Consider the first sentences of the original platform and the draft proposal Here’s the original first sentence:
We, the Massachusetts Democratic Party, affirm our belief that government exists to strengthen individuals, families and communities and that all people should be treated with dignity. As Democrats, we are united in our devotion to our country, our Commonwealth, and our democracy.
Here’s the first sentence of the revised Preamble:
Massachusetts Democrats believe in the common good.
The original platform’s first sentence has 42 words. The new sentence has seven. That’s a reduction of almost 83% of the words. There is strength in the verbs of the original. To affirm is positive, active; it suggests taking a stand. Believe is as vague and generic as you can get in the lexicon of conviction.
The word strengthen is, well, strong. Again it suggests action, a goal. Not that the Party doesn’t have goals. The first plank in the platform tells us “Massachusetts Democrats have ambitious goals.” Good to know, particularly since the revisions are as unambitious as you can get. Where’s the dignity in the common good? Where’s the devotion?
Striving to be as unobjectionable as possible, the language of the party's revised platform epitomizes everything that's been wrong with the Democratic Party's rhetoric for the last 20 years.
Beyond the people who write them, I’m not sure who reads party platforms. I confess that I paid little attention to until he emailed me. Still a party without platform would be hard-pressed to justify such an omission. Aside from lacking a platform, the next worst thing is having one that is laughable. And that is what this proposed revision is. Laughable. The language is so broad, so shallow that half the planks could belong in the GOP platform (if it had one).
In other countries, party platforms tend to be referred to as manifestos. As a party, our model should imitate The Declaration of Independence, not the laws of the Department of Motor Vehicles.