Monday, July 09, 2012

The Texas Republican Party Platform

The Platform of the Texas Republican Party. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Some highlights (with the occasional commentary):

Protection from Extreme EnvironmentalistsWe strongly oppose all efforts of the extreme environmental groups that stymie legitimate business interests. We strongly oppose those efforts that attempt to use the environmental causes to purposefully disrupt and stop those interests within the oil and gas industry. We strongly support the immediate repeal of the Endangered Species Act. We strongly oppose the listing of the dune sage brush lizard either as a threatened or an endangered species. We believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished.

Sure, them there kind hearted, environmentally concerned big business types are looking out for our welfare.

Free Speech for the Clergy - We urge amendment of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status. We call for repeal of requirements that religious organizations send the government any personal information about their contributors.

If you want to be political, then you shouldn't be tax exempt. The same rules need to apply to everyone. The clergy doesn't warrent any special treatment.

Government Regulation of Religious Institutions - The state should have no power over licensing or training of clergy. The State should withdraw all imposed regulations.

They have regulations about that in Texas? I never heard of any in New Jersey.

Empowering Local Entities Concerning Religious Meetings - We support the right of local entities to determine their own policies regarding religious clubs and meetings on all properties owned by the same without interference.

Another attempt to get around the first amendment.

Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) - We oppose this act through which the federal government would coerce religious business owners and employees to violate their own beliefs and principles by affirming what they consider to be sinful and sexually immoral behavior.

I'm the boss so my ethics are going to be your ethics or else. What happened to all that freedom of religion concern? I guess you're only concerned when your beliefs are affected.

Remedies to Activist Judiciary - We call Congress and the President to use their constitutional powers to restrain activist judges. We urge Congress to adopt the Judicial Conduct Act of 2005 and remove judges who abuse their authority. Further, we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.

Imagine what they would say if we didn’t have a right wing SCOTUS!? Do you suppose these guys have ever heard of the "seperation of powers?" Isn't it amazing that they only support the Constitution when they can twist it enough to make it look like it supports their position.

Voter Rights ActWe urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized.

One has to wonder why? They don't say. It couldn't have anything to do with black folks being able to vote could it?

Campaign Finance Reform - We urge immediate repeal of the McCain-Feingold Act.

Have to make sure that only the rich can obtain political office.

Enforcing the Platform - Every Republican is responsible for implementing this platform. Party candidates should indicate their positions on platform planks before their acceptance on the ticket and such information should be available on the Party website.

You VILL support der Party position or you VILL regret it! Seig Heil!

Filibuster We support return to the traditional Filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

Just like in them good old segregation days. The "traditional Filibuster" probably did more to delay civil rights in this country than any other single entity.

Religious Symbols - We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue or other religious symbols.

But what about the "seperation of church and state" you say? We're getting to that in a bit so be patient.

Pledge of Allegiance - We support adoption of the Pledge Protection Act. We also urge that the National Motto “In God We Trust” and National Anthem be protected from legislative and judicial attack.

WTF does that even mean? How do you protect things from legislative and judicial attack? Appoint a dictator?

Flag Desecration - Any form of desecration of the American Flag is an act of disregard for our nation and its people and penalties should be established for such.

Except that the SCOTUS has already declared this as an act of free speech in Texas v. Johnson 1989, and that would trump any law. You would need either a constitutional amendment or the overturning of the existing SCOTUS decision.

Symbols of American Heritage - We call upon governmental entities to protect all symbols of our American heritage from being altered in any way.

In any way? Does that include making sure every color is exactly the right shade and every detail exactly the right size?

Confederate Widows Plaque - We call for restoration of plaques honoring the Confederate Widow’s Pension Fund contribution that were illegally removed from the Texas Supreme Court building.


Marriage and Divorce - 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.

A desperate attempt to improve the lousy divorce rate in Texas? Actually, to be fair, the divorce rate in Texas in 2009 was 3.3 per 1,000 population which was actually a shade under the national average of 3.4. The rate in an equivalent Northeast state such as New York is 2.6 but people tend to get married later in the Northeast which reduces the divorce rate.

Family ValuesWe support the affirmation of traditional Judeo-Christian family values and oppose the continued assault on those values.

