The Republican Party platform is updated every four years at the Republican National Convention by delegates from across the country. Almost no one ever reads the platforms of the parties and the priorities of the party are set by the candidates in the minds of most voters. Still, the platform tells one what the values and the proprieties are of party faithful with grass roots connections. It is worth familiarizing yourself with your party's platform.
The GOP platform committee met Monday and Tuesday of last week with 112 delegates from every state and territory and debated and approved a proposed Party platform which will be voted on by the Convention later this week. Here are the highlights gleamed from various sources:
- State legislatures should make the Bible required reading in public schools as part of American History.
- Transgender individuals should be prohibited from using bathrooms that are not in line with the individual’s original sex.
- The Party endorses gay ‘conversion therapy.’
- It calls for an end to governmental intervention in parenting and says parents should be allowed "to determine the proper treatment or therapy" for their children. I assume this would mean parents should not have to have their children vaccinated.
- It calls pornography a “public menace” and “public health crisis.”
- It calls coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.”
- It calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v Hodges decision, which required all states to allow same-sex marriage.
- It condemns Planned Parenthood and reaffirms the right to life.
- It calls for building a wall along the southern border saying, "That is why we support building a wall along our southern border and protect if all ports of entry. The border wall must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic."
- It adopts some of Trump's rhetoric on trade, calling for "better negotiated trade agreements that put America first."
- It takes a stronger stand in favor of Israel saying, "We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier, and specifically recognize that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement ('BDS') is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel."
I am solidly pro-life, I think marriage should be between between one man and one women, I am for securing our borders and I support Israel. I do not think the Party needs to take a position on pornography however. Defining it is difficult and the right to have access to erotica was decided a long time ago. We do not need to be the party of censorship. If we must say anything abort porn, we could condemn child porn as we have done in the past. I am concerned about using the "public health" tactic to combat a perceived menace whether it is to fight pornography or the right to keep and bear arms. I don't want my doctor asking me how many guns I own or how much porn I watch.
I would support our State legislature requiring that the Bible be taught to some limited degree in an appropriate subject matter. The Bible helped form Western thought and was a foundational believe in developing our country and the motivation for many of our reform movements and shaped the character of the American people. Any educated person needs to know something about the Bible. However, I would leave that to local school boards and States. I am not sure the Party needs to opine on making teaching the Bible mandatory. I don't feel strongly on this however and could be persuaded that it is an appropriate plank.
A wall may not be the best means of securing the border or deterring illegal immigration. Some ranchers along the Rio Grand have to have access to the river, a wall on our side may cause flooding in Mexico, and part of the border is in the middle of a big lake. More illegal aliens are in America from overstaying a visa than illegally crossing the border. I think a plank calling for curtailing illegal immigration would have been preferable.
I am not sure I agree that coal is clean energy and I think it makes us look bought and paid for and stupid to claim it is. I would rather the Party call for removal to barriers to free trade rather than call for better negotiated trade agreements. Maybe we need better trade agreements, but the world would benefit from more trade, not less. In the past the Republican Party has been the party most inclined to support free trade. I think we should avoid the tainted phrase "America First."
In the big scheme of things the party platform is not that important, but from what I know about what is in the platform it leaves me a little uncomfortable. I will post a link to the full platform when it becomes available.