Mike Kueber's Blog

June 12, 2012

2012 Texas GOP platform

Filed under: Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 6:48 pm
Tags: ,

While reading about the Texas GOP’s guest-worker proposal, I had the chance to review the party’s 2012 platform, which was adopted last week at the Fort Worth convention.  Most of the planks are consistent with longstanding Republican orthodoxy, but the following planks may be problematic in an election, even in a state as red as Texas:

  • Human Life.  “The sanctity of human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death.”  Based on the definition of fertilization, this protection could be triggered by in vitro fertilization, even before the fertilized egg is implanted in the woman.  A similar proposition was recently defeated by the Mississippi voters – 55%-45%, and Texas voters are not that conservative.   
  • War Powers Act.  “We strongly urge Congress to repeal the War Powers Act.”  I initially thought this plank indicated the GOP wants a president to be able to wage an undeclared war.  But later in the platform there is a plank that reads, “We believe that a lawful ‘Declaration of War’ is necessary for the United States to enter into war with another nation and urge Congress to reclaim its Constitutional responsibility. Any breech of this power by the Executive Branch is an impeachable offence.”  The understandability of these two planks would be improved if they were combined. 
  • Republican form of government.  “We support our republican form of government in Texas as set forth in the Texas Bill of Rights and oppose Initiative and Referendum.  We also urge the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress to enact legislation prohibiting any judicial jurisdiction from allowing any substitute or parallel system of Law, specifically foreign Law (including Sharia Law), which is not in accordance with the U.S. or Texas Constitutions.”  Conservatives should favor citizens having the right to override out-of-touch politicians, and this reference to Sharia Law reveals only that some paranoid loonies were at the convention.
  • Election of district judges.  “We support our right to select our judges by direct vote.”  I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation for voters selecting a judge.  In a typical Bexar County election, we might have 30 judicial contests, and there is no way a voter can be expected to make informed decisions.
  • Activist judges.  “[W]e urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.”  More evidence of loonies in Fort Worth.
  • Electoral College.  “We strongly support the Electoral College.”  They aren’t called “Republicans” for nothing.  First they favor direct election of judges, but in the next breath call for indirect election of the president.  Go figure?
  • Marriage.  “We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the integrity of this institution should be protected at all levels of government. We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws. We support Covenant Marriage.”  Although the concept of a Covenant Marriage has strong religious undertones, it might be an idea worth exploring because the decline of marriage in America threatens our exceptionalness.  Of course, this belief in restoring the strength of marriages is inconsistent with the GOP’s insistence on  bastardizing same-sex unions, but that apparent hypocrisy can be explained by reading the plank in the next dot point. 
  • Homosexuality.  “We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.  Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle, in public policy, nor should ‘family’ be redefined to include homosexual ‘couples.’ We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.”  This plank existed when I ran for Congress in 2010, and I specifically rejected then it as antediluvian.  It is an insult to anyone who believes in a just America.
  • Abortion litmus test.  “We implore our Party to support, financially or with in-kind contributions, only those candidates who support protecting innocent human life. Further, we strongly encourage the State Republican Executive Committee to hear and recognize the longstanding and overwhelmingly consistent voice of the grass roots and revise its by-laws to make this action binding on our Party.”  Talk about a litmus test; apparently, if you are pro-choice, you can’t be a good Republican.
  • Social Security.  “We support an immediate and orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax.”  Talk about touching the third rail of politics.  I think this is easier said than done, but nevertheless it is a good idea.
  • Gambling.  “We oppose the expansion of legalized gambling and encourage the repeal of the Texas State lottery. We oppose dedicating any government revenue from gambling to create or expand any government program.”  This pious preaching shows that the Moral Majority still out-votes the libertarians in the GOP.   
  • Health care.  “Health care decisions should be between a patient and health care professional and should be protected from government intrusion.”  Of course, in their next breath they talk about the need for more affordable care.  You can’t have it both ways.
  • Evolution and global warming. “We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.”  These so-called “controversial theories” aren’t controversial in the scientific community, and this plank merely provides safe harbor to science teachers who are excessively influenced by their religious beliefs.
  • Sex education.  “We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We believe that parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage.”  Sounds like the class on sex education is going to be a quick one.
  • Taxes.  “We recommend repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, with the goal of abolishing the I.R.S and replacing it with a national sales tax collected by the States….  The death tax is immoral and should be abolished forever….  We favor abolishing the capital gains tax….  Abolishing property taxes.”  Sounds like we are going to need a robust sales tax.
  • Foreign aid.  “We oppose foreign aid except in cases of national defense or catastrophic disasters, with Congressional approval.”  I wonder what Judeo-Christian principle this plank is based on.

One of the biggest problems with American government is the two-party system, especially in recent years when the extremists of both parties seem to have taken control of their parties from the moderates.  The Texas GOP’s platform of 2012 is an excellent example of what extremists tend to produce, and when extremists control both parties, the result is dysfunctional gridlock.  To defeat dysfunctional gridlock, the process needs to be reformed so that moderates are united, not split.  That can be done by having a single primary, not separate primaries for each party.

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5 Comments »

  1. you aren’t implying that a 3 party system would make things better are you? because, that is a nice hypothesis, but not a given…

    Comment by Q — June 13, 2012 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

  2. Who wrote the Republican platform? First, it’s only 22 pages, and the Democrat platform is 44 pages. The Democrats outline improvements to Education page after page, while the Republicans just want to dismantle Education, or make it 100% “Judeo-Christian” based. The platform is very shallow, and full of religious references. It clearly violates the separation of church and state, and that is still the law of the United States, regardless of the wishes of the committee that wrote this. I’m embarrased by this platform, it makes Texans look very ignorant. It says that the military should receive good jobs, education, job training, housing, health care and whatever else they need, but the rest of the population, also Texans, don’t have access to any of this, and with no help from the Republicans, because they want to slash spending on all social programs, and keep the massive spending of the military programs. All the pious preaching is nauseating. They think they’re protecting young people, but what it will cause is a mass migration of young people away from places like Texas if Republicans stay in power and pass these initiatives. It’s called “brain drain” and it has happened in many small towns and third world countries. They say they don’t want “critical thinking” taught to young people because it might change their “fixed beliefs”. Fixed beliefs are not changed by learning, but only increased and broadened. Lies are revealed by learning, and apparently that’s what the Republicans are afraid of.

    Comment by Marcy — June 29, 2012 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  3. […] I previously blogged about several remarkable planks in this platform, I failed to highlight this plank as […]

    Pingback by Bumper sticker #1 – “Critical thinking: the other national deficit.” « Mike Kueber's Blog — August 5, 2012 @ 3:18 am | Reply

  4. […] and Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS).  Instead of examining this crazy plank, I proceeded to blog about 16 other planks that caught my […]

    Pingback by The priorities of San Antonio city government « Mike Kueber's Blog — August 7, 2012 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  5. […] a public-policy wonk and a political junkie, I love to read and write about political-party platforms.  Earlier this year, the Texas GOP produced a platform that, in addition […]

    Pingback by The national GOP’s 2012 platform « Mike Kueber's Blog — August 24, 2012 @ 7:54 pm | Reply


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