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Music

The Democratic Platform In 15 Songs

Beyoncé’s music can summarize two different policy points!

After some brief hullabaloo about the lack of “God” or “Jerusalem,” the Democratic Party ratified their official platform this week, and it is…very comprehensive. (Would you like to know how they feel about governmental transparency in Brazil? The platform has you covered!) You could read your way through all 30-some pages, sure. But you could also dance through it! Here are 15 songs that summarize the Democratic Party platform.

1. Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z, “Upgrade U”

First off, the platform says, we need to fix the economy by changing the economy. “The President knew from the start that to rebuild true middle class security, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity,” they write. “We must out-educate, out-innovate, and out-build the world.”

2. Amerie, “Gotta Work”

It’s especially important, they say, to put Americans back to work. “We continue to fight for relief for the long-term unemployed,” they say, including “expanded universal worker training proposal to provide more training and job search assistance to all displaced workers.”

3. Fleetwood Mac, “Never Going Back Again”

They trumpet health care reform, and celebrate the freedom Americans now have to maintain their health coverage. “We refuse to go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your health policy, deny you coverage, or charge women more than men,” they write.

4. Janet Jackson, “Together Again”

In addition to opposing Republican plans for Medicare and Medicaid, the Democrats emphasize their commitment to AIDS research. “We Democrats have increased overall funding to combat HIV/AIDS to record levels and will continue our nation’s fight against HIV/AIDS.”

5. Aerosmith, “Eat the Rich”

In terms of taxes, the Democrats advocate cutting middle-class taxes while raising taxes on the rich, achieving “deficit reduction not by placing the burden on the middle class and the poor, but by cutting out programs we can’t afford and asking the wealthiest to again contribute their fair share.”

6. Britney Spears, “Gimme More”

The platform makes particular note of their work on student loans. “To make college affordable for students of all backgrounds and confront the loan burden our students shoulder, we doubled our investment in Pell Grant scholarships and created the American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college.”

7. Luther Vandross, “A House Is Not A Home”

Despite the housing crisis, the Democrats remain committed to the ideal of homeownership. “Too many people still owe more on their homes than they are worth,” they write. “That is why Democrats are fighting to give every responsible homeowner the chance to refinance their home.”

8. Ministry, “Jesus Built My Hotrod”

The platform celebrates the President’s decision to bail out American automakers, and reaffirms their commitment to the industry, proposing “tax relief for clean energy manufacturing, incentives to create advanced vehicles in the United States, more research, and a network of manufacturing innovation hubs.”

9. Dropkick Murphys, “Worker’s Song”

After an election cycle in which Republicans tried to weaken labor unions, the Democrats voice strong support for the cause. “We will fight for labor laws that provide a fair process for workers to choose union representation, that facilitate the collective bargaining process, and that strengthen remedies for violations of the law.”

10. M.I.A., “Paper Planes”

At the same time, they remain committed to free trade. “We have reformed international institutions to give emerging economies a greater role and more responsibility. We have promoted trade that is free and fair. And we have supported global economic development.”

11. Jay-Z featuring Rihanna and Kanye West, “Run This Town”

They also decry Wall Street fraud. “We will not back down from ensuring that everyone has a seat at the American table and the opportunity to grab the first rung on the ladder to the middle class.”

12. Sade, “Soldier of Love”

As befits an administration where the First Lady has worked extensively with military families, the platform endorses increased support for veterans. “We will not only continue to support them in the field, but we will also continue to prioritize support for wounded warriors, mental health, and the well-being of our military families and veterans.”

13. Killer Mike, “American Dream”

They oppose harsh sentencing for drug crimes, pledging to “continue to fight inequalities in our criminal justice system” by, for instance, “enact[ing] the Fair Sentencing Act, reducing racial disparities in sentencing for drug crimes.”

14. Yo La Tengo, “Nuclear War (Version 2)”

Before becoming President, Senator Obama worked on nuclear proliferation issues, and was perhaps too honest in his continuing commitment to the issue: he was caught on an open mic telling Vladamir Putin that, after the election, he would “have more flexibility.” The platform calls for “work to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and seek a new Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty that prohibits the production of fissile materials intended for use in nuclear weapons.”

15. Destiny’s Child, “Independent Woman”

Finally, the party has used Republican attacks on women’s issues to make a strong appeal to female voters, and they continue to do so here. “We are committed to ensuring full equality for women: we reaffirm our support for the Equal Rights Amendment, recommit to enforcing Title IX, support the Paycheck Fairness Act, and will urge ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”

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