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Which Party Is Better on American Poverty?

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I'd like to take a brief break from politics to talk about an actual issue of concern to many religious voters.

Both Republicans and Democrats this year devote extensive portions of their platforms toward helping to alleviate poverty in Africa. The new emphasis in the Republican Platform reflects both George W. Bush's significant work in this area and the seismic shift in the evangelical movement, emphasizing African poverty like never before. This has prompted conservative evangelicals to argue that they care just as much about poverty as liberals, who have been arguing aggressively that the Religious Right agenda misses the voluminous teachings by Jesus about the poor.

But when it comes to American poverty, there are still rather striking differences in the two parties' level of interest, at least judging from the platforms.

For one thing, the Democratic platform has a section called "poverty" and the Republicans doesn't.

To be fair, the Republican Party position has always been that a growing ...

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