1968 Democratic Party Platform
The Terms of Our Duty
America belongs to the people who inhabit it, The source of the nation's strength is the people's freedom to be the source of the laws governing them. To uphold this truth, when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison brought the Democratic Party to birth 175 years ago, they bound it to serve the people and their government as a united whole.
Today, in our 175th anniversary year, the Democratic Party in national convention assembled, again renews the covenant of our birth. We affirm the binding force of our inherited duty to serve the people and their government. We here, therefore, account for what we have done in the Democratic years since 1961. We here state what we will do when our party is again called to lead the nation.
In America and in the world over, strong forces for change are on the move. Systems of thought have been jarred, ways of life have been uprooted, institutions are under siege. The governed challenge those who govern.
We are summoned, therefore, to a fateful task—to ensure that the turmoil of change will prove to be the turmoil of birth instead of decay. We cannot stand still until we are overtaken by events. We dare not entrust our lives to the blind play of accident and force. By reflection and choice, we must make the impulse for change the agent of orderly progress.
There is no alternative.
In the world around us, people have patiently lived with hopes long deferred, with grievances long endured. They are now impatient with patience. Their demands for change must not only be heard, they must be answered.
This is the reality the world as a whole faces. In America itself, now, and not later, is the right time to strengthen the fabric of our society by making justice and equity the cornerstones of order. Now, and not later, is the right time to uphold the rule of law by securing to all the people the natural rights that belong to them by virtue of their being human. Now, and not later, is the right time to unfurl again the flag of human patriotism and rededicate ourselves under it, to the cause of peace among nations. Now, and not later, is the right time to reclaim the strength spent in quarrels over the past and to apply that strength to America's future. Now is the right time to proceed with the work of orderly progress that will make the future become what we want it to be.
It has always been the object of the Democratic Party to march at the head of events instead of waiting for them to happen. It is our resolve to do that in the years ahead—just as we did in the Democratic years since 1961 when the nation was led by two Democratic Presidents and four Democratic Congresses.
This We Have Done
Our pride in the achievements of these Democratic years in no way blinds us to the large and unfinished tasks which still lie ahead. Just as we know where we have succeeded, we know where our efforts still fall short of our own and the nation's hopes. And we candidly recognize that the cost of trying the untried, of ploughing new ground, is bound to be occasional error. In the future, as in the past, we will confront and correct such errors as we carry our program forward.
In this, we are persuaded that the Almighty judges in a different scale those who err in warmly striving to promote the common good, and those who are free from error because they risked nothing at all and were icily indifferent to good and evil alike. We are also persuaded of something else. What we have achieved with the means at hand—the social inventions we have made since 1961 in all areas of our internal life, and the initiatives we have pressed along a broad front in the world arena—gives us a clear title of right to claim that we know how to move the nation forward toward the attainment of its highest goals in a world of change.
In presenting first the record of what we have achieved in the economic life of the American people, we do not view the economy as being just dollar signs divorced from the flesh and blood concerns of the people. Economics, like politics, involves people and it means people. It means for them the difference between what they don't want and what they do want. It means the difference between justice or injustice, health or sickness, better education or ignorance, a good place to live or a rat infested hovel, a good job or corrosive worry.
In the Democratic years since 1961, under the leadership of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, we managed the national economy in ways that kept the best aspirations of people in clear view, and brought them closer to fulfillment.
The case was different in the 1950's, when the Republicans held the trust of national leadership. In those years, the American economy creaked and groaned from recurrent recessions. One wasteful recession came in 1954, another in 1958, and a third in 1960. The loss in national production from all three recessions and from a sluggish rate of growth—a loss that can fairly be called the GOP-gap—was a staggering $175 billion, computed in today's prices.
The Democratic Party, seeing the Republican inertia and the dangers it led to, promised to get America moving again. President Kennedy first made that promise for us, and we kept it. We brought an end to recurring recessions, each one of which had followed closer on the heels of the last. Full cooperation between our government officials and all sectors of American life led to new public policies which unlocked the creative power of America's free enterprise system. The magnificent response of all the people comprising that system made the world stand in awe of the results.
Since 1961, we have seen:
A 90-month period of recession-free prosperity, the longest and strongest period of sustained economic growth in American history;
A slash in the unemployment rate from 7 to under 4 percent;
An increase of nearly 40 percent in real wages and salaries and nearly one-third in the average person's real income;
And, on the eight year average, a reduction in the rate levels of the individual income tax.
America's private enterprise system flourished as never before in these years of Democratic leadership. Compared with the preceding eight Republican years, private enterprise in the Democratic 1960's grew twice as fast, profits increased twice as rapidly, four times as many jobs were created, and thirteen million Americans—or one-third of those in poverty in 1960—have today established its bondage.
Democrats, however, were not satisfied. We saw—and were the first to see—that even sustained prosperity does not eliminate hard-core unemployment. We were the first to see that millions of Americans would never share in America's abundance unless the people as a whole, through their government, acted to supplement what the free enterprise could do.
So, under the leadership of President Johnson, this nation declared war on poverty—a war in which the government is again working in close cooperation with leaders of the free enterprise system.
It would compromise the integrity of words to claim that the war on poverty and for equal opportunity has been won. Democrats are the first to insist that it has only begun—while 82 percent of the House Republicans and 69 percent of the Senate Republicans voted against even beginning it at all. Democrats know that much more remains to be done. What we have done thus far is to test a series of pilot projects before making them bigger, and we have found that they DO work. Thus:
The new pre-school program known as Head Start has proven its effectiveness in widening the horizons of over two million poor children and their parents.
The new programs known as the Job Corps and the Neighborhood Youth Corps, enrolling close cooperation between the government and private enterprise, have helped nearly two million unskilled boys and girls—most of them drop-outs from school—get work in the community and in industry.
The new program known as Upward Bound has helped thousands of poor but talented young men and women prepare themselves for college.
The new structure of neighborhood centers brings modern community services directly to the people who need them most.
We emphasize that the coldly stated statistics of gains made in the war on poverty must be translated to mean people, in all their yearnings for personal fulfillment. That is true as well of all other things in the great outpouring of constructive legislation that surpassed even the landmark years of the early New Deal.
Education is one example. From the beginning of our Party history, Democrats argued that liberty and learning must find in each other the surest ground for mutual support. The inherited conviction provided the motive force behind the educational legislation of the 1960's that we enacted:
Because of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, local education has been enriched to the benefit of over 13 million young Americans;
Because of the Higher Education Act of 1965, new college classrooms, laboratories and libraries have been built to assure that higher education will not be the monopoly of the few but the right of the many;
Because of federal assistance to students, the doors to college have been opened for over a million young men and women coming from families with modest means—so that about one out of every five college students is now pursuing his higher education with some kind of federal help;
Because Democrats are convinced that the best of all investments is in the human resources represented by the youth of America, we brought about a four-fold increase in the federal investment in education since 1960. The level now approaches $12 billion annually.
As it promoted better education, so did Democratic leadership promote better health for all.
The program of mercy and justice known as health care for the aged, which President Truman originally proposed and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson fought for, finally became law in the summer of 1965. Because of it, more than seven million older citizens each year are now receiving modern medical care in dignity—no longer forced to depend on charity, no longer a burden on relatives, no longer in physical pain because they cannot afford to pay for the healing power of modern medicine. Virtually all older Americans, the well and the sick alike, are now protected, their lives more secure, their afflictions eased.
To deal with other aspects of the nation's health needs, measures were enacted in the Democratic years representing an almost fourfold increase in the government's investment in health. Programs were enacted to cope with the killing diseases of heart, cancer and stroke; to combat mental retardation and mental illness; to increase the manpower supply of trained medical technicians; to speed the construction of new hospitals.
Democrats in the Presidency and in the Congress have led the fight to erase the stain of racial discrimination that tarnished America's proudly announced proposition that all men are created equal.
We knew that racial discrimination was present in every section of the country. We knew that the enforcement of civil rights and general laws is indivisible. In this conviction, Democrats took the initiative to guarantee the right to safety and security of the person, the right to all the privileges of citizenship, the right to equality of opportunity in employment, and the right to public services and accommodations and housing. For example:
Because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all men born equal in the eyes of their Creator are by law declared to be equal when they apply for a job, or seek a night's lodging or a good meal;
Because of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the right to the ballot box—the right on which all other rights depend—has been reinforced by law;
Because of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, all families will have an equal right to live where they wish.
The frontier on which most Americans live is the vertical frontier of the city. It is a frontier whose urgent needs hold a place of very high priority on the national agenda—and on the agenda of the Democratic Party.
Democrats recognize that the race to save our cities is a race against the absolute of time itself. The blight that threatens their future takes many forms. It is the physical decay of homes and neighborhoods. It is poverty and unemployment. It is broken homes and social disintegration. It is crime. It is congestion and pollution. The Democratic program attacked all of these forms of blight—and all at once.
Since we know that the cities can be saved only by the people who live there, Democrats have invigorated local effort through federal leadership and assistance. In almost every city, a community action agency has mounted a many-sided assault on poverty. Through varied neighborhood organizations, the poor themselves are tackling their own problems and devising their own programs of self-help. Under Model Cities legislation, enacted in 1966, seventy-five cities are now launching the most comprehensive programs of economic, physical, and social development ever undertaken—and the number of participating cities will be doubled soon. In this effort, the residents of the areas selected to become the model neighborhoods are participating fully in planning their future and deciding what it will be.
