the $15 an hour minimum wage to inflation. Clinton rejected the direct tie because the draft already included a call for a “raise and index of the minimum wage.”

Sanders also scored a point with the Glass-Steagall. Glass-Steagall was a Depression era Act which prevented commercial banks from engaging in investment banking activities. Hillary does not want to reinstate it because she believes her proposed financial changes would be further reaching by regulating the banking system. Bernie, on the other hand, does want to reinstate Glass-Steagall. And the platform will reflect Bernie’s side, including language that says the Dems support ways to prevent the banks from gambling with tax payers’ bank deposits “including an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall.”

James Zogby, one of the Bernie’s supporters on the committee said, “We lost some but we won some. We got some great stuff in the platform that has never been in there before.”

According to the Associated Press, the Clinton representatives blocked Sanders’ ask for Medicaid-for-all single payer health care, a carbon tax, and a freeze on all fracking.

Another thing Sanders lost was his ask to change the language used when talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sanders wanted language included that would push to give Palestinians “an end to occupation and illegal settlements.” He also wanted an international effort to rebuild Gaza.

Instead the new draft includes Hillary’s plan to work toward a “two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Hillary’s plan also guarantees the security of Israel with defined borders and “provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity.”

Even though both Sanders and Clinton are against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the committee did not include any language against the trade deal. The big problem with this one is that President Obama is a supporter of the TPP and going against the current Democratic President probably isn’t the best plan for the party platform at this point. So instead the committee added a measure that said “there are a diversity of views in the party.” It also said the Dems believe any trade deal “must protect workers and the environment.”

Sanders said that he was “disappointed and dismayed” that the committee voted down the measure to oppose the TPP. But he was happy and encouraged about Glass-Steagall and the death penalty.

The Democratic nominee is not bound by the positions on the platform, but the platform is a guidepost for the party as a whole going forward. This newest draft was approved by party officials Saturday morning and the Democratic National Convention’s full Platform Committee will be reviewing and discussing the draft again next month in Orlando. The final vote on the platform will be at the Convention at end of July in Philadelphia.

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