Young Voters Speak Out: Each day, RR.com will spotlight politically minded youth writers from throughout the U.S. speaking their minds on Election 2012. First-time voters, student journalists and new graduates will debate the Obama vs. Romney race to the White House. Young Democrats, Republicans and ‘Undecided’ Americans are eager to play politics and choose the next Commander & Chief.
Read Samantha Schoenfeld's thoughts from a left-leaning perspective:
Against the wishes of many of the delegates at the DNC, the Democratic Party reinstated language to its platform affirming Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and included a reference to God.
In video footage taken from the event, you see convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa, the Mayor of Los Angeles, attempt three times to get an oral two-thirds majority on the issue. All three attempts seemed to result in a close to equal number of "ayes" and "nos," at least to my ears. But after the first two attempts, both of which Villaraigosa looked quite confused after, he barely waited to hear the answer of the third vote before declaring that two-thirds had voted in favor and that the wording would be added.
Obama's Iron Fist
Besides other damning evidence that has come out in light of this debacle, the video alone seems to prove that the party-heads' minds were made up before the vote, and that it was just a formality. It was reported by the Associated Press that President Obama got involved after he was bewildered to discover the language had been omitted in the first place. Party chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz tried to cover the gaffe by claiming to CNN that the omissions of the Jerusalem language and any reference to God were "essentially a technical oversight."
The issue began when Republicans, led by Governor Romney, picked up on the omission and said it was due to the Democratic Party leaving behind mainstream Americans in favor of extremism. However, due to the change in language, the Dem's platform now has stronger wording than the GOP's, with the Dem's stating that Jerusalem "should remain an undivided city," while the GOP states "we envision two democratic states -- Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine "
Keeping Up Appearances
It is not surprising that the Jerusalem language was omitted in the first place, despite Schultz's claims that it was a mistake. The Obama administration, like administrations from both parties before him, has consistently said that it's an issue that should be part of the discussion in peace talks between the two sides. In 2008 it was okay for the Dem's platform to include the language because Obama was a candidate and he supposedly personally believes that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel. Obama has also been called soft on Israel and anti-Israel, so it's easy to see why he'd want to be firm now. But as a sitting president he should follow the long-standing policy of the United States.
The Dem's should not have caved to jabs from the GOP. As a liberal Jewish leader told Ben Smith of BuzzFeed.com, "he wishes the Administration would 'grow a pair.'" Although hypocritical since the "leader" kept the comment anonymous, it's a fair point. Our president should stick to his guns and govern according to his own moral code. But, at the end of the day, this is one spineless policy change, compared to the endless number of flip-flops we've seen from Romney.