I see they didn’t bother to DEFINE those values though so you can just fill in whatever you want. An old propaganda trick. Since you fill in the blanks, you’re almost guaranteed to agree with the statement.

Supporting MotherhoodWe strongly support women who choose to devote their lives to their families and raising their children. We recognize their sacrifice and deplore the liberal assault on the family.

What about Apple Pie? Of course the fact that the “liberal” states have much lower divorce rates, crime rates and teenage pregnancy rates is irrelevant.

HomosexualityWe 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.

Well, at least they didn't define being gay as a choice. That's progress of a sort I suppose.

Right To Life - All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.

Regardless of the situation? No real surprise here. The problem of course is they continue to overlook that the solution to abortion is the elimination of unwanted pregnancies which means making comprehensive sex education and contraception universally available.

Morning After Pill - We oppose sale and use of the dangerous “Morning After Pill.”

See what I nmean? At least they didn't go after the "Morning Before Pills."

UN Treaty on the Rights of the ChildWe unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

I'm not going down this road here. I may dedicate a different post to this one.

Classroom DisciplineWe recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas.

As applied by parents. If I were a teacher, I wouldn't even THINK about hitting a child. If a teacher ever hit one of my kids I would have keel hauled them.

Controversial TheoriesWe 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.

Another dishonest attempt to get religious ideas into the science classroom.

(I’m NOT making the next one up. It’s REALLY in there.)

Knowledge-Based EducationWe oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Isn’t that sort of the whole idea of education, challenging fixed beliefs?I mean, why would we want children that can actually THINK?

Sex EducationWe 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. 

See previous comments about teenage pregnancy rates and eliminating abortions. At last count Texas ranked 47th with a teenage pregancy rate of 88 per 1,000. Only Arizona (89), Nevada (90) and New Mexico (93) were worse. The National Average was 70. This is in the face of repeated statistics that demonstrate that "abstinence only" education doesn't work and what's required is a comprehensive sex education approach. It's perfectly ok to emphesize abstinence because, in the final analysis, it is still the only foolproof contraceptive method but that shouldn't be all there is.

Parental School ChoiceWe encourage the Governor and the Texas Legislature to enact child-centered school funding options which fund the student, not schools or districts, to allow maximum freedom of choice in public, private, or parochial education for all children.

Another dishonest approach toward funding religious schools with tax dollars.

Religious Freedom in Public SchoolsWe urge school administrators and officials to inform Texas school students specifically of their First Amendment rights to pray and engage in religious speech, individually or in groups, on school property without government interference. We urge the Legislature to end censorship of discussion of religion in our founding documents and encourage discussing those documents.

Well, at least they didn’t call for the return of organized school prayer (not yet anyway).

Safeguarding Our Religious LibertiesWe affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state.

I told you we'd get to the "seperation of church and state." At least they're honest about it. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would probably like a word with these people.

We support the principles regarding the public economy as stated in the Republican Party Platform of 1932…

1932!? They blew right by Ronald Reagan and went all the way back to Herbert Hoover! In other words, on the economic front, the Republicans haven't learned anything in the last 80 years!

Workers’ CompensationWe urge the Legislature to resist making Workers’ Compensation mandatory for all Texas employers.

So what if people get hurt on the job? Worker's Compensation is actually a good deal for both sides since it protects the employer from getting their asses sued for negligence.

Minimum WageWe believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.

How about we get rid of them there Communist child labor laws while we're at it but, whatever you do, don't you touch them government guarantees for long term corporate investments. That there is necessary for our Capitalist way of life.

United NationsWe support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from U.S. soil.

Oh great, can you imagine the U.N. without adult supervision?

International OrganizationsWe support U.S. withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank.

Can you spell I-S-O-L-A-T-I-O-N-I-S-M? I see the yearning for 1932 extends beyond economics.

There were a lot more that I simply don't agree with but wouldn't consider over the top. There were also a surprising number that I agreed with which is sort of interesting. If we could start with the things we agree on, we could at least make some progress while we're working on the things we disagree on.

I find it utterly appalling that a major political party in the 21st century can take these positions. The Zeitgeist never stands still. If it's not progressing, then it's regressing to the oppressions of the past. This is why we can never be complacent. The forces of darkness never rest and have to be fought whenever and wherever they're encountered. The sad part about it is, these people probably consider themselves patriots.

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