A political party platform is a document that expresses the values and views of a particular party. The Republican platform, if you can find it, is a document reflecting another America, one that you had thought had disappeared from the political scene a long time ago.
Of primary interest to the followers of Donald J.Trump, he has put in writing his wish to build a wall. It states, that ” we support building a wall along our southern border and protecting 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.”
In a strange unscientific move the Republican Party stated in its platform that the GOP supports a defense of nature marriage. I am not sure what that is but, the crux of the matter is that the platform has embraced conversion therapy for gays. Defying science, Republicans have stated that it is possible to change who you are by taking part in the very controversial conversion therapy. This is contrary to known science which believes that a gay person is born that way, that they do not choose to be gay but rather this is who they are.
The environmental plank is very brief with no acknowledgement whatsoever that climate change is a reality and a danger to the planet. It briefly praises coal as a source of reliable and clean energy. I guess they have not received the memo that coal is a dirty source of energy. Even China now has a goal of ending their reliance on coal and the use of coal burning plants.
A blast from the past was the pornography plank. It condemned pornography as a “public health crisis.” And believe or not there was another attempt to have a say in what people do in the bedroom by having a plank where they stated how they were against people cohabiting who are not married.
There is a plank in the platform stating the Party being against the District of Columbia statehood. They stated that they were against it because statehood would have an impact on Congress’s budgetary authority.
A controversial part of the platform is that the Republican Party has seemed to turn its back on the Teddy Roosevelt idea of public lands being part of a public trust to preserve and protect land in America for our future and our legacy. Now the Republican Party has stated that there should be some sort of amendment passed for the disposal of national lands. It reads as follows: ” Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation requiring the federal government to convey certain federal controlled public lands to the states.”
This part of the Republican Party platform panders to the privatize everything for profit crowd. I can just see it now, in the future planning on going to a park, let us say Zion and having a oil rig next to your sleeping bag.
Their plan to rebuild the economy and creating jobs involves having tariffs to level the playing field in this new world of globalization. Seeking trade wars by establishing tariffs might increase the price of foreign made goods. This sound like a great idea, but don’t forget that the other country can raise the price on our exports as well and off you go with ever increasing prices. Who would not rather buy American made products. But let’s face the fact that Americans like to buy products that are cheaper. Buying goods at Walmart comes with a price, and the price is our manufacturing jobs. Until we are willing to pay more for what we buy than this idea is nothing but a lie. We can not have jobs return to America in certain manufacturing jobs unless we are honest with ourselves and realize that we must be willing to buy American made goods that are more expensive. Are we willing to do that? If not Presidential nominee Donald Trump is offering us something that can not be done and all that will happen is that a lot of people will be disappointed.
The Republicans have as a heading, Restoring the American dream. Well, how can you do that unless you are willing to address the issue of income inequality. Where is raising the minimum wage? How can you address income inequality without raising the minimum wage? Republicans talk as if reducing business rules and regulations will do the trick. They have been giving us this canard for years and years but our basic income inequality has only increased in the years subsequent to Ronald Reagan.
My question for Republicans is how do you expect to have positive change unless you are willing to address income inequality?
The platform is silent on several issues that are important to a lot of Americans, climate change and Citizens United.
Now it is clear that Republicans want to make us safe. Do you think that is possible in a world that is increasingly dangerous? Being tough won’t do it without a plan. On 60 minutes, Donald Trump was asked specifically several times what would he do regarding ISIS. If we are at war, would he send troops to the Middle East? There was no answer. Talk is cheap. You can sound like the toughest guy in the neighborhood but unless you have a plan and a good one, it is all talk. What can we do that we are not doing unless we send ground troops to the Middle East to fight ISIS?
Party Platforms are a list of goals that a political party has. It is full of platitudes and hopes and dreams. Are the goals of the Republican Party as expressed by their platform worth having? This election may be more about personalities than about substance but it is worth noting whether or not the Republican Party’s platform is a platform for America, today, now, in the 21st Century or is it nothing but a wistful expression of a bygone era that the party of Lincoln wishes to return to.