Democratic Party Platform of 1984

Contents:

The Democratic Alternative:A Safer Future for Our Nation and the World

"I do not see why we think of our nation as so weak and so vulnerable. Let us for heaven’s sake have some confidence in America and not tremble, fearing that our society will fall apart at the least rattle of the door. If I were constructing this platform, I would ask that its planks be carved out of self-confidence, and planted in belief in our own system."

Historian Barbara Tuchman (Democratic Platform Committee Hearing. New York, New York, April 9, 1984)

"The Democratic Party requires a foreign policy whichapproaches the problems that confront us primarily in their national and regional contexts, rather than viewing them, as the Reagan Administration does, almost exclusively as a manifestation of the "evil empire’s" efforts to extend its sway over the entire globe. What we need is a foreign policy which promotes the cause of human rights by opposing tyranny on the part of left as well as right wing governments, rather than a foreign policy like the one we have now, which supports virtually every reactionary and repressive regime that professes to be anti-communist."

Honorable Stephen J. Solarz, U.S. Representative. New York (Democratic Platform Committee Hearing. New York, New York, April 9, 1984)

There is no higher goal for the Democratic Party than assuring the national security of the United States. This means a strong national defense, vigorous pursuit of nuclear arms control, and a foreign policy dedicated to salvaging the interests of America and the forces of freedom and democracy in a period of global transformation. This will require new leadership, strong alliances, skillful diplomacy, effective economic cooperation, and a foreign policy sustained by American strength and ideals. And to hold the support of the American people, our leaders must also be careful and measured in the use of force.

The Democratic Party is committed to a strong national defense. Democrats know that a relentless Soviet military build-up—well beyond its defensive needs—directly challenges world security, our democratic values, and our free institutions. On the nature of the Soviet threat and on the essential issue of our nation’s security, Americans do not divide. On the common interest in human survival, the American and Soviet peoples do not divide.

Maintaining strong and effective military forces is essential to keeping the peace and safeguarding freedom. Our allies and adversaries must never doubt our military power or our will to defend our vital interests. To that end, we pledge a strong defense built in concert with our allies, based on a coherent strategy, and supported by a sound economy.

In an age of about 50,000 nuclear weapons, however, nuclear arms control and reductions are also essential to our security. The most solemn responsibility of a President is to do all that he or she can to prevent a single nuclear weapon from ever being used. Democrats believe that mutual and verifiable controls on nuclear arms can, and must be, a serious integral part of national defense. True national security requires urgent measures to freeze and reverse the arms race, not the pursuit of the phantom of nuclear superiority or futile Star Wars schemes.

The Democratic Party believes that the purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter war, not to fight it. Democrats believe that America has the strength and tenacity to negotiate nuclear arms agreements that will reduce the risk of nuclear war and preserve our military security.

Today we stand at one of the most critical junctures in the arms race since the explosion of the first atomic bomb. Mr. Reagan wants to open the heavens for warfare.

His Star Wars proposal would create a vulnerable and provocative "shield" that would lull our nation into a false sense of security. It would lead our allies to believe that we are retreating from their defense. It would lead to the death of the ABM Treaty—the most successful arms control treaty in history—and this trillion-dollar program would provoke a dangerous offensive and defensive arms race.

If we and our allies could defend our populations effectively against a nuclear war, the Democratic Party would be the first to endorse such a scheme. Unfortunately, our best scientists agree that an effective population defense is probably impossible. Therefore, we must oppose an arms race where the sky is no longer the limit.

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Chicago: "The Democratic Alternative:A Safer Future for Our Nation and the World," Democratic Party Platform of 1984 in Democratic National Committee, Democratic Party Platform, 1984, Pp.39-40 40. Original Sources, accessed August 14, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3V3CRKBTPBBEVX6.

MLA: . "The Democratic Alternative:A Safer Future for Our Nation and the World." Democratic Party Platform of 1984, in Democratic National Committee, Democratic Party Platform, 1984, Pp.39-40, page 40. Original Sources. 14 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3V3CRKBTPBBEVX6.

Harvard: , 'The Democratic Alternative:A Safer Future for Our Nation and the World' in Democratic Party Platform of 1984. cited in , Democratic National Committee, Democratic Party Platform, 1984, Pp.39-40, pp.40. Original Sources, retrieved 14 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3V3CRKBTPBBEVX6.