In a series of housing acts beginning in 1961, Democrats have found ways to encourage private enterprise to provide modern, decent housing for low-income and moderate-income families. The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 is the most far-reaching housing legislation in America's history. Under its terms, the genius of American business will combine with the productivity of American labor to meet a 10-year goal of 26 million new housing units—6 million of them for the poor. The objective is to enable the poor to own their own homes, to rebuild entire neighborhoods, to spur the pace of urban renewal, and to deal more humanely with the problems of displaced people.
To give our cities a spokesman of Cabinet rank, Democrats in 1965 took the lead in creating a Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Democratic Presidents and Congresses have moved with equal vigor to help the people of America's vast hinterland outside the metropolitan centers to join the march of economic progress. Of the 101 major areas classified as "depressed areas" when the Democrats assumed office in 1961, 90 have now solved their problems of excessive unemployment and the others are on their way. The Area Redevelopment Act, the expansion of resource development programs, and the massive effort to restore Appalachia and other lagging regions to economic health assisted the people of these areas in their remarkable progress.
In these legislative undertakings of primary concern to people—American people—it is to the credit of some Republicans that they joined the Democratic majority in a common effort. Unfortunately, however, most Republicans sat passively by while Democrats wrote the legislation the nation's needs demanded. Worse, and more often, Republicans did what they could to obstruct and defeat the measures that were approved by Democrats in defiance of hostile Republican votes. Thus:
In the case of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 73 percent of the Republicans in the House voted to kill it.
In the case of medical care for the aged, 93 percent of the Republicans in the House and 64 percent in the Senate voted to kill it.
In the case of the Model Cities program, 88 percent of the Republicans in the House voted to kill it.
In the case of the program to help Appalachia, 81 percent of House Republicans and 58 percent of Senate Republicans voted to kill it, and 75 percent of House Republicans voted to kill corresponding programs of aid for other depressed regions of the country.
The same negative attitude was present among Republicans in the 1950's, and one of the results was a crisis in the farm sector of the economy which the Democrats inherited in the 1960's. In the late Republican 1950's, the glut of farm surpluses amounted to over $8 billion, and the taxpayers were forced to pay $1 billion every year in interest and storage charges alone. Democrats, however, set out resolutely to reverse the picture. Democratic farm programs supported farm income, expanded farm exports and domestic consumption, helped farmers adjust their production to the size of the expanded markets, and reduced farm surpluses and storage costs to the lowest level since 1952.
Democrats have also acted vigorously to assure that American science and technology shall continue to lead the world.
In atomic energy, in space exploration, in communications, in medicine, in oceanology, in fundamental and applied research in many fields, we have provided leadership and financial aid to the nation's scientists and engineers. Their genius has, in turn, powered our national economic growth.
Other measures affected all Americans everywhere.
Under our constitutional system of federalism, the primary responsibility for law enforcement rests with selected local officials and with governors, but the federal government can and should play a constructive role in support of state and local authorities.
In this conviction, Democratic leadership scented the enactment of a law which extended financial assistance to modernize local police departments, to train law enforcement personnel, and to develop modern police technology. The effect of these provisions is already visible in an improved quality of law enforcement throughout the land.
Under Democratic leadership, furthermore, the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act was passed to aid states and communities to plan and carry out comprehensive programs to prevent and combat youth crime. We have added more personnel to strengthen the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the enforcement of narcotics laws, and have intensified the campaign against organized crime. The federal government has come swiftly to the aid of cities needing help to bring major disturbances under control, and Democratic leadership secured the enactment of a new gun control law as a step toward putting the weapons of wanton violence beyond the reach of criminal and irresponsible hands.
To purify the air we breathe and the water we drink, Democrats led the way to the enactment of landmark anti-pollution legislation.
To bring order into the administration of transportation programs and to coordinate transportation policy, Democrats in 1966 established a new Cabinet-level Department of Transportation.
For the consumer, new standards of protection were enacted—truth-in-lending and truth-in-packaging, the Child Safety Act, the Pipeline Safety Act, the Wholesome Meat and Wholesome Poultry Acts.
For America's 100 million automobile drivers, auto and highway safety legislation provided protection not previously known.
For every American family, unparalleled achievements in conservation meant the development of balanced outdoor recreation programs—involving magnificent new national parks, seashores, and lakeshores—all within an afternoon's drive of 110 million Americans. For the first time, we are beating the bulldozer to the nation's remaining open spaces.
For the sake of all living Americans and for their posterity, the Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964 placed in perpetual trust millions of acres of primitive and wilderness areas.
For America's sons who manned the nation's defenses, a new G.I. bill with greatly enlarged equitable benefits was enacted gratefully and proudly.
America's senior citizens enjoyed the largest increase in social security since the system was inaugurated during the Democratic Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
For the hungry, our food distribution programs were expanded to provide more than $1 billion worth of food a year for domestic use, giving millions of children, for the first time, enough to eat.
A new minimum wage law raised paychecks and standards of living for millions, while a new network of training programs enabled more than a million Americans to learn new skills and become productive workers in the labor force.
A new Immigration Act removed the harsh injustice of the national origins quota system and opened our shores without discrimination to those who can contribute to the growth and strength of America.
Many more measures enacted under Democratic leadership could be added to this recital of achievements in our internal life since 1961. But what we could list shares the character of what we have listed. All the measures alike are a witness to our desire to serve the people as a united whole, to chart the way for their orderly progress, to possess their confidence—by striving through our conduct to deserve to possess it.
The conscience of the entire world has been shocked by the brutal and unprovoked Soviet aggression against Czechoslovakia. By this act, Moscow has confessed that it is still the prisoner of its fear of freedom. And the Czechoslovakian people have shown that the love of freedom, in their land and throughout Eastern Europe, can never be crushed.
This severe blow to freedom and self-determination reinforces our commitment to the unending quest for peace and security in the world. These dark days should not obscure the solid achievements of the past eight years. Nuclear war has been avoided. West Berlin and Western Europe are still free.
The blend of American power and restraint, so dramatically demonstrated in the Cuban missile crisis, earned the respect of the world and prepared the way for a series of arms control agreements with the Soviet Union. Long and patient negotiation by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson resulted in the Nuclear Test Ban, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, and Space treaties and the "hot line." These hard-won agreements provide the base for pursuing other measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war.
The unprecedented expansion of the American economy has invigorated the whole free world. Many once skeptical nations, including some communist states, now regard American economic techniques and institutions as a model.
In Asia the tragic Vietnam war has often blinded us to the quiet and constructive developments which affect directly the lives of over a billion people and the prospects for peace everywhere.
An economically strong and democratic Japan has assumed a more active role in the development of the region. Indonesia has a nationalist, non-communist government seeking to live at peace with its neighbors. Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Republic of Korea have more stable governments and steadily growing economies. They have been aided by American economic assistance and by the American military presence in the Pacific. They have also been encouraged by a confidence reflecting successive Presidential decisions to assist nations to live in peace and freedom.
Elsewhere in the developing world, there has been hopeful political and economic progress. Though Castro's Cuba is still a source of subversion, the other Latin American states are moving ahead under the Alliance for Progress. In Africa, many of the new states have chosen moderate leaders committed to peaceful nation-building. They are beginning to cooperate with their neighbors in regional agencies of their own design. And like developing countries on other continents, they are for the first time giving serious attention to agricultural development. This new emphasis on food will buy time to launch effective programs of population control.
In all these constructive changes America, under Democratic leadership, has played a significant role. But we Democrats do not believe in resting on past achievements. We view any success as a down payment on the hard tasks that lie ahead. There is still much to be done at home and abroad and we accept with confidence the challenge of the future.
This We Will Do: Toward a Peaceful World
In the pursuit of our national objectives and in the exercise of American power in the world, we assert that the United States should:
Continue to accept its world responsibilities—not turn inward and isolate ourselves from the cares and aspirations of mankind;
Seek a world of diversity and peaceful change, where men can choose their own governments and where each nation can determine its own destiny without external interference;
Resist the temptation to try to mold the world, or any part of it, in our own image, or to become the self-appointed policeman of the world;
Call on other nations, great and small, to contribute a fair share of effort and resources to world peace and development;
Honor our treaty obligations to our allies; Seek always to strengthen and improve the United Nations and other international peace-keeping arrangements and meet breaches or threatened breaches of the peace according to our carefully assessed interests and resources;
In pursuing these objectives, we will insure that our policies will be subject to constant re view so they reflect our true national interests in a changing world.
The tragic events in Czechoslovakia are a shocking reminder that we live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. The Soviet attack on and invasion of a small country that only yesterday was Moscow's peaceful ally, is an ominous reversal of the slow trend toward greater freedom and independence in Eastern Europe. The reimposition of Soviet tyranny raises the spectre of the darkest days of the Stalin era and increases the risk of war in Central Europe, a war that could become a nuclear holocaust.
Against this somber backdrop, whose full portent cannot now be seen, other recent Soviet military moves take on even greater significance. Though we have a significant lead in military strength and in all vital areas of military technology, Moscow has steadily increased its strategic nuclear arsenal, its missile-firing nuclear submarine fleet, and its anti-missile defenses. Communist China is providing political and military support for so-called wars of national liberation. A growing nuclear power, Peking has disdained all arms control efforts.
We must and will maintain a strong and balanced defense establishment adequate to the task of security and peace. There must be no doubt about our strategic nuclear capability, our capacity to meet limited challenges, and our willingness to act when our vital interests are threatened.
