Republican Party, that bastion of tolerance, goodwill and
forward thinking, just released its policy platform. I can’t say I was surprised by the contents therein, but
nevertheless, I was taken aback by the stunning absurdity
emanating from a “mainstream” political party. And they
run the state! Of course, these were the folks who gave
us the revamped Texas Board of Education, with its textbook
whitewashing of the slave trade, and its crimes against
truth and reason masquerading as legitimate curriculum changes.
So, in its 25-page manifesto, the Texas GOP really provides
a clear sense of its convictions. Some of the positions
in the platform are mundane and without distinction, but
the devil is in the details. And for people who claim to
be Christians, there’s little Christ and a lot of devilishness
With regard to government power, the platform calls for the
elimination of all executive orders, and the repeal of all
previous executive orders. It strongly rejects D.C. statehood
and “adding unconstitutional voting Congressional members,”
and supports nonparticipation in the census. Further, the
Texas GOP platform opposes affirmative action and reparations
based on “discriminatory criteria.” And the party is against
nationalization of land for protecting endangered species
In the area of voting rights and elections, the party advocates
for the repeal of motor voter laws, re-registering voters
every four years, and felon disenfranchisement—a Jim Crow
Not surprisingly, the Texas GOP supports public displays
of the Ten Commandments, and penalties for desecrating the
American flag, and the restoration of some Confederate plaque
that was removed from the state’s Supreme Court building.
Now here is where it gets really interesting, and talibanic,
dare I say, as if what you’ve already heard was not sufficiently
out of pocket. On the issue of family values, whatever
that means, the Republican’s policy paper condemns homosexuality
and opposes the legalization of sodomy and supports a prohibition
on all pornography and strip clubs. Further, they would
make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex
couple, or for a civil official to perform a same-sex marriage
ceremony. Of course, the platform is solidly anti-abortion
and anti-reproductive rights for women. And it supports
lifting the bureaucratic restrictions on corporal discipline
for foster children, because foster kids really need more
beatings in their life.
Social security would be eliminated under the Texas GOP plan,
as would what they euphemistically call “ObamaCare.”
Apparently, sex education is a no no, other than the teaching
of abstinence before marriage. And the teaching of multiculturalism
is out because Martin Luther King, Jr., a Republican, would
have wanted it that way.
To round out an astonishing set of policy positions, the
Texas Republicans are against any regulations on gun ownership.
Oh yeah, and they declare that this is a Judeo-Christian
nation. And there should be capital punishment for rape
convictions (like the good old days). Deep water oil drilling
should resume in the Gulf of Mexico, employers should be
able to discriminate, and the minimum wage law should be
repealed, they say. No more birthright citizenship—citizenship
by birth would be limited to those born to a U.S. citizen.
Finally, the Texas GOP assert that the U.S. should get out
of the United Nations.
Meanwhile, one of the standard bearers of the Texas conservatives,
Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), recently created some controversy
apologized to BP for Obama hooking up that $20 billion fund to pay for damages
related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In fact, Barton
called the fund a “shameful…shakedown.” Other Republicans such as Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
and Tea Party poster boy Rand Paul expressed their opposition
to the fund.
Barton and the Texas Republican Party appear to have a great
deal of compassion for the plight of poor behemoth oil companies
who wreck the Earth, with oil spills of biblical proportions
through corporate malfeasance. Ultra-conservatives reserve
their outrage for the times when they believe the rights
of large corporations are infringed. And they seek to criminalize
homosexuality and those who are different. Yet the Lone
Star GOP is not outraged by the crimes committed against
the environment, against God’s creation, about which these
so-called Christians seem to care jack.
policy paper represents the culmination of bad political
decisions that have turned the Republican Party into the
hot mess it has become. The Texas case is just an extreme
example of the problem. Nationally, the Republicans hitched
their wagon to a Southern Strategy that depended on the
scapegoating of black people and manipulating white fears
for votes. Fundamentalist Christian conservatives and the
religious police were a part of the mix, as were pro-business,
anti-tax, anti-regulation right-wingers. Moderate whites
fled the party, as did all but a few token people of color.
So what remains of the base— for the most part— is a dwindling
coalition of white nationalists, the morality police and
the exceptionally greedy.
barbecue, hot weather, and a brutal history of racial violence.
We can add to that one of the most egregious public policy
documents in recent memory. Blue Texans, as you know, your
work is cut out for you.
Editor, David A. Love, JD is a journalist and human rights
advocate based in Philadelphia, and a contributor to The Huffington
Post, theGrio, The Progressive
Media Project, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, In These Times and Philadelphia Independent
Media Center. He
also blogs atdavidalove.com, NewsOne, Daily Kos,
and Open Salon. Click here to contact Mr. Love.