|The Rise of Hitler and FDR:|
Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal & Unlikely Destiny
1932 Democratic Party Platform
In this time of unprecedented economic and social distress the Democratic
Party declares its conviction that the chief causes of this condition were the
disastrous policies pursued by our government since the World War, of
economic isolation, fostering the merger of competitive businesses into
monopolies and encouraging the indefensible expansion and contraction of
credit for private profit at the expense of the public.
Those who were responsible for these policies have abandoned the ideals
on which the war was won and thrown away the fruits of victory, thus
rejecting the greatest opportunity in history to bring peace, prosperity, and
happiness to our people and to the world.
They have ruined our foreign trade; destroyed the values of our
commodities and products, crippled our banking system, robbed millions of
our people of their life savings, and thrown millions more out of work,
produced wide-spread poverty and brought the government to a state of
financial distress unprecedented in time of peace.
The only hope for improving present conditions, restoring employment,
affording permanent relief to the people, and bringing the nation back to the
proud position of domestic happiness and of financial, industrial, agricultural
and commercial leadership in the world lies in a drastic change in economic
We believe that a party platform is a covenant with the people to have [sic]
faithfully kept by the party when entrusted with power, and that the people
are entitled to know in plain words the terms of the contract to which they
are asked to subscribe. We hereby declare this to be the platform of the
The Democratic Party solemnly promises by appropriate action to put into
effect the principles, policies, and reforms herein advocated, and to
eradicate the policies, methods, and practices herein condemned. We
advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures
by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments
and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not
less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government. And
we call upon the Democratic Party in the states to make a zealous effort to
achieve a proportionate result.
We favor maintenance of the national credit by a federal budget annually
balanced on the basis of accurate executive estimates within revenues,
raised by a system of taxation levied on the principle of ability to pay.
We advocate a sound currency to be preserved at all hazards and an
international monetary conference called on the invitation of our
government to consider the rehabilitation of silver and related questions.
We advocate a competitive tariff for revenue with a fact-finding tariff
commission free from executive interference, reciprocal tariff agreements
with other nations, and an international economic conference designed to
restore international trade and facilitate exchange.
We advocate the extension of federal credit to the states to provide
unemployment relief wherever the diminishing resources of the states
makes it impossible for them to provide for the needy; expansion of the
federal program of necessary and useful construction effected [sic] with a
public interest, such as adequate flood control and waterways.
We advocate the spread of employment by a substantial reduction in the
hours of labor, the encouragement of the shorter week by applying that
principle in government service; we advocate advance planning of public
We advocate unemployment and old-age insurance under state laws.
We favor the restoration of agriculture, the nation's basic industry; better
financing of farm mortgages through recognized farm bank agencies at low
rates of interest on an amortization plan, giving preference to credits for the
redemption of farms and homes sold under foreclosure.
Extension and development of the Farm co-operative movement and
effective control of crop surpluses so that our farmers may have the full
benefit of the domestic market.
The enactment of every constitutional measure that will aid the farmers to
receive for their basic farm commodities prices in excess of cost.
We advocate a Navy and an Army adequate for national defense, based on
a survey of all facts affecting the existing establishments, that the people in
time of peace may not be burdened by an expenditure fast approaching a
billion dollars annually.
We advocate strengthening and impartial enforcement of the anti-trust laws,
to prevent monopoly and unfair trade practices, and revision thereof for the
better protection of labor and the small producer and distributor.
The conservation, development, and use of the nation's water power in the
The removal of government from all fields of private enterprise except
where necessary to develop public works and natural resources in the
We advocate protection of the investing public by requiring to be filed with
the government and carried in advertisements of all offerings of foreign and
domestic stocks and bonds true information as to bonuses, commissions,
principal invested, and interests of the sellers.
Regulation to the full extent of federal power, of:
(a) Holding companies which sell securities in interstate commerce;
(b) Rates of utilities companies operating across State lines;
(c) Exchanges in securities and commodities. We advocate quicker
methods of realizing on assets for the relief of depositors of suspended
banks, and a more rigid supervision of national banks for the protection of
depositors and the prevention of the use of their moneys in speculation to
the detriment of local credits.
The severance of affiliated security companies from, and the divorce of the
investment banking business from, commercial banks, and further restriction
of federal reserve banks in permitting the use of federal reserve facilities for
We advocate the full measure of justice and generosity for all war veterans
who have suffered disability or disease caused by or resulting from actual
service in time of war and for their dependents.
We advocate a firm foreign policy, including peace with all the world and the
settlement of international disputes by arbitration; no interference in the
internal affairs of other nations; and sanctity of treaties and the
maintenance of good faith and of good will in financial obligations;
adherence to the World Court with appending reservations; the Pact of
Paris abolishing war as an instrument of national policy, to be made
effective by provisions for consultation and conference in case of
threatened violations of treaties.
International agreements for reduction of armaments and cooperation with
nations of the Western Hemisphere to maintain the spirit of the Monroe
We oppose cancelation of the debts owing to the United States by foreign
Independence for the Philippines; ultimate statehood for Puerto Rico.
The employment of American citizens in the operation of the Panama Canal.
Simplification of legal procedure and reorganization of the judicial system to
make the attainment of justice speedy, certain, and at less cost.
Continuous publicity of political contributions and expenditures;
strengthening of the Corrupt Practices Act and severe penalties for
misappropriation of campaign funds.
We advocate the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. To effect such
repeal we demand that the Congress immediately propose a Constitutional
Amendment to truly represent [sic] the conventions in the states called to
act solely on that proposal; we urge the enactment of such measures by the
several states as will actually promote temperance, effectively prevent the
return of the saloon, and bring the liquor traffic into the open under
complete supervision and control by the states.
We demand that the Federal Government effectively exercise its power to
enable the states to protect themselves against importation of intoxicating
liquors in violation of their laws.
Pending repeal, we favor immediate modification of the Volstead Act; to
legalize the manufacture and sale of beer and other beverages of such
alcoholic content as is permissible under the Constitution and to provide
therefrom a proper and needed revenue.
We condemn the improper and excessive use of money in political activities.
We condemn paid lobbies of special interests to influence members of
Congress and other public servants by personal contact.
We condemn action and utterances of high public officials designed to
influence stock exchange prices.
We condemn the open and cover resistance of administrative officials to
every effort made by Congressional Committees to curtail the extravagant
expenditures of the Government and to revoke improvident subsidies
granted to favorite interests.
We condemn the extravagance of the Farm Board, its disastrous action
which made the Government a speculator in farm products, and the
unsound policy of restricting agricultural products to the demands of
We condemn the usurpation of power by the State Department in assuming
to pass upon foreign securities offered by international bankers as a result
of which billions of dollars in questionable bonds have been sold to the
public upon the implied approval of the Federal Government.
And in conclusion, to accomplish these purposes and to recover economic
liberty, we pledge the nominees of this convention the best efforts of a great
Party whose founder announced the doctrine which guides us now in the
hour of our country's need: equal rights to all; special privilege to none.