To this end, we pledge a vigorous research and development effort. We will also continue to pursue the highly successful efforts initiated by Democratic administrations to save tax dollars by eliminating waste and duplication.
We face difficult and trying times in Asia and in Europe. We have responsibilities and commitments we cannot escape with honor. But we are not alone. We have friends and allies around the world. We will consult with them and ask them to accept a fair share of the burdens of peace and security.
North Atlantic Community
The North Atlantic Community is strong and free. We must further strengthen our ties and be constantly alert to new challenges and opportunities. We support a substantially larger European contribution to NATO.
Soviet troops have never stepped across the border of a NATO country. By harassment and threat the Kremlin has repeatedly attempted to push the West out of Berlin. But West Berlin is still free. Western Europe is still free. This is a living tribute to the strength and validity of the NATO alliance.
The political differences we have had with some of our allies from time to time should not divert us from our common task of building a secure and prosperous Atlantic community based on the principles of mutual respect and mutual dependence. The NATO alliance has demonstrated that free nations can build a common shield without sacrificing their identity and independence.
We must recognize that vigilance calls for the twin disciplines of defense and arms control. Defense measures and arms control measures must go hand in hand, each serving national security and the larger interests of peace.
We must also recognize that the Soviet Union and the United States still have a common interest in avoiding nuclear war and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. We also share a common interest in reducing the cost of national defense. We must continue to work together. We will press for further arms control agreements, insisting on effective safeguards against violations.
For almost a quarter of a century America's pre-eminent military strength, combined with our political restraint, has deterred nuclear war. This great accomplishment has confounded the prophets of doom.
Eight years ago the Democratic Party pledged new efforts to control nuclear weapons. We have fulfilled that pledge. The new Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has undertaken and coordinated important research. The sustained initiatives of President Kennedy and President Johnson have resulted in the "hot line" between the White House and the Kremlin, the limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the treaty barring the orbiting of weapons of mass destruction.
Even in the present tense atmosphere, we strongly support President Johnson's effort to secure an agreement with the Soviet Union under which both states would refrain from deploying anti-missile systems. Such a treaty would result in the saving of billions of dollars and would create a climate for further arms control measures. We support concurrent efforts to freeze the present level of strategic weapons and delivery systems, and to achieve a balanced and verified reduction of all nuclear and conventional arms.
The Middle East
The Middle East remains a powder keg. We must do all in our power to prevent a recurrence of war in this area. A large Soviet fleet has been deployed to the Mediterranean. Preferring short-term political advantage to long-range stability and peace, the Soviet Union has rushed arms to certain Arab states to replace those lost in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. As long as Israel is threatened by hostile and well-armed neighbors, we will assist her with essential military equipment needed for her defense, including the most advanced types of combat aircraft.
Lasting peace in the Middle East depends upon agreed and secured frontiers, respect for the territorial integrity of all states, the guaranteed right of innocent passage through all international waterways, a humane resettlement of the Arab refugees, and the establishment of a non-provocative military balance. To achieve these objectives, we support negotiations among the concerned parties. We strongly support efforts to achieve an agreement among states in the area and those states supplying arms to limit the flow of military equipment to the Middle East.
We support efforts to raise the living standards throughout the area, including desalinization and regional irrigation projects which cut across state frontiers.
Vietnam and Asia
Our most urgent task in Southeast Asia is to end the war in Vietnam by an honorable and lasting settlement which respects the rights of all the people of Vietnam. In our pursuit of peace and stability in the vital area of Southeast Asia we have borne a heavy burden in helping South Vietnam to counter aggression and subversion from the North.
We reject as unacceptable a unilateral withdrawal of our forces which would allow that aggression and subversion to succeed. We have never demanded, and do not now demand, unconditional surrender by the communists.
We strongly support the Paris talks and applaud the initiative of President Johnson which brought North Vietnam to the peace table. We hope that Hanoi will respond positively to this act of statesmanship.
In the quest for peace no solutions are free of risk. But calculated risks are consistent with the responsibility of a great nation to seek a peace of reconciliation.
Recognizing that events in Vietnam and the negotiations in Paris may affect the timing and the actions we recommend, we would support our Government in the following steps:
Bombing: Stop all bombing of North Vietnam when this action would not endanger the lives of our troops in the field; this action should take into account the response form Hanoi.
Troop Withdrawal: Negotiate with Hanoi an immediate end or limitation of hostilities and the withdrawal from South Vietnam of all foreign forces—both United States and allied forces, and forces infiltrated from North Vietnam.
Election of Postwar Government: Encourage all parties and interests to agree that the choice of the postwar government of South Vietnam should be determined by fair and safeguarded elections, open to all major political factions and parties prepared to accept peaceful political processes. We would favor an effective international presence to facilitate the transition from war to peace and to assure the protection of minorities against reprisal.
Interim Defense and Development Measures: Until the fighting stops, accelerate our efforts to train and equip the South Vietnamese army so that it can defend its own country and carry out cutbacks of U.S. military involvement as the South Vietnamese forces are able to take over their larger responsibilities. We should simultaneously do all in our power to support and encourage further economic, political and social development and reform in South Vietnam, including an extensive land reform program. We support President Johnson's repeated offer to provide a substantial U.S. contribution to the postwar reconstruction of South Vietnam as well as to the economic development of the entire region, including North Vietnam. Japan and the European industrial states should be urged to join in this postwar effort.
For the future, we will make it clear that U.S. military and economic assistance in Asia will be selective. In addition to considerations of our vital interests and our resources, we will take into account the determination of the nations that request our help to help themselves and their willingness to help each other through regional and multilateral cooperation.
We want no bases in South Vietnam; no continued military presence and no political role in Vietnamese affairs. If and when the communists understand our basic commitment and limited goals and are willing to take their chances, as we are, on letting the choice of the post-war government of South Vietnam be determined freely and peacefully by all of the South Vietnamese people, then the bloodshed and the tragedy can stop.
Japan, India, Indonesia, and most of the smaller Asian nations are understandably apprehensive about Red China because of its nuclear weapons, its support of subversive efforts abroad, and its militant rhetoric. They have been appalled by the barbaric behavior of the Red Guards toward the Chinese people, their callous disregard for human life and their mistreatment of foreign diplomats.
The immediate prospect that China will emerge from its self-imposed isolation is dim. But both Asians and Americans will have to coexist with the 750 million Chinese on the mainland. We shall continue to make it clear that we are prepared to cooperate with China whenever it is ready to become a responsible member of the international community. We would actively encourage economic, social and cultural exchange with mainland China as a means of freeing that nation and her people from their narrow isolation.
We support continued assistance to help maintain the independence and peaceful development of India and Pakistan.
Recognizing the growing importance of Asia and the Pacific, we will encourage increased cultural and educational efforts, such as those undertaken in multi-racial Hawaii, to facilitate a better understanding of the problems and opportunities of this vast area.
The Developing World
The American people share the aspirations for a better life in the developing world. But we are committed to peaceful change. We believe basic political rights in most states can be more effectively achieved and maintained by peaceful action than by violence.
In their struggle for political and economic development, most Asian, African, and Latin American states are confronted by grinding poverty, illiteracy and a stubborn resistance to constructive change. The aspirations and frustrations of the people are frequently exploited by self-serving revolutionaries who employ illegal and violent means.
Since World War II, America's unprecedented program of foreign economic assistance for reconstruction and development has made a profound contribution to peace, security, and a better life for millions of people everywhere. Many nations formerly dependent upon American aid are now viable and stable as a result of this aid.
We support strengthened U.S. and U.N. development aid programs that are responsive to changing circumstances and based on the recognition, as President Johnson put it, that "self-help is the lifeblood of economic development." Grant aid and government loans for long-term projects are part of a larger transfer of resources between the developed and underdeveloped states, which includes international trade and private capital investment as important components.
Like the burden of keeping the peace, the responsibility for assisting the developing world must be shared by Japan and the Western European states, once recipients of U.S. aid and now donor states.
Development aid should be coordinated among both donors and recipients. The World Bank and other international and regional agencies for investment and development should be fully utilized. We should encourage regional cooperation by the recipients for the most efficient use of resources and markets.
We should press for additional international agreements that will stimulate mutually beneficial trade and encourage a growing volume of private investment in the developing states. World-wide commodity agreements that stabilize prices for particular products and other devices to stabilize export earnings will also spur development.
We believe priority attention should be given to agricultural production and population control. Technical assistance which emphasizes manpower training is also of paramount importance. We support the Peace Corps which has sent thousands of ambassadors of good will to three continents.
Cultural and historic ties and a common quest for peace with freedom and justice have made Latin America an area of special concern and interest to the United States. We support a vigorous Alliance for Progress program based upon the Charter of Punta del Este which affirms that "free men working through the institutions for representative democracy can best satisfy man's aspirations."
We support the objective of Latin American economic integration endorsed by the presidents of the American Republics in April 1967 and urge further efforts in the areas of tax reform, land reform, educational reform, and economic development to fulfill the promise of Punta del Este.
Since the birth of the United Nations, the United States has pursued the quest for peace, security and human dignity through United Nations channels more vigorously than any other member state. Our dedication to its purpose and its work remains undiminished.
The United Nations contributed to dampening the fires of conflict in Kashmir, the Middle East, Cyprus and the Congo. The agencies of the United Nations have made a significant contribution to health, education and economic well-being in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These efforts deserve continued and expanded support. We pledge that support.
