Democratic Party Platform of 1960


The Communist World

To the rulers of the Communist World: We confidently accept your challenge to competition in every field of human effort.

We recognize this contest as one between two radically different approaches to the meaning of life—our open society which places its highest value upon individual dignity, and your closed society in which the rights of men are sacrificed to the state.

We believe your Communist ideology to be sterile, unsound, and doomed to failure. We believe that your children will reject the intellectual prison in which you seek to confine them, and that ultimately they will choose the eternal principles of freedom.

In the meantime, we are prepared to negotiate with you whenever and wherever there is a realistic possibility of progress without sacrifice of principle.

If negotiations through diplomatic channels provide opportunities, we will negotiate.

If debate before the United Nations holds promise, we will debate.

If meetings at high level offer prospects of success, we will be there.

But we will use all the power, resources, and energy at our command to resist the further encroachment of Communism on freedom — whether at Berlin, Formosa, or new points of pressure as yet undisclosed.

We will keep open the lines of communication with our opponents. Despite difficulties in the way of peaceful agreement, every useful avenue will be energetically explored and pursued.

However, we will never surrender positions which are essential to the defense of freedom, nor will we abandon peoples who are now behind the Iron Curtain through any formal approval of the status quo.

Everyone proclaims "firmness" in support of Berlin. The issue is not the desire to be firm, but the capability to be firm. This the Democratic Party will provide as it has done before.

The ultimate solution of the situation in Berlin must be approached in the broader context of settlement of the tensions and divisions of Europe.

The good faith of the United States is pledged likewise to defending Formosa. We will carry out that pledge.

The new Democratic Administration will also reaffirm our historic policy of opposition to the establishment anywhere in the Americas of governments dominated by foreign powers, a policy now being undermined by Soviet threats to the freedom and independence of Cuba. The Government of the United States under a Democratic Administration will not be deterred from fulfilling its obligations and solemn responsibilities under its treaties and agreements with the nations of the Western Hemisphere. Nor will the United States, in conformity with its treaty obligations, permit the establishment of a regime dominated by international, atheistic Communism in the Western Hemisphere.

To the people who live in the Communist World and its captive nations: We proclaim an enduring friendship which goes beyond governments and ideologies to our common human interest in a better world.

Through exchanges of persons, cultural contacts, trade in non-strategic areas, and other non-governmental activities, we will endeavor to preserve and improve opportunities for human relationships which no Iron Curtain can permanently sever.

No political platform promise in history was more cruelly cynical than the Republican effort to buy votes in 1952 with false promises of painless liberation for the captive nations.

The blood of heroic freedom fighters in Hungary tragically proved this promise a fraud. We Democrats will never be party to such cruel cultivation of false hopes.

We look forward to the day when the men and women of Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Rumania, and the other captive nations will stand again in freedom and justice. We willhasten, by every honorable and responsible means, the arrival of the day.

We shall never accept any deal or arrangement which acquiesces in the present subjugation of these peoples.

We deeply regret that the policies and actions of the Government of Communist China have interrupted the generations of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples.

We reaffirm our pledge of determined opposition to the present admission of Communist China to the United Nations.

Although normal diplomatic relations between our Governments are impossible under present conditions, we shall welcome any evidence that the Chinese Communist Government is genuinely prepared to create a new relationship based on respect for international obligations, including the release of American prisoners.

We will continue to make every effort to effect the release of American citizens and servicemen now unjustly imprisoned in Communist China and elsewhere in the Communist empire.


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Chicago: "The Communist World," Democratic Party Platform of 1960 in Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), Pp.580-581 581. Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2023,

MLA: . "The Communist World." Democratic Party Platform of 1960, in Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), Pp.580-581, page 581. Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2023.

Harvard: , 'The Communist World' in Democratic Party Platform of 1960. cited in , Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), Pp.580-581, pp.581. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2023, from