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Democratic platform embraces Idaho values

By the time this is published, you may know whether those attending Idaho’s Republican Convention adopted a resolution stating that Joe Biden did not honestly win the 2020 presidential election.

I’m guessing it didn’t pass–hoping, really. All we need is one more reminder that those representing Idaho Republicans believe that dozens of Republican election officials worked to fix the presidential election for Biden without creating an iota of evidence that held up in any of 30 different lawsuits.

I’m expecting, however, to see the Republicans make a number of stands on issues that don’t mesh with the beliefs of most Idahoans, or even most of the state’s Republicans.

Many Idahoans read and listen to enough sources that demonize Democrats that they don’t listen to or observe Democrats enough to realize that they are in agreement with them on most issues.

The platform adopted at the Idaho Democratic Convention last month is easy reading–and shorter than this column (

It leads off with “A Quality Education for every Child”--and it should. After nearly 50 years of Republican control in the legislature, Idaho spends nearly $6,000 less each year per student than the national average. Every person who votes yes on a school levy or bond should be voting Democratic.

“An Economy that Works for All'' follows. Again, there’s plenty our state government could be doing to “strengthen rural communities, affordable housing,...[and] “alleviate the negative effects of growth.” Republicans are more concerned with their old boys’ network and getting the attention of rightwing donors.

In “Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for All” Idaho Democrats pledge to protect and promote “equal, inalienable, and constitutional rights” and “equal opportunity and equity for all.” This state will not heal with Republican political leadership that stays in power by setting one group of Idahoans against another.

“Quality and Accessible Health Care for Every Idahoan” would see care available to rich and poor throughout the state. Do not forget that Republicans requested five waivers from the Federal government to limit Medicaid for All. Without the initiative, we would have gone through the pandemic with thousands of Idahoans uninsured.

The health care plank doesn’t mention reproductive health care, but the 2nd of 18 resolutions does. “The Idaho Democratic Party opposes laws restricting abortion and pregnancy prevention methods.” Many of us don’t want to see late-term abortions, but we don’t think a one-size-fits-all declaration by the government is right either.

The fifth plank is “Strengthening Democracy, Fighting Extremism, and Ending Corruption.” Democrats do not want to make voting so difficult that many will have to sit out elections; we don't want it to be too difficult to get acceptable documents or the lines too long for voters to wait. Idaho Democrats also believe in a firm defense “against extremism and violence.”

And “Protecting Our Natural Resources” is an important Idaho value. This plank expresses gratitude “for the land itself and its original caretakers” and refers to Idahoans “as stewards of our natural resources.” Democrats are open about wanting to preserve the quality of life added by being close to nature. We also want to ameliorate and prepare for climate change.

I’d like to think that all Idahoans share these values, but they don’t. Too many give them token support while attacking our schools and teachers or Idahoans of certain races or religious beliefs or gender preferences.

Legislators used to share values even though they disagreed on priorities and methods. They compromised.

I like to think that if we vote our values, not our fears, we can bring those days back.

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