Since we recognize that the United Nations can be only as effective as the support of its members, we call upon other states to join with us in a renewed commitment to use its facilities in the great tasks of economic development, the non-military use of atomic energy, arms control and peace-keeping. It is only with member nations working together that the organization can make its full contribution to the growth of a world community of peace under law, rather than by threat or use of military force.
We are profoundly concerned about the continued repression of Jews and other minorities in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, and look forward to the day when the full light of liberty and freedom shall be extended to all countries and all peoples.
Foreign Trade and Financial Policy
World trade is essential to economic stability. The growing interdependence of nations, particularly in economic affairs, is an established fact of contemporary life. It also spells an opportunity for constructive international cooperation that will bring greater well-being for all and improve the prospects for international peace and security.
We shall build upon the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and the Kennedy round of trade negotiations, in order to achieve greater trade cooperation and progress toward freer international trade. In future negotiations, which will require careful preparation, we shall: 1) seek continued reciprocal reduction and elimination of tariff barriers, based on the most favored nation principle; 2) negotiate the reciprocal removal of non-tariff barriers to international trade on all products, including agriculture; 3) give special attention to the needs of the developing countries for increased export earnings; and 4) develop and improve the rules governing fair international competition affecting both foreign commerce and investment.
To lessen the hardships suffered by industries and workers as the result of trade liberalization, we support improvements in the adjustment assistance provisions of present law. Provision of law to remedy unfair and destructive import competition should be reviewed and strengthened, and negotiated international agreements to achieve this purpose should be employed where appropriate.
The United States has experienced balance-of payments deficits for over a decade, mainly because of our security obligations in the free world. Faced with these deficits, we have behaved responsibly by avoiding both economic deflation at home and severe unilateral restrictive measures on international transactions, which would have weakened the international economy and international cooperation.
We shall continue to take the path of constructive measures by relying on steps to increase our exports and by the development of further cooperative arrangements with the other countries. We intend, as soon as possible, to dismantle the restrictions placed on foreign investment and finance, so that American free enterprise can play its full part as the agent of economic development. We will continue to encourage persons from other lands to visit America.
Steps of historical importance have already been taken to improve the functioning of the international monetary system, most notably the new special drawing rights under the international monetary fund. We shall continue to work for the further improvement of the international monetary system so as to reduce its vulnerability to monetary crises.
Economic Growth and Stability
The Democratic policies that more than doubled the nation's rate of economic expansion in the past eight years can double and redouble our national income by the end of this century. Such a rate of economic growth will enable us to win total victory in our wars on ignorance, poverty, and the misery of the ghettos.
But victory will not come automatically. To realize our full economic potential will require effective, businesslike planning and cooperation between government and all elements of private economy. The Democratic Party pledges itself to achieve that purpose in many ways.
Fiscal and Monetary Policy
Taxes were lowered in 1962, 1964, and 1965 to encourage more private spending and reach full employment; they were raised in 1966 and 1968 to help prevent inflation, but with a net reduction in the eight Democratic years. We will continue to use tax policy to maintain steady economic growth by helping through tax reduction to stimulate the economy when it is sluggish and through temporary tax increases to restrain inflation. To promote this objective, methods must be devised to permit prompt, temporary changes in tax rates within prescribed limits with full participation of the Congress in the decisions.
The goals of our national tax policy must be to distribute the burden of government equitably among our citizens and to promote economic efficiency and stability. We have placed major reliance on progressive taxes, which are based on the democratic principle of ability to pay. We pledge ourselves to continue to rely on such taxes, and to continue to improve the way they are levied and collected so that every American contributes to government in proportion to his ability to pay.
A thorough revamping of our federal taxes has been long overdue to make them more equitable as between rich and poor and as among people with the same income and family responsibilities. All corporation and individual preferences that do not serve the national interest should be removed. Tax preferences, like expenditures, must be rigorously evaluated to assure that the benefit to the nation is worth the cost.
We support a proposal for a minimum income tax for persons of high income based on an individual's total income regardless of source in order that wealthy persons will be required to make some kind of income tax contribution, no matter how many tax shelters they use to protect their incomes. We also support a reduction of the tax burden on the poor by lowering the income tax rates at the bottom of the tax scale and increasing the minimum standard deduction. No person or family below the poverty level should be required to pay federal income taxes.
Our goal is a balanced budget in a balanced economy. We favor distinguishing current operating expenditures from long term capital outlays and repayable loans, which should be amortized consistent with sound accounting principles. All government expenditures should be subject to firm tests of efficiency and essentiality.
An effective policy for growth and stability requires careful coordination of fiscal and monetary policies. Changes in taxes, budgets, interest rates, and money supply must be carefully blended and flexibly adjusted to assure:
Adaptation to changing economic conditions; Adequate supplies of money and credit for the expansion of industry, commerce, and housing; Maintenance of the lowest possible interest rates;
Avoidance of needless hardships on groups that depend heavily on credit.
Cooperation between fiscal and monetary authorities was greatly strengthened in the past eight years, and we pledge ourselves to continue to perfect this cooperation.
Price Stability with Growth
Price stability continues to be an essential goal of expansive economic policy. Price inflation hurts most of the weak among us and could interfere with the continued social gains we are determined to achieve in the immediate years ahead.
The answer to rising prices will never be sought, under Democratic administrations, in unemployment and idle plant facilities. We are firmly committed to the twin objectives of full employment and price stability,
To promote price stability in a dynamic and growing economy, we will:
Pursue flexible fiscal and monetary policies designed to keep total private and public demand in line with the economy's rising productive capacity.
Work effectively with business, labor, and the public in formulating principles for price and wage policies that are equitable and sound for consumers as well as for workers and investors.
Strictly enforce antitrust and trade practice laws to combat administered pricing, supply limitations and other restrictive practices.
Strengthen competition by keeping the doors of world trade open and resisting the protectionism of captive markets.
Stimulate plant modernization, upgrade labor skills, and speed technological advance to step up productivity.
Twice in this century the Republican Party has brought disaster to the American farmer—in the thirties and in the fifties. Each time, the American farmer was rescued by the Democratic Party, but his prosperity has not yet been fully restored.
Farmers must continue to be heard in the councils of government where decisions affecting agriculture are taken. The productivity of our farmers—already the world's most productive—must continue to rise, making American agriculture more competitive abroad and more prosperous at home.
A strong agriculture requires fair income to farmers for an expanding output. Family farmers must be protected from the squeeze between rising production costs and low prices for their products. Farm income should grow with productivity just as industrial wages rise with productivity. At the same time, market prices should continue to reflect supply and demand conditions and American farm products must continue to compete effectively in world markets. In this way, markets at home and abroad will continue to expand beyond the record high levels of recent years.
To these ends, we shall:
Take positive action to raise farm income to full parity level in order to preserve the efficient, full-time family farm. This can be done through present farm programs when these programs are properly funded, but these programs will be constantly scrutinized with a view to improvement.
Actively seek out and develop foreign commercial markets, since international trade in agricultural products is a major favorable factor in the nation's balance of payments. In expanding our trade, we shall strive to ensure that farmers get adequate compensation for their production going into export.
Expand our food assistance programs to America's poor and our Food for Peace program to help feed the world's hungry.
Establish a Strategic Food and Feed Reserve Plan whereby essential commodities such as wheat, corn and other feed grains, soybeans, storable meat and other products will be stock-piled as a safeguard against crop failures, to assist our nation and other nations in time of famine or disaster, and to ensure adequate supplies for export markets, as well as to protect our own farm industry. This reserve should be insulated from the market.
Support the right of farmers to bargain collectively in the market place on a commodity by commodity basis. Labor and industry have long enjoyed this right to bargain collectively under existing legislation. Protective legislation for bargaining should be extended to agriculture.
Continue to support and encourage agricultural co-operatives by expanded and liberal credit, and to protect them from punitive taxation.
Support private or public credit on reasonable terms to young farmers to enable them to purchase farms on long term, low interest loans.
Support the federal crop insurance program. Reaffirm our support of the rural electrification program, recognizing that rural America cannot be revitalized without adequate low-cost electric power. We pledge continued support of programs to assure supplemental financing to meet the growing generating and distributing power needs of rural areas. We support the rural telephone program.
Support a thorough study of the effect of unlimited payments to farmers. If necessary, we suggest graduated open-end limitations of payments to extremely large corporate farms that participate in government programs.
Take a positive approach to the public interest in the issue of health and tobacco at all levels of the tobacco economy. We recommend a cooperative effort in health and tobacco research by government, industry and qualified scientific bodies, to ascertain relationships between human health and tobacco growth, curing, storage and manufacturing techniques, as well as specific medical aspects of tobacco smoke constituents.
Small business plays a vital role in a dynamic, competitive economy; it helps maintain a strong social fabric in communities across the land; it builds concerned community leadership deriving from ownership of small enterprises; and it maintains the challenge and competition essential to a free enterprise system.
To assure a continuing healthy environment for small business, the Democratic Party pledges to:
Assure adequate credit at reasonable costs; Assure small business a fair share of government contracts and procurement;
Encourage investment in research and development of special benefit to small enterprise;
Assist small business in taking advantage of technological innovations;
Provide centers of information on government procurement needs and foreign sales opportunities.
The Democratic Party is pledged to develop programs that will enable members of minority groups to obtain the financing and technical management assistance needed to succeed in launching and operating new enterprises.
Private collective bargaining and a strong and independent labor movement are essential to our system of free enterprise and economic democracy. Their development has been fostered under each Democratic administration in this century.
We will thoroughly review and update the National Labor Relations Act to assure an effective opportunity to all workers to exercise the right to organize and to bargain collectively, including such amendments as:
Repeal of the provision permitting states to enact compulsory open shop laws;
Extension of the Act's protection to farm workers, employees of private non-profit organizations, and other employees not now covered;
Removal of unreasonable restrictions upon the right of peaceful picketing, including situs picketing;
Speedier decisions in unfair labor practice cases and representation proceedings;
Greater equality between the remedies available under the Act to labor and those available to management;
Effective opportunities for unions as well as employers to communicate with employees, without coercion by either side or by anyone acting in their behalf.
The Federal Government will continue to set an example as an employer to private business and to state and local governments. The Government will not do business with firms that repeatedly violate Federal statutes prohibiting discrimination against employees who are union members or refuse to bargain with duly authorized union representatives.
By all these means, we will sustain the right of workers to organize in unions of their own choosing and will foster truly effective collective bargaining to provide the maximum opportunity for just and fair agreements between management and labor.
Rising incomes have brought new vigor to the market place. But the march of technology which has brought unparalleled abundance and opportunity to the consumer has also exposed him to new hazards and new complexities. In providing economic justice for consumers, we shall strengthen business and industry and improve the quality of life for all 200 million Americans.
We commend the Democratic Congress for passing the landmark legislation of the past several years which has ushered in a new era of consumer protection—truth-in-lending, truth-in-packaging, wholesome meat and poultry, auto and highway safety, child safety, and protection against interstate land swindles.
We shall take steps, including necessary legislation, to minimize the likelihood of massive electric power failures, to improve the safety of medical devices and drugs, to penalize deceptive sales practices, and to provide consumer access to product information now being compiled in the Federal Government.
We will help the states to establish consumer fraud and information bureaus, and to update consumer credit laws.
A major objective of all consumer programs, at all levels, must be the education of the buying public, particularly the poor who are the special targets of unscrupulous and high-pressure salesmanship.
We will make the consumer's voice increasingly heard in the councils of government. We will strengthen consumer education and enforcement programs by consolidation of functions now dispersed among various agencies, through the establishment of an Office of Consumer Affairs to represent consumer interests within the government and before courts and regulatory agencies.
For the first time in history, a nation is able to rebuild or replace all of its substandard housing, even while providing housing for millions of new families.
This means rebuilding or replacing 4.5 million dwelling units in our urban areas and 3.9 million in rural areas, most in conditions of such dilapidation that they are too often dens of despair for millions of Americans.
Yet this performance is possible in the next decade because of goals and programs fashioned by Democratic Presidents and Democratic Congresses in close partnership with private business.
The goal is clear and pressing—"a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family," as set forth in the 1949 Housing Act by a Democratic Congress and Administration.
To achieve this goal in the next ten years: We will assist private enterprise to double its volume of home-building, to an annual rate of 2.6 million units a year—a ten year total of 26 million units. This is the specific target of the history-making Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968.
We will give the highest priority to Federally-assisted home-building for low income families, with special attention given to ghetto dwellers, the elderly, the physically handicapped, and families in neglected areas of rural America, Indian reservations, territories of the United States, and migratory worker camps. All federal subsidy programs—whether in the form of public housing, interest rates at 1%, rent supplements, or direct loans—will be administered to favor these disadvantaged families, with full participation by the neighborhood residents themselves.
We will cooperate with private home builders to experiment boldly with new production technology, with financial institutions to marshal capital for housing where it is most needed, and with unions to expand the labor force needed for a doubling of production.
Above all, we will work toward the greatest possible freedom of choice—the opportunity for every family, regardless of race, color, religion, or income, to choose home ownership or rental, high-rise or low-rise, cooperatives or condominiums, detached or town house, and city, suburban or country living.
We urge local governments to shape their own zoning laws and building codes to favor consumers and hold down costs.
Rigid enforcement of State and local health and building codes is imperative to alleviate conditions of squalor and despair in deteriorating neighborhoods.
Democrats are proud of their housing record. But we are also painfully aware of how much more needs to be done to reach the final goal of decent shelter for all Americans and we pledge a steadfast pursuit of that goal.
America is a nation on the move. To meet the challenge of transportation, we propose a dynamic partnership between industry and government at all levels.
Of utmost urgency is the need to solve congestion in air traffic, especially in airports and between major metropolitan centers. We pledge intensified efforts to devise equitable methods of financing new and improved airport and airway facilities.
Urban and inter-urban transportation facilities are heavily overburdened. We support expanded programs of assistance to mass transit in order to avoid unnecessary congestion in air traffic, especially at air-link residential and work areas.
Despite the tremendous progress of our interstate highway program, still more super-highways are needed for safe and rapid motor transport. We need to establish local road networks to meet regional requirements.
The efficiency of our railroads has improved greatly but there is need for further strengthening of the nation's railroads so that they can contribute more fully to the nation's transport requirements. In particular, we will press forward with the effort to develop high-speed passenger trains to serve major urban areas.
To assume our proper place as a leading maritime nation, we must launch an aggressive and balanced program to replace and augment our obsolete merchant ships with modern vessels built in American shipyards. We will assist U.S. flag operators to overcome the competitive disparity between American and foreign costs.
We will continue to foster development of harbors, ports, and inland waterways, particularly regional waterways systems, and the St. Lawrence Seaway, to accommodate our expanded water-borne commerce. We support modernization of the Panama Canal.
We pledge a greater investment in transportation research and development to enhance safety and increase speed and economy; to implement the acts that have been passed to control noxious vehicle exhausts; and to reduce aircraft noise.
The expansion of our transportation must not be carried out at the expense of the environment through which it moves. We applaud the leadership provided by the First Lady to enhance the highway environment and initiate a national beautification program.
America has the most efficient and comprehensive communications system in the world. But a healthy society depends more on the quality of what is communicated than on either the volume or form of communication.
Public broadcasting has already proven that it can be a valuable supplement to formal education and a direct medium for non-formal education. We pledge our continuing support for the prompt enactment of a long-range financing plan that will help ensure the vigor and independence of this potentially vital but still underdeveloped new force in American life.
We deplore the all too frequent exploitation of violence as entertainment in all media.
In 1962 the Democratic Party sensed the great potential of space communication and quickly translated this awareness into the Communications Satellite Act. In a creative partnership between government and business, this revolutionary idea soon became a reality. Six years later we helped establish a consortium of 61 nations devoted to the development of a global satellite network.
We will continue to develop new technology and utilize communications to promote world-wide understanding as an essential pre-condition of world peace. But, in view of rapidly changing technology, the entire federal regulatory system dealing with telecommunication should be thoroughly reappraised.
Science and Technology
We lead the world in science and technology. This has produced a dramatic effect on the daily lives of all of us. To maintain our undisputed national leadership in science and further its manifold applications for the betterment of mankind, the Federal Government has a dear obligation to foster and support creative men and women in the research community, both public and private.
Our pioneering Space program has helped mankind on earth in countless ways. The benefits from improved weather forecasting which can soon be available thanks to satellite observations and communications will by themselves make the space efforts worthwhile.
Observation by satellite of crops and other major earth resources will for the first time enable man to see all that is available to him on earth, and therefore to take maximum advantage of it. High endurance metals developed for space-craft help make commercial planes safer; similarly, micro-electronics are now found in consumer appliances. Novel space food-preservation techniques are employed in the tropical climates of underdeveloped countries. We will move ahead in aerospace research and development for their unimagined promise for man on earth as well as their vital importance to national defense.
We shall continue to work for our goal of leadership in space. To this end we will maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of our space programs through utilization of the best program, planning and budgeting systems.
To maintain our leadership in the application of energy, we will push forward with research and development to assure a balanced program for the supply of energy for electric power, both public and private. This effort should go hand in hand with development of "breeder" reactors and large-scale nuclear desalting plants that can provide pure water economically from the sea for domestic use and agricultural and industrial development in arid regions, and with broadened medical and biological applications of atomic energy.
In addition to the physical sciences, the social sciences will be encouraged and assisted to identify and deal with the problem areas of society.
Opportunity for All
We of the Democratic Party believe that a nation wealthy beyond the dreams of most of mankind—a nation with a twentieth of the world's population, possessing half the world's manufactured goods—has the capacity and the duty to assure to all its citizens the opportunity to enjoy the full measure of the blessings of American life.
For the first time in the history of the world, it is within the power of a nation to eradicate from within its borders the age-old curse of poverty.
Our generation of Americans has now made those commitments. It remains to implement and adequately fund the host of practical measures that demonstrate their, effectiveness and to continue to devise new approaches.
We are guided by the recommendations of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders concerning jobs, housing, urban renewal, and education on a scale commensurate with the needs of the urban ghettos. We are guided by the report of the Commission on Rural Poverty in tackling the equally compelling problems of the rural slums.
Economic growth is our first antipoverty program. The best avenue to an independent, confident citizenry is a dynamic, full-employment economy. Beyond that lie the measures necessary to assure that every American, of every race, in every region, truly shares in the benefits of economic progress.
Those measures include rehabilitation of the victims of poverty, elimination of the urban and rural slums where poverty is bred, and changes throughout the system of institutions that affect the lives of the poor.
In this endeavor, the resources of private enterprise not only its economic power but its leadership and ingenuity—must be mobilized. We must marshal the power that comes from people working together in communities—the neighborhood communities of the poor and the larger communities of the city, the town, the village, the region.
We support community action agencies and their programs, such as Head Start, that will prevent the children of the poor from becoming the poor of the next generation. We support the extension of neighborhood centers. We are committed to the principle of meaningful participation of the poor in policy-making and administration of community action and related programs.
Since organizations of many kinds are joined in the war on poverty, problems of coordination inevitably arise. We pledge ourselves to review current antipoverty efforts to assess how responsibility should be distributed among levels of government, among private and public agencies, and between the permanent agencies of the federal government and an independent antipoverty agency.
Toward a Single Society
We acknowledge with concern the findings of the report of the bi-partisan National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders and we commit ourselves to implement its recommendations and to wipe out, once and for all, the stain of racial and other discrimination from our national life.
"The major goal," the Commission wrote, "is the creation of a true union—a single society and a single American identity." A single society, however, does not mean social or cultural uniformity. We are a nation of many social, ethnic and national groups. Each has brought richness and strength to America.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1968 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, all adopted under the vigorous leadership of President Johnson, are basic to America's long march toward full equality under the law.
We will not permit these great gains to be chipped away by opponents or eroded by administrative neglect. We pledge effective and impartial enforcement of these laws. If they prove inadequate, or if their compliance provisions fail to serve their purposes, we will propose new laws. In particular, the enforcement provisions of the legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment should be strengthened. This will be done as a matter of first priority.
We have also come to recognize that freedom and equality require more than the ending of repression and prejudice. The victims of past discrimination must be encouraged and assisted to take full advantage of opportunities that are now opening to them.
We must recognize that for too long we have neglected the abilities and aspirations of Spanish speaking Americans to participate fully in American life. We promise to fund and implement the Bilingual Education Act and expand recruitment and training of bilingual federal and state employees.
The American Indian has the oldest claim on our national conscience. We must continue and increase federal help in the Indian's battle against poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, ill health and poor housing. To this end, we pledge a new and equal federal-Indian partnership that will enable Indian communities to provide for themselves many services now furnished by the federal government and federal sponsorship of industrial development programs owned, managed, and run by Indians. We support a quick and fair settlement of land claims of Indians, Eskimo and Aleut citizens of Alaska.
The Inner City
In the decaying slums of our larger cities, where so many of our poor are concentrated, the attack on poverty must embrace many interrelated aspects of development—economic development, the rehabilitation or replacement of dilapidated and unsafe housing, job training and placement, and the improvement of education, health, recreation, crime control, welfare, and other public services.
As the framework of such an effort, we will continue to support the Model Cities program under which communities themselves are planning and carrying out the most comprehensive plans ever put together for converting their worst slum areas into model neighborhoods—with full participation and leadership by the neighborhood residents themselves. The Model Cities program will be steadily extended to more cities and more neighborhoods and adequately financed.
The resources and leadership of private enterprise must be marshaled in the attack on slums and poverty, and such incentives as may be essential for that purpose we will develop and enact.
Some of the most urgent jobs in the revival of the inner city remain undone because the hazards are too great and the rewards too limited to attract sufficient private capital. To meet this problem, we will charter a new federal banking structure to provide capital and investment guaranties for urban projects planned and implemented through local initiative—neighborhood development corporations, minority programs for self-employment, housing development corporations, and other urban construction and planning operations. We will also enact legislation providing tax incentives for new business and industrial enterprises in the inner city. Our experience with aid to small business demonstrates the importance of increased local ownership of business enterprises in the inner city.
We shall aid the universities to concentrate their resources more fully upon the problems of the cities and facilitate their cooperation with municipal agencies and local organizations in finding solutions to urban problems.
Balanced growth is essential for America. To achieve that balanced growth, we must greatly increase the growth of the rural non-farm economy. One-third of our people live in rural areas, but only one rural family in ten derives its principal income from farming. Almost thirty percent of the nation's poor are non-farm people in rural areas.
The problem of rural poverty and the problem of migration of poor people from rural areas to urban ghettos are mainly non-farm problems. The creation of productive jobs in small cities and towns can be the best and least costly solution of these problems.
To revitalize rural and small-town America and assure equal opportunity for all Americans where-ever they live, we pledge to:
Create jobs by offering inducements to new enterprises—using tax and other incentives—to locate in small towns and rural areas;
Administer existing federal programs and design new programs where necessary to overcome the disparity between rural and urban areas in opportunities for education, for health services, for low income housing, for employment and job training, and for public services of all kinds;
Encourage the development of new towns and new growth centers;
Encourage the creation of comprehensive planning and development agencies to provide additional leadership in non-metropolitan areas, and assist them financially.
The experience of the Appalachian and other regional commissions indicates that municipalities, counties, and state and federal agencies can work together in a common development effort.
Jobs and Training
Every American in need of work should have opportunity not only for meaningful employment, but also for the education, training, counselling, and other services that enable him to take advantage of available jobs.
To the maximum possible extent, our national goal of full employment should be realized through creation of jobs in the private economy, where six of every seven Americans now work. We will continue the Job Opportunities in the Business Sector (JOBS) program, which for the first time has mobilized the energies of business and industry on a nationwide scale to provide training and employment to the hard-core unemployed. We will develop whatever additional incentives may be necessary to maximize the opportunities in the private sector for hard-core unemployed.
We will continue also to finance the operation by local communities of a wide range of training programs for youth and retraining for older workers whose skills have become obsolete, coupled with related services necessary to enable people to undertake training and accept jobs—including improved recruitment and placement services, day-care centers, and transportation between work and home.
For those who can work but cannot find jobs, we pledge to expand public job and job-training programs, including the Neighborhood Youth Corps, to provide meaningful employment by state and local government and nonprofit institutions.
For those who cannot obtain other employment, the federal government will be the employer of last resort, either through federal assistance to state and local projects or through federally sponsored projects.
American workers are entitled to more than the right to a job. They have the right to fair and safe working conditions and to adequate protection in periods of unemployment or disability.
In the last thirty years Democratic administrations and Congresses have enacted, extended and improved a series of measures to provide safeguards against exploitation and distress. We pledge to continue these efforts.
The minimum standards covering terms and conditions of employment must be improved:
By increasing the minimum wage guarantee to assure those at the bottom of the economic scale a fairer share in rising living standards;
By extending the minimum wage and overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act to all workers;
By enacting occupational health and safety legislation to assure the material reduction of the present occupational death rate of 14,500 men and women each year, and the disabling accident rate of over 2 million per year;
By assuring that the "green card" worker does not depress wages and conditions of employment for American workers;
By updating of the benefit provisions of the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Act.
The unemployment compensation program should be modernized by national minimum standards for level and duration of benefits, eligibility, and universal coverage.
A lifetime of work and effort deserves a secure and satisfying retirement.
Benefits, especially minimum benefits, under Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance should be raised to overcome present inadequacies and thereafter should be adjusted automatically to reflect increases in living costs.
Medical care for the aged should be expanded to include the costs of prescription drugs.
The minimum age for public assistance should be lowered to correspond to the requirements for social security.
America's self-employed citizens should be encouraged by tax incentive legislation to supplement social security benefits for themselves and their employees to the same extent that employees of corporations are encouraged.
In addition to improving social security, we must develop in each community a wide variety of activities to enrich the lives of our older citizens, to enable them to continue to contribute to our society, and to permit them to live in dignity. The aged must have access to better housing, opportunities for regular or part-time employment and community volunteer services, and cultural and recreational activities.
People in Need
Every American family whose income is not sufficient to enable its members to live in decency should receive assistance free of the indignities and uncertainties that still too often mar our present programs, To support family incomes of the working poor a number of new program proposals have recently been developed. A thorough evaluation of the relative advantages of such proposals deserves the highest priority attention by the next Administration. This we pledge to do.
Income payments and eligibility standards for the aged, the blind, the disabled and dependent children should be determined and financed on a federal basis—in place of the present inequitable, underfinanced hodge podge state plans. This would, among other things, assure the eligibility in all states of needy children of unemployed parents who are now denied assistance in more than half the states as long as the father remains in the home.
Assistance payments should not only be brought to adequate levels but they should be kept adequate by providing for automatic adjustment to reflect increases in living costs.
Congress has temporarily suspended the restrictive amendment of 1967 that placed an arbitrary limit on the number of dependent children who can be aided in each state. We favor permanent repeal of that restriction and of the provision requiring mothers of young children to work.
The new federal-state program we propose should provide for financial incentives and needed services to enable and encourage adults on welfare to seek employment to the extent they are able to do so.
The time has come when we should make a national commitment that no American should have to go hungry or undernourished. The Democratic Party here and now does make that commitment. We will move rapidly to implement it through continued improvement and expansion of our food programs.
The Democratic Congress this year has already enacted legislation to expand and improve the school lunch and commodity distribution programs, and shortly will complete action on legislation now pending to expand the food stamp program. We will enact further legislation and appropriations to assure on a permanent basis that the school lunch program provides free and reduced price meals to all needy school children.
The best of modern medical care should be made available to every American. We support efforts to overcome the remaining barriers of distance, poverty, ignorance, and discrimination that separate persons from adequate medical services.
During the last eight years of Democratic administrations, this nation has taken giant steps forward in assuring life and health for its citizens. In the years ahead, we Democrats are determined to take those final steps that are necessary to make certain that every American, regardless of economic status, shall live out his years without fear of the high costs of sickness.
Through a partnership of government and private enterprise we must develop new coordinated approaches to stem the rise in medical and drug costs without lowering the quality or availability of medical care. Out-of-hospital care, comprehensive group practice arrangements, increased availability of neighborhood health centers, and the greater use of sub-professional aides can all contribute to the lowering of medical costs.
We will raise the level of research in all fields of health, with special programs for development of the artificial heart and the heart transplant technique, development of drugs to treat and prevent the recurrence of heart diseases, expansion of current task forces in cancer research and the creation of new ones including cancer of the lung, determination of the factors in mental retardation and reduction of infant mortality, development of drugs to reduce the incidence of suicide, and construction of health research facilities and hospitals.
We must build new medical, dental and medical service schools, and increase the capacity of existing ones, to train more doctors, dentists, nurses, and medical technicians.
Medical care should be extended to disabled beneficiaries under the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Act to the same extent and under the same system that such care is available to the aged.
Thousands of children die, or are handicapped for life, because their mothers did not receive proper pre-natal medical attention or because the infants were unattended in the critical first days of life. Maternal and child health centers, located and designed to serve the needs of the poor, and voluntary family planning information centers should be established throughout the country. Medicaid programs administered by the states should have uniform standards so that no mother or child is denied necessary health services. Finally, we urge consideration of a program comparable to Medicare to finance pre-natal care for mother's and post-natal care for children during the first year of life.
American veterans deserve our enduring gratitude for their distinguished service to the nation. In 1968 some 750,000 returning servicemen will continue their education with increased benefits under the new G.I. Bill passed by an education-minded Democratic Congress. Two million disabled veterans and survivors of those killed in action are receiving larger pensions and higher disability payments.
Guided by the report of the Veterans Advisory Commission, established by the Democratic administration, we will:
Continue a strong one-stop agency vested with sole responsibility for all veterans programs;
Sustain and upgrade veteran medical services arid expand medical training in VA hospitals;
Maintain compensation for disabled veterans and for widows and dependents of veterans who die of service-connected causes, in line with the rise in earnings and living standards;
Assure every veteran the right of burial in a national cemetery;
Provide incentives for veterans to aid their communities by serving in police, fire departments, educational systems and other public endeavors;
Make veterans and their widows eligible for pension benefits at the same age at which Social Security beneficiaries may receive old age benefits.
We recommend the establishment of a standing Committee on Veterans Affairs in the Senate.
Education is the chief instrument for making good the American promise. It is indispensable to every man's chance to achieve his full potential. We will seek to open education to all Americans.
We will assure equal opportunity to education and equal access to high-quality education. Our aim is to maintain state-local control over the nation's educational system, with federal financial assistance and help in stimulating changes through demonstration and technical assistance. New concepts of education and training employing new communications technology must be developed to educate children and adults.
Every citizen has a basic right to as much education and training as he desires and can master—from preschool through graduate studies—even if his family cannot pay for this education.
We will marshal our national resources to help develop and finance new and effective methods of dealing with the educationally disadvantaged—including expanded preschool programs to prepare all young children for full participation in formal education, improved teacher recruitment and training programs for inner city and rural schools, the Teacher Corps, assistance to community controlled schools to encourage pursuit of innovative practices, university participation in research and operation of school programs, a vocational education system that will provide imaginative new ties between school and the world of work, and improved and more widespread adult education programs.
We will fully fund Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which provides federal funds for improving education in schools serving large numbers of students from low income families.
The financial burden of education continues to grow as enrollments spiral and costs increase. The home owner's property tax burden must be eased by increased levels of financial aid by both the states and the Federal government.
Our rapidly expanding educational frontiers require a redoubling of efforts to insure the vitality of a diverse higher education system—public and private, large and small, community and junior colleges, vocational and technical schools, and great universities. We also pledge support for high quality graduate and medical education.
We will enlarge the federal scholarship program to remove the remaining financial barriers to post-secondary education for low income youths, and increase assistance to students in the form of repayable loans out of future income.
We will encourage support for the arts and the humanities, through the national foundations established by a Democratic Congress, to provide incentives for those endowed with extraordinary talent, enhance the quality of our life, and make productive leisure available to all our people.
We recommend greater stress on the arts and humanities in elementary and secondary curricula to ensure a proper educational balance.
For generations, the Democratic Party has renewed its vitality with young people and new ideas. Today, young people are bringing new vigor and a deep concern for social justice into the political process, yet many feel excluded from full participation.
We of the Democratic Party welcome the bold thinking and exciting ideas of youth. We recognize, with deep satisfaction, that their healthy desire for participation in the democratic system must lead to a series of reforms in the direction of a greater democracy and a more open America.
The Democratic Party takes pride in the fact that so many of today's youth have channeled their interests and energies into our Party. To them, and to all young Americans we pledge the fullest opportunity to participate in the affairs of our Party at the local, state, and national levels. We call for special efforts to recruit young people as candidates for public office.
We will support a Constitutional amendment lowering the voting age to 18.
We favor an increase in youth representation on state delegations in future Democratic conventions.
Steps should be taken to include youth advisers on all government studies, commissions, and hearings which are relevant to their lives.
We will establish a youth commission involving young people between the ages of 18 and 26.
Every young person should have an opportunity to contribute to the social health of his community or to humanitarian service abroad. The extraordinary experience of the Teacher Corps, VISTA, and the Peace Corps points the way for broadening the opportunities for such voluntary service. Hundreds of thousands of America's youth have sought to enlist in these programs, but only tens of thousands have been able to serve. We will expand these Opportunities.
The lives of millions of young men are deeply affected by the requirement for military service. The present system leaves them in uncertainty through much of their early manhood. Until our manpower needs can be fully met by voluntary enlistment, the Democratic Party will insist upon the most equitable and just selection system that can be devised. We support a random system of selection which will reduce the period of eligibility to one year, guarantee fair selection, and remove uncertainty.
We urge review of draft board memberships to make them more representative of the communities they serve.
Environment, Conservation and Natural Resources
These United States have undergone 200 years of continuous change and dramatic development resulting in the most technologically advanced nation in the world. But with rapid industrialization, the nation's air and water resources have been degraded, the public health and welfare endangered, the landscape scarred and littered, and the very quality of our national life jeopardized.
We must assure the availability of a decent environment for living, working and relaxation. To this end, we pledge our efforts:
To accelerate programs for the enhancement of the quality of the nation's waters for the protection of all legitimate water uses, with special emphasis on public water supplies, recreation, fish and wildlife;
To extend the national emission control program to all moving sources of air pollution;
To work for programs for the effective disposal of wastes of our modern industrial society;
To support the efforts on national, state, and local levels to preserve the historic monuments and sites of our heritage;
To assist in planning energy production and transportation to fit into the landscape, to assure safety, and to avoid interference with more desirable uses of land for recreation and other public purposes;
To continue to work toward abating the visual pollution that plagues our land;
To focus on the outdoor recreation needs of those who live in congested metropolitan areas;
To continue to work toward strong measures for the reclamation of mined and depleted lands and the conservation of soil.
We pledge continued support of the Public Land Law Review Commission, which is reviewing public land laws and policies to assure maximum opportunity for all beneficial uses of the public lands, including lands under the sea, and to develop a comprehensive land use policy.
We support sustained yield management of our forests, and expanded research for control of forest insects, disease, and fires.
We plan to examine the productivity of the public lands in goods, services, and local community prosperity, with a view to increasing such productivity.
We shall enforce existing federal statutes governing federal timber.
We support the orderly use and development of mineral resources on federal lands.
We will continue the vigorous expansion of the public recreational domain to meet tomorrow's increasing needs, We will add national parks, recreation areas and seashores, and create national systems of scenic and wild rivers and of trails and scenic roads. We will support a growing wilderness preservation system, preservation of our redwood forests, and conservation of marshland and estuarine areas.
Recognizing that the bulk of the task of acquisition and development must be accomplished at the state and local levels we shall foster federal assistance to encourage such action, as well as recreational expansion by the private sector. To this end, we shall build upon the landmark Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, which has assured a foundation of a recreational heritage for future generations. We will assist communities to rehabilitate and expand inadequate and deteriorating urban park systems, and develop open space, waterways, and waterfront renovation facilities.
Resources of the Oceans
In and beneath the seas are resources of untold dimension for the benefit of mankind. Recognizing and protecting the paramount public interest in the seas, Congress under Democratic leadership enacted the Sea Grant College Act of 1965 and the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966, which established for the first time a comprehensive long-range policy and program for the marine sciences. We pledge to pursue vigorously the goals of that Act. Specifically, we will:
Foster marine application of new technology—spacecraft, buoys, data networks, and advanced navigation systems—and develop an engineering capability to work on and under the sea at any depth;
Encourage development of underseas resources by intensified research and better weather forecasting, with recognition to the coastal, insular and other littoral states of their unique interest and responsibility;
Foster an extensive program of oceanologic research and development, financed by a portion of the mineral-royalty receipts from the outer continental shelf;
Accelerate public and private programs for the development of food and other marine resources to meet world-wide malnutrition, to create new industries, and to utilize underemployed manpower living near the waterfront;
Promote our fisheries by providing incentives for private investment, enforcing our 12-mile fishing zone, and discouraging other nations from excessive territorial and fishery claims;
Conclude an appropriate Ocean Space treaty to secure rules and agreements that will facilitate public and private investment, guarantee security of investment and encourage efficient and orderly development of the sea's resources.
In the coming four years, the Democratic President and Democratic Congress will give priority to simplifying and streamlining the processes of government, particularly in the management of the great innovative programs enacted in the 1960's.
The Executive branch of the federal government is the largest and most complicated enterprise in the world, with programs distributed among 150 separate departments, agencies, bureaus, and boards. This massive operation contributes to and often results in duplication, administrative confusion, and delay.
We will seek to streamline this machinery by improving coordination and management of federal programs.
We realize that government must develop the capacity to anticipate problems. We support a thorough study of agency operations to determine priorities for governmental action and spending, for examination of the structure of these agencies, and for establishing more systematic means of attacking our nation's problems.
We recognize that citizen participation in government is most meaningful at the levels of government closest to the people. For that reason, we recognize the necessity of developing a true partnership between state, local, and Federal governments, with each carrying its share of the financial and administrative load. We acknowledge the tremendous strides made by President Johnson in strengthening federal-state relations through open communication with the governors and local officials, and we pledge to continue and expand, on this significant effort.
The complexities of federal-state local relationships must be simplified, so that states and local communities receiving federal aid will have maximum freedom to initiate and carry out programs suited to their own particular needs. To give states and communities greater flexibility in their programs, we will combine individual grant programs into broader categories.
As the economy grows, it is the federal revenue system that responds most quickly, yet it may be the states and local governments whose responsibilities mount most rapidly. To help states and cities meet their fiscal challenges, we must seek new methods for states and local governments to share in federal revenues while retaining responsibility for establishing their own priorities and for operating their own programs. To this end, we will seek out new and innovative approaches to government to assure that our Federal system does, in fact, deliver to the people the services for which they are paying.
The Democratic administration has moved vigorously in the past eight years—particularly with regard to pay scales—to improve the conditions of public service. We support:
A federal service that rewards new ideas and leadership;
Continued emphasis on education and training programs for public employees, before and during their service;
Parity of government salaries with private industry;
A proper respect for the privacy and independence of federal employees;
Equal opportunities for career advancement;
Continued application of the principles of collective bargaining to federal employment;
Encouragement to state and local governments to continue to upgrade their personnel systems in terms of pay scales and training;
Interchange of employees between federal and state government.
We are alarmed at the growing costs of political participation in our country and the consequent reliance of political parties and candidates on large contributors, and we want to assure full public information on campaign expenditures. To encourage citizen participation we urge that limited campaign contributions be made deductible as a credit from the federal income tax.
We fully recognize the principle of one man, one vote in all elections. We urge that due consideration be given to the question of presidential primaries throughout the nation. We urge reform of the electoral college and election procedures to assure that the votes of the people are fully reflected.
We urge all levels of our Party to assume leadership in removing all remaining barriers to voter registration.
We will also seek to eliminate disenfranchisement of voters who change residence during an election year.
The District of Columbia
With the reorganization of the government of the District of Columbia, the nation's capital has for the first time in nearly a century the strong leadership provided by a mayor-council form of government. This, however, is no substitute for an independent and fiscally autonomous District government. We support a federally funded charter commission—controlled by District residents—to determine the most appropriate form of government for the District, and the prompt implementation of the Commission's recommendations.
The Democratic Party supports full citizenship for residents of the District of Columbia and a Constitutional amendment to grant such citizenship through voting representation in Congress. Until this can be done, we propose non-voting representation.
In accordance with the democratic principle of self-determination the people of Puerto Rico have expressed their will to continue in permanent union with the United States through commonwealth status. We pledge our continued support to the growth of the commonwealth status which the people of Puerto Rico overwhelmingly approved last year.
Virgin Islands and Guam
We favor an elected governor and a non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives for the Virgin Islands and Guam, and will consider methods by which American citizens residing in American territories can participate in presidential elections.
Justice and Law
We are firm in our commitment that equal justice under law shall be denied to no one. The duty of government at every level is the safety and security of its people. Yet the fact and fear of crime are uppermost in the minds of Americans today. The entire nation is united in its concern over crime, in all forms and wherever it occurs. America must move aggressively to reduce crime and its causes.
Democratic Presidents, governors and local officials are dedicated to the principle that equal justice under law shall remain the American creed. Those who take the law into their own hands undermine that creed. Anyone who breaks the law must be held accountable. Organized crime cannot be accepted as a way of life, nor can individual crime or acts of violence be permitted.
As stated in the report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, the two fundamental questions confronting the American people are:
"How can we as a people end the resort to violence while we build a better society?"
"How can the nation realize the promise of a single society—one nation indivisible—which yet remains unfulfilled?"
This platform commits the Democratic Party to seek resolution of these questions.
We pledge a vigorous and sustained campaign against lawlessness in all its forms—organized crime, white collar crime, rioting, and other violations of the rights and liberties of others. We will further this campaign by attack on the root causes of crime and disorder.
Under the recent enactments of a Democratic Congress we will continue and increase federal financial support and technical assistance to the states and their local governments to:
Increase the numbers, raise the pay, and improve the training of local police officers;
Reduce delays and congestion in our criminal courts;
Rehabilitate and supervise convicted offenders, to return offenders to useful, decent lives, and to protect the public against habitual criminals;
Develop and deploy the most advanced and effective techniques and equipment for the public safety;
Assure the availability in every metropolitan area of quick, balanced, coordinated control forces, with ample manpower, thoroughly trained and properly equipped, to suppress rioting;
Encourage responsible and competent civic associations and business and labor groups to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies in new efforts to combat organized crime, build community support for police work, and assist in rehabilitating convicted offenders—and for the attainment of these ends, encourage our police to cooperate with any such groups and to establish links of communication with every element of the public they serve, building confidence and respect;
Establish and maintain open and responsive channels of communication between the public and the police through creative police-community relations programs;
Develop innovative programs to reduce the incidence of juvenile delinquency;
Promote the passage and enforcement of effective federal, state and local gun control legislation.
In all these efforts, our aim is to strengthen state and local law enforcement agencies so that they can do their jobs. In addition, the federal government has a clear responsibility for national action. We have accepted that responsibility and will continue to accept it with these specific objectives:
Prompt and effective federal support, upon request of appropriate authorities, to suppress rioting: improvement of the capabilities of all agencies of law enforcement and justice—the police, the military, the courts—to handle more effectively problems attending riots;
A concentrated campaign by the Federal government to wipe out organized crime: by employment of additional Federal investigators and prosecutors; by computerizing the present system of collecting information; by enlarging the program of technical assistance teams to work with the states and local governments that request assistance in this fight; by launching a nationwide program for the country's business and labor leaders to alert them to the problems of organized crime;
Intensified enforcement, research, and education to protect the public from narcotics and other damaging drugs: by review of federal narcotics laws for loopholes and difficulties of enforcement; by increased surveillance of the entire drug traffic; through negotiations with those foreign nations which grow and manufacture the bulk of drug derivatives;
Vigorous federal leadership to assist and coordinate state and local enforcement efforts, and to ensure that all communities benefit from the resources and knowledge essential to the fight on crime;
Further implementation of the recommendations of the President's crime commission;
Creation in the District of Columbia of a model system of criminal justice;
Federal research and development to bring to the problems of law enforcement and the administration of justice the full potential of the scientific revolution.
In fighting crime we must not foster injustice. Lawlessness cannot be ended by curtailing the hard-won liberties of all Americans. The right of privacy must be safeguarded. Court procedures must be expedited. Justice delayed is justice denied.
A respect for civil peace requires also a proper respect for the legitimate means of expressing dissent. A democratic society welcomes criticism within the limits of the law. Freedom of speech, press, assembly and association, together with free exercise of the franchise, are among the legitimate means to achieve change in a democratic society. But when the dissenter resorts to violence he erodes the institutions and values which are the underpinnings of our democratic society. We must not and will not tolerate violence.
As President Johnson has stated, "Our test is to rise above the debate between the rights of the individual and the rights of society by securing the rights of both."
We freely admit that the years we live in are years of turbulence. But the wisdom of history has something hopeful to say about times like these. It tells us that the giant American nation, on the move with giant strides, has never moved—and can never move—in silence.
We are an acting, doing, feeling people. We are a people whose deepest emotions are the source of the creative noise we make-precisely because of our ardent desire for unity, our wish for peace, our longing for concord, our demand for justice, our hope for material well being, our impulse to move always toward a more perfect union.
In that never-ending quest, we are all partners together—the industrialist and the banker, the workman and the storekeeper, the farmer and the scientist, the clerk and the engineer, the teacher and the student, the clergyman and the writer, the men of all colors and of all the different generations.
The American dream is not the exclusive property of any political party. But we submit that the Democratic Party has been the chief instrument of orderly progress in our time. As heirs to the longest tradition of any political party on earth, we Democrats have been trained over the generations to be a party of builders. And that experience has taught us that America builds best when it is called upon to build greatly.
We sound that call anew. With the active consent of the American people, we will prove anew that freedom is best secured by a government that is responsive and compassionate and committed to justice and the rule of law.
APP Note: The American Presidency Project used the first day of the national nominating convention as the "date" of this platform since the original document is undated.
Democratic Party Platforms, 1968 Democratic Party Platform Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273244